Waymo LLC, the driverless-car unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, -0.49% GOOG, -0.60% , is turning to an insurance-technology startup to provide coverage for future passengers of its ride-hailing service.
Trov Inc., a five-year-old firm based in Danville, Calif., said Tuesday it will work behind the scenes with Waymo to insure riders for lost and damaged property and for injuries.
Waymo is racing against auto makers like General Motors Co. GM, +0.81% and tech companies like Uber Technologies Inc. to put a commercial fleet of autonomous vehicles on public roadways after years of testing. In a November speech, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said that “in the next few months” the firm was aiming to offer rides in its driverless vans to consumers in the Phoenix metro area.
Insurance companies are also considering how to respond to the threat driverless technology might pose to their businesses. As much as 80% of the premiums paid to car insurers are at risk of disappearing in coming decades if autonomous vehicles make driving safer and prompt big changes in car ownership. States are starting to introduce insurance rules for driverless cars. Earlier this year, California regulators proposed that manufacturers of autonomous vehicles would have to have $5 million in liability insurance to provide coverage. The Trov insurance policies would only cover people inside driverless cars.
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