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Alex Cinus

Drivers using dashcams to fight fraud

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More and more drivers are using in-car cameras to help prove their innocence in road accidents, according to AA research.

Dashcam

Motorists in the UK are increasingly installing in-car or dashboard cameras in their cars to prove they’re not at fault for crashes.

The in-car video cameras, which record the driver's view from the windscreen, are designed to film journeys and capture events before, during and after a collision.

A study by the AA has revealed that while only a small amount of its customers currently use the cameras, a growing number are expressing interest in them.

39% of drivers interested in dashcams

The AA survey showed that 39% of drivers would be interested in installing the cameras in their vehicles.

Some 29% said they were not aware the devices existed, while 32% said they had no interest in the cameras.

Just 1% of the 25,000 people surveyed already had the cameras installed.

Cameras used to combat 'crash for cash' scams

Crash for cash car accident

Some of those already using dashcams, which can cost up to £300, are employing them as a tool to combat so-called 'crash for cash' fraudsters.

These frauds are based on deliberate or invented collisions and the exaggerated or fictitious claims which result.

In 2015 the Insurance Fraud Bureau has estimated such fake accidents are costing drivers £336 million a year. A huge amount, but still down from the £392 million figure they estimated in 2012.

Their study of November 2012 estimated that one in 10 personal injury claims were linked to 'crash for cash' scams.

Ian Crowder, insurance expert at the AA, said: "It's the 'crash for cash' scams that have focused interest in the use of dashcams.

"They can be of benefit in the event of a collision. And the police would use such evidence, as would an insurer, in helping determine the circumstances of an accident.

"They are already widely used in some countries like Russia, Poland and Japan.

"Unfortunately it's a sad thing that we need to use these devices to demonstrate someone is being dishonest."

Will dashcams become mainstream?

Matthew Paterson, head of liability claims at Admiral insurance, says the industry is still unsure whether the market for dashcams in the UK will continue to grow.

He said:

"The fraud issue in the UK is not quite as prevalent as other countries, and people won't anticipate a situation where they'd require filmed evidence to help them.

"So while the evidence from dashcams may be something insurers would like in determining liability and combating fraud, I'm not convinced they'll become a big factor in the UK any time soon."

Car crash 

Insurance discount for dashcam drivers

Insurance company Adrian Flux has been offering a 15% discount to drivers who install an approved dashcam since spring 2012.

However, in general dashcams are still not widely recognised by insurers at present.

AA car insurance expert, Crowder, added: "At the moment dashcams are not a requirement for car insurance companies.

"However, if they were to become more widely installed by drivers then insurance companies ultimately will take a greater interest.

"They can be equally useful for insurers. But motorists will be well aware that the recording could highlight their own driving error as well as those of others."

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