Release Waymo’s Insurance Documentation, Pressure Group Tells DMV

Release Waymo’s Insurance Documentation, Pressure Group Tells DMV

A pressure group has called for details of Waymo’s insurance for the 39 autonomous vehicles it is testing in California to be publicized.

Anti-corporate consumer rights group Consumer Watchdog has written to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requesting that it publishes information on the company’s insurance coverage. Its argument is that the DMV’s permission for AV operators to self-insure does not provide sufficient road safety guarantees. The authority accepts applications for self-insurance certificates as partial evidence of insurance, in addition to at least $5M in insurance bonds or coverage.

Consumer Watchdog says Waymo has submitted details of its insurance coverage to the DMV but with key details redacted because they are ‘trade secrets’. The advocacy group says the non-redacted parts of the documentation show the company “has general liability and automobile liability coverage” but details of the policies’ “terms and limits” are unavailable. It also says it is impossible to tell from the documentation whether Waymo has $5M in coverage for each individual accident its AVs could cause or all of them put together.

Consumer Watchdog privacy and technology director John M Simpson said: “There’s no reason that how much insurance Waymo has or who is providing it should be considered a trade secret … the public has a right to know what will happen when someone gets hurt. What is Waymo trying to hide and why?”


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