How 3G Dashboard Cameras Can Reduce Your Insurance Premiums
Newly developed technologies have, and are, progressively streamlining the way businesses work. From accounting software to computer networking and mobile technology, over the last decade, the ease and efficiency with which we run our businesses have been extraordinarily improved.
For fleet management, alongside automotive telematics and vehicle tracking systems, one of the most significant pieces of technology to have been introduced and adopted by the industry, are vehicle cameras.
Offering the ability to monitor driver and road behaviour in unprecedented detail, dashboard cameras come with a host of financial and logistical benefits.
As an integral part of any fleet predicated company, it is important that your drivers feel their welfare is a priority, and that your business, and other road users, are in safe hands when they’re on the road.
More intimate than telematics and vehicle tracking systems, in-vehicle and dashboard cameras offer you a visible record of your driver’s, and other road users, conduct on the road, ensuring you can vouch for both parties safety and liability.
The primary reason why dashboard camera footage is so prevalent across the internet isn’t a simple case of voyeurism, but because it “outs” dangerous drivers and scam artists, warning other road users and acting as a preventative measure against other bad behaviours on the roads.
At their most useful, dashboard cameras offer significant protection from and have had a demonstrable reduction in the impact of, fraudulent claims.
The key, with fleet management, to lowering insurance premiums is in reducing claims costs, and dashboard cameras are a vital part of that strategy.
Fraudulent, or “cash for crash”, insurance claims cost the industry over £1.5 billion a year, impacting premiums, vehicle downtime, driver safety and brand reputation. Due to this drivers and businesses are increasingly turning towards dashboard cameras to provide admissible evidentiary support and protect their drivers and businesses, in court and on the roads.
However, whilst the importance of having a camera in a vehicle cannot be understated, not all dashboard cameras are created equal.
What’s the difference between an SD dashboard camera and a 3G dashboard camera?
Dashboard camera technology first arrived on the market in SD format. Comparative to a standard video camera, the SD dashboard camera records data on a loop until the memory card reaches capacity, where it then either stops recording or begins to – unintelligently – delete earlier footage.
Since then, the SD camera has been surpassed by the newer 3G models, with constant rolling film and remote accessibility the 3G model offers greater qualitative benefits and has set the standard for fleet management technology.
Whilst SD dashboard cameras are still very much well utilised across the industry, and work for their original purpose, concerns over the limitations of their functionality, especially when it comes to accelerating claiming processes, have led many to switch to the newer 3G dashboard camera.
Prone to corruption, the risk of lost or ruined data from SD card failures is often as high as 30%, and with manufacturers advising you should remove the cards every 2 – 6 weeks to reformat, they’re highly labour intensive, to the point of sheer impracticality for fleets with more than 3 or 4 vehicles.
With the reliability of the footage a gamble and the speed at which footage can be viewed prehistoric compared to the instantly accessible 3G when it comes to better facilitating your response to collisions, both fraudulent and accidental, 3G cameras are an infinite improvement.
So much so, that in 2016 some fleet operators saved up to 50% in claim cost savings, due to 3G cameras.
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Why are 3G Dashboard Cameras so effective?
When it comes to responding to an insurance claim, rapid liability assessment and third-party intervention are essential to reducing processing and claims costs.
With the live connectivity of 3G, live email and SMS alerts can be generated within a second of an incident occurring, many units immediately transmitting all data for that specific event.
Eliminating the need to rely on proactive drivers to report a collision, businesses can take advantage of the speed of notification and submit a First Notification of Loss (FNOL), drastically speeding up the claim process.
In addition, a driver or other road users can be more effectively supported following a collision and the emergency services contacted faster should it be a serious incident.
Immediate Review of Camera Footage
The high-quality video footage can be remotely downloaded to a user interface within a matter of minutes after an accident.
Insurance providers often need to collect and collate written evidence from each and every party involved, occasionally needing additional eyewitness support or comment from drivers and pedestrians, but this won’t be required with a dashboard camera, severely expediting the claims process.
Additionally, with eye-witness testimonies, you can never be too sure whether the truth is being told and there is every chance the story could be fabricated to avoid prosecution or penalties. Drivers or pedestrians might not remember the incident too well either, leading to inaccurate or unreliable reports. Dashboard cameras completely negate any bias in the narrative of the accident, allowing a fair distribution of blame.
Similarly, the secure connection ensures that the footage cannot be tampered with, or altered, allowing for a swift and efficient closing of the case.
As stated previously, whereas SD cameras require frequent manual and in-house maintenance to remain live, a 3G camera can be maintained remotely, reducing the cost of labour, overheads and the amount of time a vehicle must spend out of action. From an insurer’s point of view, 3G cameras are eminently more reliable and minimise the possibility of a technical error causing a disruption of vital footage or data.
Discounted Insurance for Vehicles with Dashboard Cameras
Alongside the overall effect vehicle cameras have on lowering premiums, many insurers now offer a direct discount on existing insurance rates for vehicles with cameras installed. Although this currently applies to in vehicle and dashboard cameras across the board, with the increasing accessibility and proven reliability of utilising 3G dashboard cameras, it’s more than likely that in future, fleets with these installed that will reap the majority of the fiscal benefits from insurance companies.
Whilst by no means does having a dashboard, or any in-vehicle camera, give you an automatic guarantee of safety for your drivers, vehicles or business, they do offer you viable safeguards and provable financial recompense. As more drivers than ever are employing cameras as precautionary measures, it makes no sense to leave your fleet unguarded, and even less to not take advantage of the clear benefits of installing in-vehicle cameras.