Many trucking companies have benefited from installing cameras inside their vehicles – the footage allows them to coach drivers and avoid protracted litigation. And now, many companies are finding that onboard cameras can help address rising insurance costs in the transportation industry.
According to Transport Topics, the existence of onboard cameras should lower premiums, particularly if the recorded event in question exonerates the driver. But whether that actually results into discounted insurance premiums is another question. In the long run, such insurance breaks will likely occur as insurance companies analyze the data and determine if fleets are utilizing the technology to effectively train drivers.
Meanwhile, nuclear verdicts and expensive settlements in trucking litigation have skyrocketed — a key factor driving up insurance costs. But there’s optimistic news for the trucking industry. A 2013 report by the American Trucking Association revealed that passenger car drivers are principally at fault in 70% to 75% of fatal car-truck crashes. This statistic shows that truck drivers are only at fault a small amount of the time – which means onboard cameras could provide even accurate footage to help them win more litigation battles and not pay out as many false claims as they had in the past.
Every incident and every insurance plan is different, so while the footage from onboard cameras has sometimes resulted in premium discounts, it is not guaranteed for every case. But many companies have felt that it was worth the investment, as this footage has proven they were not at fault in accidents avoiding unnecessary increases or claims. The footage has also offered opportunities for coaching and avoiding future accidents – some companies even integrate this data into formal safety programs.
Transport Topics also stated that video intelligence is almost always viewed favorably by the insurance carrier. Some insurance companies even subsidize or supplement the cost of deploying the technology (and typically set expectations with shared cost programs, with performance indicators that the company has to meet). Although video telematics may not drive down the cost of insurance at the outset, it could happen after the system has been in place, and the insurance companies see that the fleets are utilizing the data to coach drivers.
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