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New paper outlines European insurance industry positions on liability and artificial intelligence

Insurance Europe has today published a new paper which outlines its positions on liability and artificial intelligence (AI).

European insurers support the European Commission’s aim of promoting AI that is safe and can be used by everyone. Insurers can facilitate and contribute to this aim by:

  • Providing insurance products and services for producers and users of AI; and,
  • Exploring ways of harnessing the potential of AI to more accurately forecast risk and develop new products that are in line with constantly evolving market demands and realities.

Insurance Europe believes that the existing liability regime at European level, the Product Liability Directive (PLD), in conjunction with national tort law, works well in practice for new and emerging technologies such as AI.

Major changes to the existing liability framework — for instance creating a separate liability regime for AI, introducing mandatory insurance, removing exemptions to liability or making any changes to the burden of proof — could result in challenging insurability issues.

As AI encompasses a set of technologies that are still at an early stage of development, legislating on liability for such highly advanced systems should be deferred until their specific risk potential can be better understood in the context of their use in different lines of business and the needs of those sectors.

Any new rules at EU level would be useful and appropriate only to address any potential gaps where current rules and regulations are found to be insufficient. Insurance Europe is of the view that this is currently not the case.

Published 16 February 2021