This article specifically covers professional vehicle camera solutions rather than basic dash cams which are not suited to commercial use.
Many of our customers come to us with a goal of reducing their insurance premiums. Indeed, many of them are sent to us by insurers who insist on the operator adding cameras to their fleet in order to be issued their policy. However, the benefits of vehicle cameras extend far beyond that of simply reducing your premiums. In some cases, fleet operators can drastically reduce their number of claims or even defend every insurance claim and still see their insurance premium rise the following year. This obviously doesn’t seem fair, but until insurance companies can resolve the very tricky issue of personalised risk profiles, which we know they are working hard to do, you, as a very safe fleet operator, are at the mercy of the many less safe and less conscientious ones.
So, what’s the point of installing vehicle cameras on your fleet? Let’s look at some of those less obvious savings that can make a big difference to your business.
Insurance companies really don’t like surprises. So, in the event of an unresolved claim or case, the insurance may request a reserve that is held against you losing. It is not unheard of for these reserves to be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of Pounds/Euro.
This is exactly what happened to one client who had a pedestrian step out in front of one of their trucks. Despite many witnesses saying the pedestrian was at fault, the pedestrian took a case against the haulier for compensation. The insurer confirmed that had the vehicle been fitted with cameras that showed the pedestrian to be at fault, the case could have been dismissed. This haulier received a demand from the insurer for a £100K reserve. Obviously, they would get it back if the case was dropped or was won by the haulier, but in the meantime, it made a massive dent in their cashflow!
Basic insurance claim costs are the least of your worries. Legal costs, that are often not covered by insurance policies (especially in civil cases against you), can quickly rack up. It’s a reality of running commercial fleets, and especially large vehicle fleets, that when an incident occurs, it often causes serious injuries. That is followed by very large claims.
Any footage that can show your driver, and your company, was not at fault will quickly negate these claims. An excellent example is a current customer whose driver was backing into a loading bay. As he backed into the rubber buffers around the bay the driver heard a series of shouts. A warehouse worker had seemingly got his arm trapped between the edge of the trailer and the side of the bay. A legal case was initiated within days. Fortunately, our customer had cameras all around the vehicle, including the rear of the trailer. The footage showed the warehouse worker looking around him and at the last minute shoving his arm into the gap. Once the lawyers saw the footage, the case was immediately dropped.
In tandem with the claims and legal costs, you also have an enormous administration overhead. You will be asked for all pertinent records, such as tacho data, vehicle check data, driver records, etc. This can tie up your staff for days at great expense to the business.
Dangerous drivers can cost your business a huge amount of money. The issue is that you need to show that they are indeed dangerous. Better still, you need to help them become safer drivers so you avoid the incidents in the first place.
A CameraMatics system (one that incorporates multi-camera CCTV with vehicle and driving data) gives you the information you need to help the driver improve, or worst case remove them if they do not improve.
In either case it can help accelerate the process, avoiding expensive overheads, and potentially avoid a large claim.
Our customers report an average of 15-20% savings on these related hidden costs. Some also enjoy reduced premiums in future years, but not yet in the numbers that we hope to see in the future. However, any company, would be delighted with this kind of reduction in a key segment of their operating costs.