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Will autonomous cars eliminate the need for auto insurance?

Pennsylvania residents have probably heard about the self-driving cars that are being developed by companies like Google. Manufacturers of autonomous vehicles are saying that car accidents will soon be a thing of the past. According to the president of Volvo, the autonomous safety features on the Swedish company's cars should eliminate injuries to occupants of its vehicles by 2020.

With all of the talk about monumental advances in car safety, some people are asking whether self-driving cars will kill the auto insurance industry. If there are no car accidents and no need to purchase liability insurance, many auto insurance jobs could become obsolete. Some analysts are even predicting that the auto insurance market will decline by 60 percent over the next couple of decades.

While the elimination of car accidents could affect the insurance industry, it is still unclear whether autonomous cars will actually live up to their hype. Many analysts, including RAND researchers, say that the safety of autonomous cars has not been studied sufficiently in real world scenarios. Although there is promising research about the safety of autonomous cars, studies do not include enough real world tests. Even if autonomous cars do become accident-proof, insurance may still be needed for theft and property damage.

Until the day arrives where self-driving cars are ubiquitous, motor vehicle collisions will continue to take place. Research has shown that the great majority of accidents are caused by human factors. Most states have cracked down on texting and driving, for example, but that is just one of many distractions that motorists can face. A person who is injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver may find it advisable to have legal assistance in pursuing a civil action for damages.

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