Overview of the Robotics industry

Robotics is the inspiring intersection of engineering and computer science. This industry has all but taken flight in the 20th century, contributing to our everyday lives, commercial goals, and military missions. It’s a fast-growing and ever-evolving space that continues to reach new benchmarks each year. 

Robots are often assigned to do jobs deemed too hazardous for humans, such as deep-sea exploration, bomb defusing, rescue missions, etc. But consider the use of drones and self-operating vacuums, as well. Plenty of individuals depend on robots in their homes or for leisure. Plus, many other industries lean on robotics for education and training purposes. Although robotics has carved out a distinct space in which to contribute to the world, it faces a unique set of risks, too.

Some of the biggest risks Robotics companies face

Every industry faces its challenges, but the following are some of the most significant risks robotics companies must manage:

Liability

If someone sustained a personal injury because of a robot, it’s tricky to determine whose fault it is. Do you blame the technology or the human being that is manning the robot? Thankfully, the insurance industry has not seen a massive uptick in liability claims from the robotics industry. However, the few cases that have surfaced shed light on this particular vulnerability. Some insurance carriers aren’t confident how to insure robotics companies because so little history exists on incidents within the industry. Liability is undoubtedly a significant exposure to face in the world of robotics. 

 

Human Error

Unlike artificial intelligence (AI), robots are programmed by human beings to do the same function over and over. Whether it’s playing with a pet or taking pictures from an unmanned flying camera, they follow orders precisely. Already, 51.5K warehouse workers are hurt or killed each year. Add robots into the mix, and the mistakes might become more significant or lethal. However, when a robot malfunctions, it’s often the fault of the person who programmed it. Naturally, this creates a distinct risk in this industry.

Product Failure

If a robot fails to perform as expected or intended, the failure could result in financial loss. The root of the problem could be an ill-fitting part or a slew of other issues. As in many markets, the robotics industry depends on trial and error to move forward in innovation — but product failures can cost well over $1.5M. Still, someone must take responsibility when things don’t work as planned.

Property Loss

Robotics companies tend to invest in high-end equipment that is often specially designed for the company’s overall vision. Nearly $1.5B worth of robots and equipment was shipped to North America in 2018 alone. If your company suffers from a natural disaster or break-in, it might be challenging to repair or replace the equipment and space designated for business operations.

Cybersecurity

Many industrial robots are operated or monitored remotely, putting your data at risk. A cybercriminal could steal information, such as production data, or even target a specific robot. In either case, data breaches — which cost companies over $4M on average — could cause damage to your entire operation’s workflow as well as the equipment itself.

Why is Insurance for Robotics Companies Important?

Although robotics companies experience challenges that other companies don’t, they still face the same fundamental risks of doing business. Insurance is a crucial safety net for robotics companies to have to keep operations from halting or the company from shuttering. 

As mentioned, some robotics companies have faced multiple challenges in gaining momentum. For example, to move forward on a pilot project, a company needs plenty of safety nets, including insurance. Without the right policies, most local governments won’t greenlight the project.

Robotics is an industry ripe with innovation. The engineers, developers, technicians, and operators thrive on new technologies and fresh ideas. In short, it’s a space filled with rapid development. A lawsuit or legal holdup can whiplash a robotics company quickly, impacting everyone involved — sometimes shuttering the most well-intended business. To support continued evolution, robotics companies need insurance to help keep up the swift pace.

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What Insurance do Robotics companies need?

How much does Insurance for Robotics Companies cost?

The cost of insurance for Robotics companies will depend on several things, including the size of the company and the stage of the company in its development process. Other factors include:

  • Exposures: risks being insured
  • Company practices: views on safety, compliance, and risk management
  • Program structure: the amount of deductible and willingness for a company to assume more risk
  • Claims history: the type and amount of past claims against the company 

Types of Robotics Companies that need Insurance

No matter if your company designs, manufactures, distributes, or heads up research and development, it’s vital to protect your business. Here are a few types of robotics companies that need insurance coverage:

  • Consumer
  • Industrial
  • Logistics
  • Education
  • Gaming
  • Healthcare
  • Machine learning
  • Military 
  • Software
  • Aerospace
  • Energy
  • Hardware
  • Automotive
  • Marine tech
  • Agriculture
  • Defense
  • Pets
  • Cleantech
  • Public safety

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