Politics of Road transport InsuraNCE (PRINCE)
The Politics of Road transport InsuraNCE (PRINCE) studies insurance practices and new sustainable mobility innovations.
Specifically, PRINCE focuses on the response of insurers to four radical developments in road transport: (1) the growing availability of mobility data, (2) increasing automation and connectivity, (3) electrification and (4) new forms of (shared) mobility. These developments offer both opportunities and risks to transport climate emission targets, road-safety, urban planning and accessibility and as such need governing. An obvious way to govern these developments is through policymaking, standardization or benchmarking. Critical security studies highlights that Insurance too is an important form of transport governance: insurers mediate who, how, where and when people move through their underwriting, products and premiums.
Insurance, however, is often depicted as conservative towards new technologies and there is little academic literature on the politics behind road transport insurance, let alone its wider societal impacts. That is notwithstanding the fact that road-based insurance not only affects but is also affected by the aforementioned developments. From underwriting, product development and claims settlement all the way to a potential severe reduction of the 144 billion euro European car insurance market, the above listed developments force insurers to adjust their products and ways of working.
The aim of PRINCE is therefore to understand to what extent and how insurance practices are affected by and affecting the above four developments in road transport. Over the course of 18 months, starting January 2022 and with the help of a postdoctoral researcher, the project will conduct an academic literature review, a systematic empirical and legal document analysis and up to 75 stakeholder interviews across three carefully selected cases (the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands), as well as organize workshops and distribute findings.