The Rise of the Dash Cam: Speeding up the Claims Process and Helping to Thwart Fraudulent Claims
Operations Director, Andrew Jenkins, discusses how dash cams are steadily becoming a popular way to protect vehicles from theft or damage and how footage from them is increasingly being used to help make a stronger insurance claim after an accident and to settle potential disputes.
As the number of vehicles moving around the UK’s road network steadily rises - with recent figures estimating nearly 26 million licensed cars in the country - individual drivers and business owners operating fleets of company vehicles are investing in dash cam technology to protect their vehicles from damage and fraudulent insurance claims.
Dash cams are small video cameras that can be mounted to your car’s dashboard or windshield to record what happens in front of the vehicle. More advanced models can also record interior audio and video and rear-facing video, and even display on your rearview mirror or stream to the internet. Cyclists use them too, and consequently we’ve seen recent examples of road rage and right-of-way discrepancies between motorists and bike riders, which have been captured on camera, making tabloid headlines.
So as dashcams become more popular – with prices starting at around £60 - the insurance sector has seen a rise in the use of this type of footage in claims. On the whole, it is speeding up the process of making a claim and is helping to shut down fraudulent ‘cash for crash’ claims before they even get off the ground, as well as removing uncertainty in witness statements in general. It is hard to argue with a good quality film clip which shows exactly what happened on the road at the time of the collision, just as football fans tend to accept that they can’t argue with goal-line technology which definitively captures whether the ball crossed the line or not.
Dash-cam footage is more reliable than witness accounts and can be extremely useful to the insurance company in determining liability. Insurers always welcome as much evidence as possible about how a policy holder incurred a loss, so being able to bring dash cam footage to the table will usually help your claim. In some cases, it can close down a claim against you instantly. Investing in a dash cam may potentially save you from paying higher insurance premiums in the future when you catch someone trying to commit insurance fraud at your expense.
However, that’s not to say that dash cam footage is irrefutable. If it is raining, or the camera is wobbly, or the footage is intermittent from a poor-quality camera, for example, then it isn’t going to necessarily stand up as evidence that you weren’t at fault.
Insurance companies will welcome footage as evidence in a claim, but don’t assume that if you have a camera installed in your car or vehicle that you are protected from all threat of fraudulent claims – make sure your insurance policy, personal or business, is up to date and robust so that you and your employees are driving fully protected.