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Airplane Insurance or Auto Insurance - What does a flying car need?

September 23, 2021

The Future is Now

Yes, you read the title correctly, flying cars are here now and they're here to stay. The idea of flying cars has been around for decades, but only recently has the discussion gotten serious. Several companies have announced plans for flying cars. As with autonomous vehicles, the questions that arise are less about technology and more about concerns regarding insurance, safety and regulations.

The First Test Complete

On June 28th, 2021, Proffessor Stefan Klein flew a prototype between Nitra and the capital Bratislava in Slovakia, spending about 35 minutes in the air.

Proffessor Stefan Klein said it could fly about 1,000km (600 miles), at a height of 8,200ft (2,500m), and had clocked up 40 hours in the air so far.

It takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from car into aircraft.

Safety Concerns

Flying cars present some obvious safety issues. Adding more directions (up and down) makes driving more complicated. Running out of fuel can be an inconvenience on land, but it’s a disaster in the air. Crashes become much more severe when they involve plummeting to the earth.

In its paper on flying cars, Uber admits that the rate of fatalities per passenger mile is twice as high for relevant flights (Federal Aviation Regulation Part 135 operations) than it is for privately operated vehicles. However, Uber also asserts that the rate can be improved for vertical take-off and landing aircraft like what it proposes.

Emerging technology could help. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that automatic braking technology reduced the incidence of rear-end crashes by 40 percent, and Business Insider explains why self-driving cars will be safer than cars operated by humans here. Similar technology could make flying cars safer in the future.

Insurance Issues

This is already a difficult time for car insurers in many ways. Auto accidents are currently on the rise. One of our Webinar co-collaborators, Property Casualty 360°, points to several causes, including more drivers on the road and more distractions. On top of this, technologically advanced cars are leading to more expensive repair costs.

Flying cars—with their safety risks and high cost—present similar insurance difficulties.

Airplane Insurance or Auto Insurance?

So which is it? Does it require Auto Insurance or Airplane Insurance? Let us know in the comment section below or message us on Instagram @majdastouchinsurance.