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Many wonder whether or not coverage will be less expensive when vehicles operate themselves.

As a small handful of companies, including Google, work on creating driverless or self driving cars, many people wonder what type of impact this will have on their auto insurance rates.

Lawmakers in some states are already working on the first set of rules for vehicles that drive themselves.

What many prospective future owners are wondering is whether or not this added technology will provide savings on auto insurance policies. Florida, Nevada, and California have all passed legislation that has laid out the very first rules for vehicles that aren’t always under the control of a human driver.

Still, the auto insurance industry has yet to come up with any type of standard or model for these cars.

The most progress by legislators has been made in Nevada, where the motor vehicle agency in the state has laid out the regulations to be followed for highway testing of driverless vehicles. Bob Hartwig, the president of the Insurance Information Institute, and an economist, discussed the technology and the type of impact that it might have on auto insurance costs.

Surprisingly, Hartwig does not feel that the concept is all that complex. He explained that the cost of auto insurance is a combination of two primary factors. These factors are the frequency of crashes and the expense associated with them. Therefore, if the self driving cars prove to offer reductions in those areas, then it is likely that premiums will fall in order to reflect that.

He stated that “If it reduces the total cost associated with motor vehicle accidents, … then yes the cost will go down.” He also said that there is another matter that must also be taken into consideration, and this is the years of research that will need to be performed on the technology in order to come up with the data that will provide that type of understanding. He pointed out that “We’re on the first page of the first chapter here.”

At the moment, said Hartwig, drivers are already able to obtain auto insurance discounts on their premiums for purchasing vehicles with safety improvement technologies. This has always been the case.

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