Discounts for Autopilot? The ins and outs of offering auto insurance discounts for self-driving cars…

Auto insurance company Root has hit the headlines today with its claim that it will not only offer Tesla owners a discount for driving a Tesla electric car (due to their excellent safety record and active safety features) but offer even larger discounts for Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X drivers who heavily rely on Autopilot while behind the wheel.

In one way, it makes total sense: cars with autopilot enabled are 40% less likely to have an accident than a car without autopilot. But in a world where autopilot is still very much a premium feature on high end cars, could we be setting a dangerous precedent where those who drive cars without autonomous driving capabilities will see their premiums go up — the very same people who often can’t afford to buy higher-end models with advanced safety features?

It’s totally appropriate to give lower premiums to people who are less at risk of having an accident — but how do you provide affordable insurance for those who don’t have autonomous vehicles? And will it become a more common problem in the future?

Watch the video above and leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • Nino Dvoršak

    Seems a good policy. The same argument could be made for electric cars as a whole, (almost) only wealthy people can afford them easily. But savings come when fuel costs are much lower. The same should apply with active safety features… High upfront cost, but it saves money in the long run.
    Nothing dodgy about sensible market economy.