First of all, any specific questions regarding insurance should be addressed to your insurance provider. This article is designed to be used as another source of information when filing an insurance claim. The following steps are based on the assumption that the legal requirements for autonomous driving have been met, i.e. there is no indication in police reports or other documentation that the car was being manually driven.
In order to claim insurance for a self-driving car, it is necessary to be able to convey exactly what happened in an accident and other details about how the accident occurred. This should include information about when autopilot mode was engaged (if applicable), what caused the vehicle to engage or disengage autopilot mode, etc.
1) Obtain basic information about the accident
As soon as possible following an accident, obtain any relevant information about the accident, including: police reports if they are available. Social Security number or other official identification of all people involved in the accident. Driver’s licenses/identification cards for anyone involved in the accident; license plate numbers and descriptions of any other vehicles involved in the accident. Insurance information for anyone involved in the accident, including policy numbers if applicable.
2) Gather additional evidence
Investigate whether there are any eyewitnesses to the accident or nearby surveillance cameras that may have captured images of the accident. If possible, obtain recordings from these sources and take photos/video of any damage to the vehicle.
3) Contact authorities
Contact local law enforcement and report that you have been involved in an accident, even if no one appears injured or there is minimal damage. Be sure to ask for a copy of any police reports filed about the accident.
4) Contact Tesla
If autopilot mode was engaged and disengaged and/or if there was any interaction with the steering wheel, the car’s touchscreen or other controls prior to the accident, contact Tesla and request that they provide copies of:
5) Contact your insurance company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible following an accident. The insurer should be able to explain how much coverage is provided by your insurance policy and what to do next. You should also notify your insurer as soon as possible if the car has been involved in any previous accidents, including accidents while it was being manually driven or when autopilot mode was engaged.
6) Protect the vehicle
Protect the vehicle following an accident so that it can be inspected later by insurance adjusters or investigators. Be particularly careful to cover up exposed vehicle parts that can cause further damage, such as a wheel that is partially out of a wheel well.
7) Take photos and videos
Take photos and videos of both the exterior and interior of the vehicle for use as evidence should it be necessary. The method for transferring these photos/videos to others is beyond the scope of this document, but you should include them in your records.
8) Contact Tesla again
If there was any interaction with the car’s touchscreen or other controls that could potentially affect how autopilot mode functions, contact Tesla again and request copies of:
9) Gather supplemental information
See if you can obtain supplemental information about the incident from anyone involved, including:
10) Preserve evidence
Preserve evidence of the accident immediately following the accident. This includes both physical evidence and documentation of any losses incurred as a result of the accident. You should also request that anyone with whom you have spoken sign a statement indicating that he or she witnessed the accident and noting any relevant details. In addition, you should request a copy of any photographs/video showing the accident from anyone involved in it.
11) Make an official report
If there was no police involvement in the accident, file an official report with your local law enforcement agency before leaving the scene. This can be helpful if the other driver leaves the scene before law enforcement arrives.
What is an example of a Tesla accident?
A Tesla was in autopilot mode and ran into the side of a tractor-trailer at 60 mph. The driver says he engaged autopilot on his Tesla Model S about 10 seconds before the crash. He claims that, while driving under 20 mph, neither he nor the car ever hit the brakes. He also says that he doesn’t remember anything in the few minutes leading up to the crash. The car’s autopilot system failed to detect the tractor-trailer “against a brightly lit sky” and did not brake or alert him before impact.
What should I do immediately following a Tesla accident?
Here is an 11-step plan for filing a claim following a Tesla accident:
1) Report the accident to authorities right away;
2) Take photos and videos of the car, to use as evidence later;
3) Contact your insurance company and tell them you’ve been in an accident;
4) Contact Tesla and request copies of any logs showing interaction with the car’s controls before, during or after the accident;
5) Protect the vehicle following an accident so that it can be inspected later by insurance adjusters or investigators;
6) Take photos and videos of both the exterior and interior of the vehicle for use as evidence should it be necessary;
7) Contact Tesla again if there was any interaction with the car’s touchscreen or other controls that could potentially affect how autopilot mode functions;
8) Gather supplemental information about the incident from anyone involved, including witnesses;
9) Preserve evidence immediately following an accident, including physical evidence and documentation of any losses incurred as a result of the accident;
10) Make an official report with your local law enforcement agency if there was no police involvement in the accident;
11) File an official report with your local law enforcement agency before leaving the scene. This can be helpful if the other driver leaves the scene before law enforcement arrives.
In The End
We hope you enjoyed our guide to claiming insurance for your self-driving car. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and we’ll be happy to get back with you!