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What to do if You Get in an Accident with One of L.A.’s New Driverless Cars

Autonomous Vehicles

Discover the future of autonomous vehicles in Los Angeles with Google’s Waymo robotaxi service. Explore insurance implications, accident handling, and valuable policy tips to stay informed.

If you’re out on the streets of Los Angeles and happen to see a vehicle driving past with no one at the wheel, it may not be a scene for an upcoming movie being filmed, it might be your next ride. Google’s Waymo robotaxi service has recently deployed around 50 driverless cars here, marking a significant step for autonomous vehicle integration in our everyday lives. Autonomous vehicles have been designed to function without a human driver and, in theory, will be able to perform all driving tasks successfully. But with the arrival of these high-tech vehicles, there are still questions, including those surrounding insurance implications. How do we navigate handling a car accident if the car involved drives itself?

While the technology is still new, the expectation is that driverless vehicles will reduce the number of crashes, especially distraction-related incidents. Despite this, accidents can still happen. California mandates minimum insurance requirements, so all vehicles, including autonomous ones, are insured. And under California law, the process for addressing accidents involving driverless vehicles mirrors that for those with a driver: the registered owner of the car at fault is held responsible for paying for any injury or property damage resulting from the accident.

One thing to remember is that currently police in the state of California cannot issue citations to an autonomous vehicle since there is no human driver to hold responsible. Should you find yourself in an accident with a driverless vehicle and can do so, take note or snap a picture of the make, model, and license plate number as well as the name of the company that owns and operates the vehicle. Be prepared to provide these details to your insurance company.

Whether you’re driving alongside a self-driving vehicle or a traditional one, you should always be aware of other vehicles on the road. And when it comes to your auto insurance policy, there are some important tips you should keep in mind:

  • Understand your insurance policy and know exactly what it covers.
  • Ask your insurer about discounts including those for safe driving, owning multiple vehicles, or bundling with other types of insurance.
  • Review your policy annually. As your life changes, so may your insurance needs. Review your policy each year or after any significant life event.
  • Be clear on your deductible amount, which is what you’ll pay out of pocket if you file a claim. A higher deductible may lower your premium, but make sure it’s an amount you can afford to pay if you need to make a claim.
  • If you’ve made modifications to your car or need to add new drivers to your policy, contact your insurer. These changes can affect your coverage.
  • Make sure you know how to file a claim before you need to do so. In the stress of an accident, you’ll be better prepared if you know what your insurer will need from you.
  • Always keep policy information easily accessible should you need it.

Let First Entertainment help you review your current auto policy and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of coverage options tailored to your needs.

Cynthia Padilla, Insurance Agent, MBIS (Hollywood Branch)


Maria Okafor, Insurance Agent, MBIS (Burbank Branch)

Monique Garcia, Insurance Agent, MBIS (Culver City Branch)

Media Benefits Insurance Services
6735 Forest Lawn Dr., Hollywood, CA 90068

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Posted in Auto Loans & Car Buying, Insurance


Insurance services offered through Media Benefits Insurance Services CA Lic#0H99393, a DBA for Media Benefits Corp., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Entertainment Credit Union. This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical, or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.