This Opinion piece is by Bryn Brooker, Head of Road Safety at Nextbase, and it looks at the benefits to insurers and brokers when it comes to telematics. There are a new generation of dashcams now which act as driver behaviour coaches and resolve claims handling issues when things go wrong.
The creation and adoption of connected technology and greater access to customer data, is transforming the motor insurance industry in ways we have never seen before. The industry is currently in the throes of a digital revolution, with insurers investing heavily in a wide range of digital platforms, telematics, Cloud technology, Artificial Intelligence, agile software systems and video technology. All of which are helping to create new insurance products and business models, as well as improve the customer journey.
Investing more heavily in innovations that improve the customer experience will help traditional insurers to be more competitive and attract younger customers. New technologies are also enabling insurers to better measure and manage risk, save money, and lower premiums for policyholders.
At Nextbase, we were early adopters of digital transformation. We saw a gap in the market for video technology that helps to keep drivers safe on the road and we developed a dash cam product to protect them. Ten years on and the video technology has advanced considerably.
The Rise of the Dash Cam
Dash cams are incredibly popular with motorists and are one of the fastest growing consumer technology categories. We have seen demand increase over 1,300% in recent years, and the global dash cam market has expanded rapidly; expecting to reach a total market size of US$7.5bn by 2027.
The use of video technology and dash cam footage has also grown considerably amongst insurance companies and is now accepted by all of the top 40 motor insurers in the UK.
Dash cams have become an ‘independent witness’ in car insurance claims. The video footage can settle claims up to twenty times faster, as dash cam evidence enables insurers to settle disputes and helps drivers prove they were not at fault. The chances of a split liability outcome are also significantly reduced as definitive video proof makes it easier to see which party holds the blame.
The cost of getting written statements and the back-end processes of sorting out a claim can be lessened by reviewing dash cam footage and seeing who is at fault very quickly. That saving can improve profits for the insurer, passed to the customer, or perhaps put into a scheme that helps to keep drivers safer on the roads.
Dash Cam Drivers Are Safer
We carried out research to see how safe drivers with dash cams are and found that they are 33% less likely to have an accident than the average motorist. The research also found that 70% of dash cam motorists specifically buy dash cams to ensure they can provide video evidence to their insurer in the event of an incident, and they’re more aware of hazards and risks on the roads.
People are choosing to purchase and use this technology because they understand it provides them with a benefit, however, I do not see that we’ll ever get to a point where a dash cam is mandated in every vehicle.
Connected Technology and Data Capture
Video technology is always improving. Dash cams a decade ago were lower resolution and very simple, but now they run at 4K with ultra high frame rates to capture every single detail. Vehicle owners can now install multiple cameras facing out of the vehicle to capture footage at any time of the day, even when the car is not in use.
Connection between the video, mobile technology and the Cloud has also improved significantly and the process of getting video footage from a dash cam to an insurer is much quicker. Gone are the days of taking the SD card out, uploading the footage to a computer and posting it to an insurer. Drivers can do all of that at the click of a button on an app on a mobile device.
Data capture is also a critical part of the customer journey and a safety net for insurer risk. Dash cam technology continues to advance and is now able to capture things like G-Force, vehicle speed, and GPS data that is more accurate than a mobile phone. And the data can be naturally embedded into videos. For example, if an insurer watches footage of an accident to check for a whiplash claim, they will be able to see if the vehicle was going 3mph or 50mph, and if there was significant G-Force involved.
We are working on a range of other data analytics and Artificial Intelligence that are specifically aimed at insurers to help them decide who was at fault in an accident and inform insurers about the conditions inside and outside the vehicle. We believe this will be a real gamechanger for the speed and accuracy of insurance claims going forward.
Insurers need to look at the longer-term trends in technology and be early adopters to reap the rewards – whether that’s the first insurer to offer a discount for dash cam policyholders or those who offer an integrated system to enable video footage to be processed better. Those insurers are effectively meeting the needs of the customer best.