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On-board camera system could help reduce insurance premiums and beat dodgy claims
SmartWitness records braking and acceleration speeds and collision G-forces and includes data about vehicle location, speed and deceleration. All useful stuff in the event of an accident

HOW do fancy reducing your insurance premiums?

Well, that could be just one benefit of equipping your van with SmartWitness – an on-board video recorder built to provide vital, accurate information in the event of an accident.

SmartWitness is a tamper-proof camera that keeps a 170 degree wide-angle record of the driver’s view of the road and also records braking and acceleration speeds and collision G-forces.

But it gets better. SmartWitness is linked to Google Earth and Google Maps.

That means that in the event of an accident the system holds information about the location of your vans, road conditions, signage and road markings.

There are several ways the information can be valuable to a van operator:

  • Improve driver performance by using SmartWitness in driver appraisals
  • The circumstances of an accident can be transmitted directly to insurers in the event of a false claim against you
  • The data can help put the facts of an incident beyond dispute – shortening the time it takes to settle claims
  • The recordings are admissable in court so can be used as evidence in the event of a false claim

The camera showed  that the third party pulled out in front of our van, which ended the claim against us

One company using the system to reduce insurance claims payouts is The Automotive Group, which provides specialist ‘SMART’ repairs to the automotive trade.

Seventy-three of Automotive Group’s 78-strong van fleet have SmartWitness fitted in addition to vehicle tracker management systems.

Managing director Andy Patterson told Business Vans: “Our insurer actually paid a percentage towards the cost of fitting SmartWitness cameras as it was in their interest.”

In some insurance claim cases, vans are blamed for 50/50 type incidents such as lane discipline and roundabout accidents.

On-board camera system could help reduce insurance premiums and beat dodgy claims
The cameras are lockable and tamper-proof. The unit is wired into the vehicle’s power source

Andy Patterson said: “We had one incident where there was an argument stating our van was driving too fast and hit a car that was not moving. The camera showed our driver was within the speed limits and that the third party pulled out in front of our van, which therefore ended the claim against us.”

Nick Plowman of SmartWitness told Business Vans: “Within two hours of an accident operators can submit a report to the insurer that shows exact location, vehicle speed, deceleration, road conditions, as well as video footage of the accident.

“Speed is of the essence when it comes to dealing with insurance claims. Insurance companies need data immediately to stop escalation of claims in the event of an accident where it’s your fault.

“That instantly eliminates spurious car hire, injury and repair claims. With SmartWitness technology protecting you there should no longer be any 50/50 or ‘knock for knock’ claims,” he said.

And that should help keep down the cost of your business van insurance.

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