• Dash cams offer clarity for claims

QBE Insurance and road safety organisation Brake are encouraging businesses and motorists to embrace New Zealand’s dash cam usage trend, citing the devices’ significant potential insurance, financial and safety benefits.

Dash cam devices provide a video recording of the environment in front of drivers, while some also record views from additional perspectives, allowing them to capture evidence of unsafe driving and road accidents.

Andrew Corbett, chief customer officer of QBE New Zealand and Pacific, said footage could be useful in both police and insurance investigations.

“We’ve seen an increase in customers providing dash cam footage at claim time – which in many cases has provided invaluable evidence, supporting fast and fair claim processing," he said.

“Footage has been particularly useful in situations where liability is unclear or disputed and in cases where a vehicle was unattended when an incident has occurred.

“For example, we recently processed a claim where our insured’s employee was parked and hit by a third-party vehicle which drove away. The dash cam footage from our customer’s vehicle meant the other driver was found liable and our customer was not out of pocket for the standard excess."

In another case, a QBE customer's vehicle crashed into the back of another.

Corbette said, while that would normally mean the driver was at fault, footage showed the other vehicle had overtaken in a dangerous manner and then slammed on the brakes.

“There are also cases where dash cam footage is not only submitted to us but also submitted to the police – helping them to address unsafe drivers and investigate serious motor crashes.

“As a commercial motor insurer, we know firsthand the devastation that can follow a motor accident, so we encourage drivers and businesses to consider dash cam systems not only to support them should they need to make a claim, but more importantly for their safety benefits.”

According to the Ministry of Transport, 377 people were killed in 2018 on New Zealand roads, while the social cost of crashes is $4.8 billion annually.

Caroline Perry, New Zealand director of Brake, said dash cams and related systems could be part of the solution to addressing these figures as footage helps authorities look at serious road safety issues and the potentially life-saving technology provided numerous safety benefits.

“Dash cams and GPS or telematics systems that incorporate them have become increasingly popular in both commercial and personal vehicles and can offer a range of safety benefits for businesses, drivers and the wider public.

“Front-facing cameras on dash cams can capture unsafe driving and road behaviour by others, which can be passed on to police to assist investigations into dangerous driving and hold drivers to account.

“Some systems, popular with commercial vehicles and fleets incorporate dash cams with both forward-facing and inward-facing cameras.

“These can alert the driver if they look like they’re falling asleep at the wheel, or not keeping their eyes on the road. They do this by tracking eye movements and the angle of a driver’s head, making this technology potentially life-saving. This helps to prevent crashes by keeping drivers alert, deterring use of smartphone devices, and ensuring they’re paying attention to the road.”

June 2019

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