When you search for dash cams, most of what comes up are consumer cameras from brands like Sony, Thinkware, and Vantrue. These cameras record on SD cards that must be manually removed to download footage, which poses a logistical challenge for fleets.
This is why commercial dash cams are better suited for fleet vehicles. They have higher image resolution and night vision and connect to telematics so that footage is uploaded automatically.
- Prevent Fraudulent Claims
Commercial dash cams help reduce false insurance claims by providing valuable evidence. A staged accident can easily fool car insurance companies without reliable proof, but video footage eliminates the “he said, she said” debate and provides an unblinking witness to what really happened on the road.
In addition to helping prevent insurance fraud, dashboard cameras can also help fleet managers identify dangerous driving habits such as distracted driving and rolling stops that are a leading cause of accidents in the trucking industry. Using data from video monitoring, drivers can be coached proactively to improve their safe driving skills.
A good dash cam should have a wide-angle lens that can record a large area of the road, capturing all the important details of an accident for evidence and clear liability determination. It should also have HD resolution and night vision to capture footage in low-light conditions. Some systems also feature a speaker that can play verbal and audio alerts when unsafe behavior is detected, such as cell phone use or speeding. Some even have a recording function so that the driver’s voice can be heard when an alert is activated.
While most transportation businesses do not offer direct discounts or lower premiums for their customers who install dashcams, the cameras can positively impact insurance rates by preventing fraudulent claims and speeding up the insurance claim process. In the future, technology like AI integration may further enhance dash cams’ ability to detect suspicious activity and shorten common lead times for insurance claims.
While installing a commercial dash cam won’t automatically guarantee an insurance discount, it can provide a strong argument for the business to be treated fairly and with respect. Moreover, the unbiased proof provided by dashcams can prevent unnecessary litigation that can cost thousands of dollars and hours of downtime for a company. It is also a great way to protect against the growing threat of staged insurance fraud and save on legal costs that can often add up quickly. Using the footage to exonerate your drivers is another reason that can go a long way in convincing an insurance provider to cut your rates.
- Save Money
There’s no doubt that false accident claims are a costly problem for fleets, especially when they require legal fees and settlements. However, a dash cam can help prevent these kinds of issues by providing unbiased video evidence that either exonerates your driver or proves they were not at fault for the accident. Depending on the type of dash cam your fleet chooses, some models can even detect unsafe driving habits like tailgating or distracted driving to provide coaching and alerts.
Another way a commercial dash cam can save you money is by helping to avoid insurance fraud. Fraudulent accidents are a huge problem for insurers, who must cover the cost of these fake claims by raising premiums for everyone. Some criminal gangs have even gone as far as to stage and cause crashes with commercial vehicles to get large payouts. Having dash cam footage that proves an accident was not your driver’s fault can help expedite the claim process and avoid costly lawsuits.
Unlike traditional dash cams that record on micro-SD cards and must be manually removed to download footage, modern models can automatically upload video clips to the cloud for quicker access during an incident. In addition, many feature night vision capabilities that allow drivers to capture clear footage in low-light conditions. Additionally, advanced dash cams like the ZenduCAM Z6 also include artificial intelligence functionality that monitors unsafe driving behavior and can detect safety events like harsh braking or lane departures, as well as driver fatigue and distraction.
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of fraudulent claims is to talk openly with your team about implementing dashcams. Be transparent and let them know that these cameras are not meant to judge their driving but to protect your company’s bottom line by preventing unnecessary claims and settlements. Additionally, you may want to consider a telematics program that incorporates dash cams to give drivers the feedback and coaching they need to improve their performance on the road. This will help you avoid costly accidents and keep your rates down.
- Increase Safety
In recent years, criminals have discovered they can make a good living by staging fraudulent accidents. Staged crash scams can cost insurers billions in lost premiums each year. While a genuine accident can happen to any driver, false accusations from scammers can ruin their careers and leave them facing legal battles. Dash cam footage can help drivers clear their names and prove they weren’t at fault.
Adding dash cams to your fleet can also improve road safety by helping drivers avoid dangerous driving habits like distracted driving and tailgating. The cameras can record and display evidence of unsafe vehicle behavior, such as sudden braking or rolling stops, so drivers can correct these bad habits.
This can help your fleet maintain a safe driving standard, reduce collision rates, and prevent costly claims caused by poor driving behaviors. The cameras can also be used to provide driver training and feedback, so fleet managers can identify risky driving behavior and coach their teams on safer ways of operating their vehicles.
Commercial dash cams are also an excellent deterrent against theft and vandalism. They’re very visible, and it’s unlikely that thieves will attempt to hotwire or tag a vehicle equipped with a dash cam, which may be an effective deterrent against a spate of thefts. In addition to recording video, many dash cams can also record audio and emit an audible in-cab alert when risky behavior is detected.
If you are planning to introduce commercial dash cams into your fleet, it’s important to be transparent with your drivers and get their buy-in. Explain that the cameras will be there to protect them from fraud, as well as speed up investigations by providing unbiased evidence of what really happened. Then, discuss how the cameras can also improve their driving experience by catching a vehicle’s blind spot, improving image quality, or even recording nighttime footage.
When selecting a commercial dash cam for your fleet, consider the camera’s resolution (ideally HD), ability to capture license plate numbers, and an internet connection that can instantly upload footage to cloud storage. Ensure that the camera can be locked to prevent tampering, has an audio recording feature, and is easy for drivers to use.
- Monitor Drivers
Often, fraudsters will target commercial vehicles because they’re typically well-insured. Dash cam footage can help a fleet manager identify the cause of an accident and prove their driver is not at fault in cases of crash-for-cash scams or other types of insurance fraud. In addition, a dashcam can capture vital data that is used to improve driving behaviors.
Fleets can also reduce operational costs by improving the quality of their drivers. Using video-based driver safety programs, companies can identify dangerous driving habits like speeding, harsh braking, tailgating, and rolling stops. This allows companies to coach their drivers proactively and save on costly insurance claims, fuel, and maintenance bills.
In addition, a dashcam can provide evidence against false injury and damage claims made by fake witnesses. Some modern cameras have dual front and rear-facing camera technology that can offer an all-around view of the vehicle, providing more protection against these common frauds. Furthermore, these dual dash cams with interior views can help disprove false claims that the driver was on the phone or eating when the accident occurred.
For public sector fleets such as police, fire, ambulance, waste management, and general service vehicles, having dash cams can reduce false liability claims for vehicle damage from people who are simply trying to extort money. They also help prevent vandalism, which is a problem in many urban areas for public fleets.
The cost of false and exaggerated claims is a significant drain on insurers, which must pass on these losses to all policyholders in the form of higher premiums. By reducing the number of fraudulent accidents, businesses can protect their insurance rates and improve their overall bottom line. Furthermore, many insurers recognize the value of dash cams and may offer discounts to those who use them as a means of demonstrating their commitment to road safety and responsible driving. To learn more about how dash cams can help prevent insurance fraud, contact Nationwide’s Excess & Surplus division to learn about our partnership with Samsara and our AI-based telematics solutions and software.
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