Motor insurance claims are often the most contentious and emotive, largely due to the fact that establishing who is liable is so difficult. The parties involved in an accident are pitted against one another in a ‘he said, she said’ scenario with little proof as to the actual events.
So, in these circumstances can a dashcam be of benefit for drivers and insurers and are there any downsides?
There is significant evidence that fitting a dashcam affects the behaviour of the driver simply through the awareness of it being there. Research by the RAC found that 25 per cent of drivers felt that fitting a dashcam improved their driving. In addition, 69 per cent of drivers involved in a contentious accident felt that a dashcam would have been useful.
Certain types of cameras also face the driver and as such have a profound impact on the drivers behaviour particularly in relation to the use of mobiles phones etc while at the wheel.
Insurance companies are generally looking to settle claims as quickly and accurately as possible – however, this can prove to be extremely difficult when there is a dispute over liability. This means the wrong party can end up with a claim on their record or that claims are settled 50/50 with all parties feeling disgruntled.
For these reasons the presentation of dashcam footage can significantly speed up and improve the accuracy of claims settlement. This can be used to not only remove the unintentional errors but also to reduce the incidences of fraud.
Insurance companies are therefore big advocates of dashcams to reduce motor claims and significantly speed up their claims processes.
There aren’t really too many negatives about the use of dashcams. You do have to be careful of the placement of it on your windscreen and the use of an LCD screen as these can be distractions, which the police could decide to pull you on.
In respect of claims it can be difficult for a single forward-facing camera to capture all of the relevant information in an accident and, as such, be of limited benefit, but it will certainly be better than nothing.
So, on the whole, dashcams are a good thing and will ultimately save you money through promoting more sensible driving and helping you to avoid claims for accidents which were not your fault.
If you would like to discuss the specifics of dashcams for your business or other risk management solutions feel free to get in touch.
Sam Leeder, Actus Insurance