By Geoff Cross – Managing Director, Centrad
As a founder and MD of a fleet operator until 2018, I have been at the forefront of many fleet insurance renewals including a number of nervous ones with annual premiums creeping or even hiking up. Fundamentally claims experience plays a material part of deciding what an operator will pay for their insurance. This includes actual claims paid and reserves for potential claims that are currently being processed. Reducing the frequency and the value of claims is key to ensure that you manage your insurance premiums.
How can cameras reduce fleet insurance premiums?
The benefit of camera systems is ensuring that you have an accurate eyewitness everytime. Prior to fitting cameras on my fleet, I can recall countless occasions where witness details were either not provided, not available at the scene or the witness disappeared after the event – most likely because they simply didn’t wish to get involved with insurance and court proceedings
The advantage of having an accurate eye witness includes;
- Immediate, accurate evidence of an incident – even if your vehicle / driver is at fault, having the ability to determine liability swiftly after the incident can greatly assist in helping to manage a third party in the most cost effective manner by avoiding paying unnecessary costs to a third party such as additional legal costs or extortinate credit hire costs.
- Prevention is better than cure – systems typically improve driver awareness and performance, in particular when fleet managers review camera and telematics footage to the monitor driver’s behaviour and driving style.
- Proactive use of camera footage, blackbox data and artificial intelligence – camera footage backed up with telematics data can be used effectively to monitor driving style. Driver distraction and collision warning cameras provide instant alerts of driver fatigue or poor driving styles along with an instant clip of the relevant video footage emailed to the fleet manager. Potentially high risk drivers are instantly identified allowing fleet managers the opportunity to proactively review the identified risks and arrange for further investigation and retraining where required.
- ‘Cash for crash’ prevention – proves innocence and prevents a potential fault claim against an operator (As a fleet operator, I was an unfortunate victim to this on more than one occasion as described in this Daily Mail article published in 2014)
What will my insurers expect if I install cameras on my fleet?
Cameras should be installed with your insurers approval, ensuring that the cameras cover the ‘at risk’ areas on your vehicles. There are a number of options to consider including;
- Front / Forward facing cameras
- 2 Camera system (Front facing camera with a 2nd camera capturing the drivers actions)
- Multi camera system including external cameras
Systems will have a limited storage capacity (varying between days and months depending upon the type of system). Video footage therefore will need to be downloaded and sent to insurers as soon as an incident occurs.
How soon can fleet insurance premiums be reduced once cameras are installed?
Cameras will very quickly help improve a fleet operators claims experience. Insurers will typically adopt a view that they will expect to see evidence of the improvement in claims experience before agreeing a premium reduction.
There are some insurers in the market that recognise the importance of cameras and may offer funding towards the installations.
To find out more about vehicle cameras and how they can help reduce your fleet insurance premiums, click here to contact us or alternatively, give us a call on 0121 696 4784 and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.