We are always being asked by our clients whether it would be beneficial to their business and will it reduce their insurance premiums if they install a dashcam, in-cabin cameras and or a facial recognition camera in their vehicles.
Before we go any further, everyone has an opinion on this issue, and those opinions are many and varied and come from the so-called experts who have never sat in a truck let alone driven a truck, to those who live in their trucks all week and drive 1000’s of kilometres week.
The following comments are our personal comments and in no way should be considered the opinion of any insurer or any other party.
Dashcams are an absolute no brainer in our opinion, just be sure to install one that has GPS with time and date stamp. Dashcams provide video evidence of and in some cases also provide some colourful running commentary of accidents, near misses and the foolish, selfish behaviour of other motorists, in and around heavy vehicles.
As for getting a discount on your insurance, most likely not.
Dashcams do not prevent accidents which is the reason why an insurer would not offer a discount.
However, a dashcam can help in your efforts to prove you were not at fault in an accident and as such will help in recovering the cost of the claim from the third party which is to your benefit.
Rear cabin cameras
Similar to dashcams, however they provide a little more information regarding the drivers’ reactions to incidents, but lacks the footage detail that a dash/windscreen mounted camera would provide.
Once again, these cameras don’t necessarily prevent accidents therefore not much chance of having a discount applied to your premiums.
Facial recognition cameras
The elephant in the room! Once again this is my personal opinion based on personal observations as both a driver with over 3 million kilometres under the belt and having also worked in transport insurance for many years.
Unfortunately it seems too much emphasis has been placed on these types of cameras with the expectation that they will prevent accidents by alerting the driver that they are fatigued.
They may prevent some accidents and of course anything that can help save a life is a good thing. However, our belief is the introduction of these cameras has deflected the conversation from the only solution to managing fatigue and that is to prevent fatigue.
A driver’s working/driving hours and how a driver is forced to conform to the strict logbook regulations do not work and actually contribute to fatigue.
The only solution is the one that all the authorities and experts seem to be overlooking.
The solution to fatigue is the drivers themselves, along with silent majority of 20,000+ owner/operators in this country and the political will from governments to seek advice and guidance from the ones at the coalface, the real stakeholders in fatigue.
Unfortunately, it is these types of cameras that some insurers may give a premium discount.
Personally, we would prefer the insurers to support a push for an overhaul of the logbook/driving/working hours framework in a real and concerted effort to achieve a common goal, to save money but more importantly save lives.
Important: All answers and information contained within this article should be considered as General Advice Only. This advice should only be considered as General in Nature and its intent is only to prompt the readers to investigate their own individual insurances. It has been prepared without taking into account the readers own individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, before acting on the above advice, the client or any persons should consider its appropriateness (having regard to their objectives, needs and financial situation) and seek further independent advice from their own financial advisor.