Insurance Europe: It is premature to call for mandatory AI insurance due to insufficient underwriting data and lack of similarity between risks

27 October 2020 — Cosmin CONCEATU
Following the 20 October 2020 plenary vote in the European Parliament to approve its legal affairs committee reports on a civil liability regime for artificial intelligence (AI) and a framework of ethical aspects of AI, robotics and related technologies, Michaela Koller, Insurance Europe's director general, said that "it is premature for the Parliament to consider mandatory insurance for high-risk AI systems".

Koller invoked two reasons:

"Firstly, for compulsory insurance to work, there must be sufficient data on the risks. For example, in mandatory motor insurance there is claims data going back decades that can be used to underwrite the risk. However, because high-risk AI systems are still in development, an equivalent volume of data is not yet available.

Secondly, risks covered under mandatory policies must be similar enough in nature to be covered under a one-size-fits-all system. However, because AI is used in such diverse ways, the risks it poses in various situations are completely different."

Michaela Koller believes that it is difficult to see how a one-size-fits-all approach could be considered that would be able to cover such diverse risks adequately. "Against this background, we take the view that the Parliament's call for mandatory insurance for high-risk AI would not work in practice," she added.

Regarding the report on a framework of ethical aspects of AI, Koller commented:

"Existing horizontal and sectoral EU legislation that applies to insurance - including the equal treatment directives, the General Data Protection Regulation, the Solvency II Directive, the Insurance Distribution Directive, the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation and the Distance Marketing Directive for Financial Services - already address many of the potential risks and challenges related to AI. Therefore, additions and overlaps must be avoided, and new rules should only be introduced if gaps are found in existing legislation."


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