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No need for new liability rules for new technologies

In its responses to the European Commission consultation on the European Data Economy and the review of the Product Liability Directive (PLD), Insurance Europe said there is no need to amend current liability regimes or create specific liability rules for new technologies. 

This is because there are systems already in place that protect consumers against the potential negative impact of emerging technologies. For example, the combination of specific liability regimes, such as the PLD, and general civil liability regimes already work efficiently in practice for emerging technologies.    

Specifically, the PLD, which provides a comprehensive, extra-contractual and no-fault liability regime that protects the consumer even in cases of new technological developments, is fit for purpose and does not require amendment at this time.

Insurance Europe also stressed that different technological innovations present very different risks and raise different liability issues. Attention should therefore be given to each technological area and market separately, so as not to introduce a “one size fits all” solution that would not take account of existing liability regimes and that could actually prove detrimental to the development of both new technologies and new insurance products.

Overall, Insurance Europe believes that any intervention at EU level regarding liability regimes for new technologies would be premature, and that current liability legislation provides adequate protection for consumers while allowing enough time for insurers to develop the right insurance products for emerging risks. 
 

Published 3 May 2017