Telematics devices are in vogue in the Motor market but if both Commercial Policyholders & Insurers are to benefit from new devices, Insurance providers need to get smart with the technology and offer a more integrated, claims-focussed telematics solution.
BIBA research conducted in 2012 stated that the uptake in personal lines telematics policies had increased by over 1,500% since they first became available in 2009. The message to private car owners; that the installation of such devices could directly reduce their annual premium based on driving performance, has caused sales to increase exponentially since and in 2015 the headline schemes such as Coverbox & Insure the Box are now becoming household names.
Why should the approach to Commercial insurance be different?
For Commercial policyholders operating multiple vehicles, efficient reporting of claims is an integral factor in improving the performance of a company’s claims experience. Insurance represents a significant portion of a freight firm’s annual expenditure and a pro-active approach to claims can be integral to keeping premiums down. For telematics devices to become as prevalent and successful in the commercial market as they are among personal lines, Insurers need to deliver an effective, integrated risk management tool on top of the capabilities of the more ‘standard’ personal lines devices.
Limitations of Current Technology
It is a regrettable reality of operating a commercial fleet that accidents do happen (the last ABI report to include commercial vehicle statistics published in 2012 revealed that over £2.2billion was paid out in claims in the previous year).
A common approach for commercial vehicle operators to help curb claims-related costs has recently been the installation of front-facing cameras or vehicle CCTV. Whilst this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction – footage certainly helps in a dispute over liability – many of the devices in circulation are limited by their reliance on the video having to be manually uploaded; a process that often requires the physical retrieval of data from the device itself.
Where a Policyholder is at fault, footage may be valuable in determining the exact circumstances and preventing fraudulent injury claims, however the lack of any first notification of loss (or FNOL) capabilities means that by the time data is obtained, repair costs, credit hire or solicitors costs may have already escalated.
Camatics: The Best of Both Technologies
Direct Commercial’s aim with the Camatics policy is to combine the benefits of both telematics systems and front-facing cameras to provide a system that can benefit both Policyholder & Insurer and drive claims costs down. Ensuring that real time data is available via a web-based portal, Camatics allows fleet managers to monitor driver behaviour & obtain route replay via GPS, but further ensures that both Policyholder and Insurer are notified of an incident as soon as it occurs. Footage can be obtained by email in less than 60 seconds, regardless of whether an incident has taken place thus allowing both Policyholder & Insurer to react quickly and effectively.
Premiums in the Commercial Motor market are invariably increasing yet by including Camatics as part of DCL’s “Treble 20” 3 year policy, policyholders have the potential to reap significant rewards for pro-active risk management and claim reporting; a task made immediately simpler due to the system’s ability to report detected incidents automatically.
Those who sign up to a Camatics T20 policy will benefit from performance related premium discounts or capped increases for each annual term as well as obtain access to a system that can provide a transport manager with all the non-insurance related benefits that other telematics systems offer. By offering Camatics as a fundamental element of the T20 policy, DCL are sharing an obligation with their policyholders to achieving the lowest possible claims costs.
The key to the success of technology in the commercial insurance space is not simply providing a stand alone camera and hoping for the best. Claims costs can spiral out of control if information is not obtained early enough and there is a strong desire from commercial Policyholders to incorporate a more modern approach into their day to day claims management.
If a single system can allow the instant extraction of video footage from a remote location this automatically removes the need for the slow and arduous process of downloading & submitting footage manually and gives an Insurer’s claims team the best possible opportunity to defend spurious and exaggerated third party claims. Cutting-edge camera technology & telematics devices are becoming an exciting frontier of the motor insurance industry and in the battle against rising claims costs DCL’s Camatics product is an exciting opportunity for businesses looking to take the next step to protect their fleet.