RAC Cars News


Cameras to cut insurance costs?

By raccars Published

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As drivers strive to lower the cost of motoring, many may decide to follow the example of the nation’s truckers and install technology to slash insurance costs. For many years, lorry drivers have been targeted by unscrupulous and fraudulent drivers who make exaggerated or untrue claims following an accident or even deliberately cause an accident in order to benefit from insurance and compensation payouts .But the truckers are fighting back and technology is helping them win the battle. According to industry body, the Road Haulage Association (RHA), more than half of truckers now have cameras fitted in the cab. Another 35% have said that they are about to install the technology.

Director of policy at the RHA, Jack Semple, explains the benefits of the cameras to his members: "The recordings can show what happened in an accident and can put an end, quickly and simply, to potentially crippling insurance claims. In addition, many firms with cameras say they are useful tools for managing employees’ driving style."

The results delivered by the cameras can indeed be impressive. In the haulage industry, the proportion of insurance claims that are disputed has tended to be around 40%. With the cameras installed, that has plummeted to just 2%. The average cost of insurance claims has also declined by more than 50%. One of the firms providing the technology, SmartWitness, says that 84% of claims can be reported to insurance companies and backed up with video evidence within 24 hours.

In the trucking industry, some insurers are beginning to insist on the technology being installed but it is not all about a ‘Big Brother’ watching the driver, there can be real benefits for the driver and operator, too. Chief among these is reduced insurance costs. Transport operators have had their insurance premiums slashed by as much as 20% just for installing the cameras, with further reductions being introduced over time.

With lorry drivers protecting themselves with camera technology, it is quite possible that fraudsters begin to target cars. It may be, then, that camera technology becomes much more common in cars. One of the biggest fraud issues that insurance companies face is that of whiplash claims. The more advanced camera systems will not only film incidents but also include telematics, like the speed of the vehicle at time of impact and the g-forces involved. Data like this makes it much harder to fake such injuries and the incidence of false claims could plummet. Motorists could then enjoy similar cuts to their insurance premiums, as seen by their lorry driving counterparts.

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