OPINION: Do You Need Robot Insurance?

If autonomous robots become a part of our lives, shouldn’t we have protection against the dangers of this technology? Mark my words, “robot insurance” isn’t that far away!

Saturday Night Live recently did a skit discussing “robot insurance.” Starring Same Waterston, this parody of your typical insurance TV commercial, the video addresses the need for “robot insurance” when these mechanical creations malfunction and hurt their owners. While it certainly was worth a chuckle, but this infauxmercial is likely a harbinger of things to come. Yes, I realize that what I just wrote makes me sound like Philip K. Dick, but I believe that robot insurance could be a reality within the foreseeable future.

The day where walking, talking robots will be among us might happen in our lifetime. Maybe these bots will do chores around our house or light work in our yards? Or perhaps the robots will service in other capacities, such as personal and office assistants? No matter what role bots will eventually play in our lives, accidents can happen when technology goes awry. Think of all the recalls automobile manufacturers have had over the past handful of decades. Don’t you believe that robots will go through the same trial-and error process?

If autonomous robots become a thing, it will be the insurance companies who make robot insurance a reality. Business and commerce have a tendency to react quickly to the times, as industry is always looking for ways to increase its revenue. By playing upon the fear of being sued, insurance companies will target robot owners with some new form of coverage. This plans will be individual or can be bundled with other coverage plans. There likely will be commercial robot insurance for companies that employee these human machines.

It’s not a stretch to believe that the insurance companies will take things further. Using their collective influence to lobby lawmakers, these insurance company professionals will likely influence the creation of laws that make it mandatory for robot owners to carry some type of insurance to cover these devices. Will there be two tiers of insurance plans similar to the full coverage and PLPD of auto insurance? I guess we have to wait to see the invention of true autonomous robots first. I’m fairly sure the insurance industry won’t be too far behind that.