Media Release                                                                                                 8 October 2018


Autonomous ships and aviation drones face fewer barriers to adoption than driverless cars. That is the view of underwriting professionals replying to an International Underwriting Association (IUA) survey on developing technologies. 

Respondents expressed concern about a lack of associated infrastructures for autonomous modes of transport, as well as cost, technological capability, public perception and regulation. In each case these barriers to adoption were thought to apply most significantly to driverless cars.

However, all three types of vehicle are expected to be in widespread use within 10 years by more than 80% of practitioners.

The views were collected in an online poll of IUA members conducted by the association’s Developing Technology Monitoring Group (DTMG), which was established two years ago to examine how new technologies would impact upon various classes of insurance business. A series of questions were posed focussing on three key technologies: unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, autonomous vehicles and autonomous vessels. The survey sought to assess market expectations and concerns surrounding future coverage for each transportation method.

Daniel Fletcher, Technology Practice Manager at Chubb Europe and Chairman of the DTMG, said: “Insurance companies are embracing new technologies and developing broad, wide-reaching cover for a range of different risks. The expansion of such products generally mirrors the rate of development for the technologies themselves.

“Unmanned aerial vehicles are currently the most widely used and this is reflected in the number of IUA members who stated in our survey that they are offering products in this area and, indeed, the geographical spread of cover. Autonomous vessels, however, could represent a significant potential growth area for the London Market with a quarter of the companies responding to our poll stating that they are considering launching a product in this field.

“A growing interest in the work of the IUA’s Developing Technology Monitoring Group is also reflective of companies’ increased focus on these underwriting opportunities. The group has been well supported by members and considers issues relevant to a wide range of business classes including aviation, cyber, casualty, liability, marine and professional lines.”

Results from the IUA survey were discussed at a half-day conference hosted by the association. The event was attended by more than 50 London Market professionals and considered issues surrounding the use of artificial intelligence and Internet of Things devices, data privacy and systemic cyber exposure.

Click here to download a copy of the IUA Developing Technologies Survey Results.


Scott Farley                                                                                         
Director of Communications                                                                 
International Underwriting Association                         
Tel: 0207 617 4449
Mobile: 07876 758 637                                                            

Notes to Editors:
About the IUA
The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA) represents international and wholesale insurance and reinsurance companies operating in or through London. It exists to promote and enhance the business environment for its members.
The IUA’s London Company Market Statistics Report shows that overall premium income for the company market in 2016 was £22.725bn. Gross premium written in London totalled £16.034bn while a further £6.691bn was identified as written in other locations but overseen by London operations.