Do you think the insurance world can’t get more strange?


We live, as the old curse says, in interesting times – but things are about to get even more strange and interesting very soon if the rumours happen to be true!

First off this week, there was a news story that broke concerning the newest technological trend: driverless cars. That’s right, vehicles that can motor about without any input from a human being whatsoever. Car companies like GM and tech firms such as Google are locked in an arms race to produce the first viable prototype that could end up in production, making the roads incredibly safe. At the same time it turns out that most car insurance companies are terrified that the advent of the driverless car could drive them right out of business!

Well, perhaps not completely out of business. Third party car insurance cover would become more or less useless in a world where computer-controlled vehicles are programmed to keep away from each other, though cover for things such as fire and theft would still be needed. How you’re going to steal a car with no steering wheel or accelerator and brake pedals is beyond me of course, but then again what do I know?

So one half of the motor car insurance market is screaming about how their cashflow will be completely interrupted by something like a driverless car. Meanwhile the rest of us are going mad at the prospect of yet another European Union ruling that could upend the way insurance is handled in the UK – apparently there’s the possibility that ride-on mowers will need their own motor insurance policies in the future.

Yes, that’s right, it sounds completely mad but it’s true: a case in Luxembourg where there was an injury that involved someone on a ride-on mower. Apparently the way things are done in a normal, rational world – covering a ride-on mower under your home insurance policy – isn’t enough in this case, and could result in everyone in the eurozone that owns a ride-on mower to take out an additional insurance policy on it, even if you never leave your garden on it. Bloody marvelous isn’t it? Well maybe all these big name insurers afraid of getting run out of business by driverless cars can transition into the lawn and garden sector instead to stay afloat. Bloody Nora what insanity.

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