The National Transportation Safety Board has a wish list, and self-braking cars are right at the top. Okay, so they don't call it a wish list. They call it a most wanted list – conjuring fugitives rather than fairies – but the essence is the same. If manufacturers and government regulators would hit the gas on getting us to automatic brakes, the NTSB would appreciate it.
According to Property Casualty 360, the problem isn't one of availability. These technologies exist. The hitch, rather, is that they're only offered on cars that cost a lot. The NTSB doesn't want accident-reducing technology to be a feature on luxury vehicles only; it wants it to be treated as standard safety equipment.
Why does the NTSB prioritize self-braking?
Automation isn't everything (at least, not yet). Drivers still need to take responsibility to operate their vehicles safely, which means, among other things, wearing seat belts, staying sober and stopping to rest when weary. Those perennial concerns have been on the NTSB's list for a long time, and they continue to be.
But when user error happens, automation can kick in and save lives. Self-braking can prevent rear-end collisions, for example, said NTSB board member Earl Weener. According to NTSB chairman Christopher Hart, technologies like these are safety nets. If adoption would speed up, they'd be preventing injuries, damages and fatalities that much faster, perhaps as many as 10,000 fatal accidents a year.
When will automated brakes become a standard feature?
The NTSB's cries aren't going unheard. Last March, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration formed an "unprecedented" agreement with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and 20 automakers – representing nearly the entire U.S. auto market – to do just that, the LA Times reported.
Perhaps not as fast as the NTSB would like, however. It'll take a good six years. Automated braking is slated to be a standard feature by 2022.
It's also not uncontroversial. To roll out the feature on that timeframe, automakers will be allowed to bypass standard regulatory process, saving three years all told. On hearing that news, some consumer-safety groups rallied to criticize the agreement, pushing for mandatory regulations instead. Their concern is that if automakers aren't required to comply with federal safety regulations, fatal accidents will surely follow. There is reason for that concern: GM's ignition switch and Toyota's braking problems are cases in point.
Which raises an interesting question. What's going to save more lives – a faster self-braking rollout, or a more careful one?
Whatever the answer may be in an ideal world, it seems that self-braking cars are proceeding on their own timeframe, neither as fast, nor as slow, as some groups would like. In the meantime, trust Silvervine to keep you informed of the updates – and to prepare for them. If you haven’t already done so, request an insurance software demo and see how the right insurance software can help you quickly adapt to the ever-changing market.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
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What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.