Some insurance companies offer the choice of a policy that includes a ‘black box’ telematics unit. Traditionally, this system has been offered to young car drivers, rewarding them for not driving after certain hours and other, low-risk behaviour.
“These policies work differently to traditional insurance policies where we look at a range of factors such as age, occupation, location and vehicle type to calculate a premium based on claims data,” says Gabriel, whose company, Admiral, has the Littlebox for Van product on the market.
“While these factors do play a part in telematics we also use electronically gathered data to calculate, and recalculate, your quote based on how good a driver you are. This helps motorists to get a price for their insurance based on how they drive, and 80% of our Littlebox customers do get a discounted premium at renewal. The device also includes a built-in theft tracker to help Admiral locate any stolen vehicles.”
Loyalty is rarely rewarded these days, and shopping around for the best deal at renewal can reap big rewards for the light commercial vehicle operator. Van supplier Vanarama is just one company which offers an insurance premium comparison tool for operators.
Adam Wigmore, insurance manager at Vanarama described the benefits it offers: “It lets potential customers access over 40 brands and check what the insurance for their target vehicle would cost.
Once they select the vehicle and obtain finance, we usually call them to see if our Multi-Year Insurance product (only available to Vanarama leasing customers) would be a better fit. It’s a premium that doesn’t change year-to-year (subject to conditions). This means no rising costs and no nasty surprises – just total control and no distractions from your business.”
Many operators now fit dashcams to their vehicles.
It’s a relatively cheap aftermarket option used by owner-drivers, keen to prove their innocence in any incident on the road, and also by corporate fleet managers who additionally can review evidence of alleged poor driving by their employees.
Richard Browning, director at leading dashcam supplier Nextbase, says: “Where dashcams really come into play is typically post-traffic incident. The footage captured can help determine exactly what happened. The when, where and how can be the difference between a lengthy insurance claim and getting the vehicle back out on the road.
“Companies are increasingly looking to protect themselves, and their assets, against the everyday risks associated with having vehicles out on the road by investing in dashcam technology.”
Browning states a startling stat when it comes to proving liability: “In 38% of all split-liability claims, video evidence would have changed the outcome to a non-fault. In other words, dashcams can offer massive time and money savings to any business with multiple vehicles – as well as protecting the individual drivers from fake and fraudulent claims made against them.”
Neil Grimshaw, director at independent broker Ravenhall Risk Solutions, is another who sees the advantages of utilising this type of technology: “The footage speeds up the claims process, allowing the insurers to take control of third-party claims before accident management companies get involved and inflate costs.”
On the subject of ‘crash-for-cash’ insurance scams, Grimshaw adds: “I don’t think it feels like there has been a reduction in these claims, but it does seem like there are more of these being found out and foiled by dashcam footage.”