The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America explored the "Future of Insurance," and how we will embrace the unparalleled innovation, disruption and promise that lie ahead for the property & casualty industry.
P&C insurers are no strangers to change or risk. The industry's ability to adapt to change and understand evolving risk makes us an integral part of the national and global economy, propelling innovation forward. Our charge as a trade association is to help our member companies manage the business operation and consumer anxieties associated with change, while looking to new opportunities for the benefit of the property & casualty insurance marketplace.
The first step is laying the foundation with the appropriate public policy infrastructure for innovation — and working with regulators and legislators to establish these building blocks. Today, property & casualty insurers are writing new lines of private insurance coverage to meet the rapidly changing and growing market demands. We help businesses and communities protect themselves financially from cyber-security and terrorist threats. Insurers are expanding into the flood insurance marketplace to help expand consumer options and coverage.
How far we've come
The industry is developing better data analytics that are saving lives through telematics programs promoting safer driving and are expanding consumer options. Additionally, insurance companies are on the cutting edge, developing products for the sharing economy and the future with autonomous vehicles.
Look at how far we've come with transportation network companies (TNCs) coverage. The industry worked with lawmakers and regulators to establish rules to provide clarity regarding what insurance coverage is being provided, when and by whom, as well as appropriate disclosures for drivers and passengers. Just a few years later, 48 states and the District of Columbia have enacted TNC legislation addressing insurance.
The road ahead
We now look to the future of automated vehicles. They hold great promise to save lives by reducing the number of deaths and accidents on our nation's roads as well as providing increased mobility for disabled and aging populations. However, the transition to "self-driving" cars will take place over many years during which the automated cars will interact, and sometimes collide with, cars driven by humans.
Insurers will again need to help set the ground rules or establish a framework for sharing crash data, addressing liability and setting safety standards to make this innovation a reality. At the state level, 33 legislatures considered legislation on autonomous vehicles in 2017. Presently, 21 states have passed legislation to study or develop a regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles, with four more states regulating autonomous vehicles by executive order. Both houses of Congress also have active legislation on autonomous vehicles.
We live in an era of unparalleled innovation, disruption and promise. Our industry's role is to respond with creativity and innovation to make the promise a reality, because the one constant in every age is risk. Our role as a trade association is to pave the regulatory and legislative way forward.
David A. Sampson is the president and chief executive officer of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). Find out more online at http://www.pciaa.net/.