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UK motor insurance industry recognises dashboard cameras

UK Insurers are now accepting dashboard cameras as supporting evidence in cases where the parties involved do not agree on the cause of a road traffic incident and sales of the devices have increased almost tenfold in the last 12 months. Dashboard cameras are commonplace in countries where driving conditions can at times be particularly treacherous such as Russia and Taiwan.

Dashboard cameras are forward-facing cameras mounted on a dashboard or windscreen. They are powered through a car’s cigarette lighter or in more modern cars, through a USB port. They have a number of different features depending on the manufacturer, but all use technology that continuously records throughout the journey, giving drivers the ability to save the last minute or two of recorded video manually by touching a button or the screen, but perhaps the most important feature is that they automatically save the footage taken when the device recognises serious breaking or deceleration. They also house the ability to dismount the camera to use for still photographs, which has proven important in some cases where drivers have felt vulnerable in threatening situations with other road users, or simply have used the camera to document any damage done to their vehicle after an incident has occurred.

Dashboard cameras, or “dash-cams”, will help to prevent fraudulent insurance claims known as “crash for cash”, where innocent drivers have been known to be victimized by manufacturing a situation where the innocent driver would crash into the fraudster and with a lack of evidence, be held responsible for the accident by their insurers giving the fraudulent claimant access to a number of compensations such as personal injury claim, fictitious damage to their vehicle, loss of earnings, and even the hire cost of another vehicle, costing the insurance industry thousands of pounds per claim.

The introduction of dashboard cameras into car insurance policies in the UK will reduce the cost of premiums with participating insurers, with insurer Swiftcover quoting policy holders an average of £54 saving per policy with an endorsed dashboard camera, with smaller discounts for others. Some SATNAVs are also beginning to integrate the technology into their devices and there has been an emergence of applications for mobile phones also able to perform the same task, though arguably not as efficiently as the standalone devices. Dashboard cameras are currently priced from around £50 – £150, making them a reasonably sound investment.

Some may argue that this should have been adopted a long time ago with the UK motor insurance industry estimated to lose up to £1 billion per year from fraudulent claims, but insurers now getting on-board with the usefulness of this very simple technology already demonstrated to work efficiently in countries like Russia could be very beneficial in preventing insurance fraud and ultimately help make Britain’s roads safer.

For more on UK Motor Insurance, please click here.

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