Only 1 in 10 insurers have plans in place for driverless vehicles, according to KPMG. In a survey of 18 senior figures from the UK’s largest insurance companies and brokers, a further 42% stated that they are not making strategic investments to prepare. Just 32.5% of insurers have engaged in discussions about driverless vehicles.

Murray Raisbeck, insurance partner at KPMG, said: “We are surprised that many insurers have been slow to react to the current technological changes taking place in the automotive sector,”

“Driverless vehicle technology will radically change the insurance market and in our view disruption will happen faster than most insurers think.”

Insurer views about the likely timeline of adoption may explain their unwillingness to consider driverless vehicles in their business strategies, as 67% believe it would take at least 20 years for these to enter the mainstream.

While insurers highlighted that consumer acceptance and safety standards are issues in need of resolution, 89% of insurers believe that the frequency and severity of claims will decrease as a result of driverless vehicles.

Raisbeck added: “Insurers need to overcome their apathy towards driverless vehicles. There are clear opportunities to develop new income streams for those firms that are prepared to step out of the pack and embrace the changes taking place in the sector.”

“Firms should model a range of scenarios around the impact driverless vehicles will have on the market and their own business. This will help them to identify the products that will resonate with their customers and to establish how and when these products can be developed.”