It’s been a long time coming, but finally police are working with fleet van insurers and in-cab camera manufacturers in an attempt to cut down on the crash-for-cash mentality that is constantly increasing van insurance renewal costs.
The bill last year for fraudulent automobile claims was estimated at £410M, over 20% of that coming from commercial drivers.
Now, developments in in-cab camera functionality means the images captured from inside a driver’s cabin can be submitted as evidence in court.
The key is the EIS improvement; electronic image stabilisation has been upgraded so that it can train in on registration plates from further distances, reduction in image vibration and delivering more frames per second, all recorded to a memory card on a continual loop.
The cameras are affected by a change in motion so, should the vehicle in question be involved in an incident, the camera will start a permanent record mode which can later be used to decide who was at fault when it comes to settling insurance claims.
Underwriters back Roadhawk investment
Already, the cameras are proving to be cost effective. Towergate Insurance, a large fleet insurance underwriter, has helped its client-base with the funding of in excess of 7,500 of the in-cab units.
The cost of £200-£300 pound each, discountable for bulk purchase and installation, has already saved the van insurance underwriters between £0.5M-£0.75M, therefore proving its return on investment rapidly.
With the discounted rate for the unit, the camera only costs as much as many fleet van insurance clients set their excess levels to, so the units literally sell themselves as a viable commercial investment.
Claimants can no longer hide behind lack of evidence clause
A sizeable chunk of Towergate’s savings have come from pay-outs that they haven’t had to make that they would have in the past. Many a time the settlement has been 50/50, no matter which driver has been at fault due to a road traffic accident, but the Roadhawk and Novus camera models provide that missing information, apportioning blame one way or the other.
Safer roads, all around
Not only does the installation of these cameras encourage your own van drivers’ to adopt a more sensible attitude whilst using the company’s vehicle, but offers the facility to report other wayward drivers, which is where the police have a vested interest.
With its distance number plate capturing ability, it can snap details of an eratic driver who has been lucky this time, but by using this evidence to reprimand them may make them consider the cost of further license points and increased insurance renewal fees in the future.
The possibility of safer roads and a return to cheap van insurance is being harnessed by all sectors within the vehicle insurance industry.
Large insurance companies, other ‘electronic eye‘ manufacturers and larger companies who own sizeable fleets all look at this as the way forward to reduce fleet insurance costs.
Good news for van drivers everywhere and the UK economy, as a whole.