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Nicole Mahrt Ganley


916-440-1116 or 916-616-5855




January 14, 2014

ACIC Urges DMV to Clarify that  the Autonomous Vehicle Manufacturer’s Commercial Policy Must Assume Liability for Any Losses or Damage

SACRAMENTO – In testimony today before the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) called for changes to the DMV’s regulations overseeing the testing of autonomous vehicles.  ACIC advocated for changes clarifying that the autonomous vehicle’s manufacturer retains all liability for damage, losses or injuries caused by the operation of these vehicles as required by the enabling law (SB 1298).


“As home of the Silicon Valley, California is a bellwether state for technological innovation. ACIC embraces technological innovation but is mindful that like any other technologies we must be cautious.  Safety is the primary concern as the autonomous vehicle enters our streets and highways,” said Armand Feliciano, ACIC vice president. “Related to this is ensuring that testing of autonomous vehicles should have the appropriate insurance coverage, and in this case, that would be the commercial policy that manufacturers of autonomous vehicles are required to have by law. Because we are only in the testing phase of autonomous vehicle, the DMV regulations must be clear that a driver’s personal auto insurance policy is not implicated at this point.”


The four states that have enacted laws allowing for the testing of autonomous vehicles are California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.


“We appreciate that the DMV adopted ACIC’s previous comments and included the use of surplus lines insurance to allow for flexibility in meeting the $5 million insurance coverage requirements for manufacturers testing these cars,” said Feliciano. “Now we are asking DMV to adopt language that will clarify that the manufacturer’s insurance, surety bond or self-insurance will assume all liability for damage or loss caused by the use or operations of these cars while they are being tested.”





The Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) is part of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). ACIC is PCI’s California Voice representing 363 property casualty insurance companies doing business in California. These members write $20.2 billion in premium in California insuring 36 percent of the property casualty insurance sold in the state. California members write 44 percent of personal auto insurance, 29 percent of homeowners insurance, 33 percent of commercial lines business insurance and 40 percent of private workers compensation insurance sold in California.