Here at Telematics.com, you’re no doubt aware of the fact that we’re somewhat fans of telematics technology. Sure it’s our namesake and therefore is bound to crop up in conversation from time to time, but we’ve shown through articles and reports that there are a whole host of benefits to installing the tracking tech in your fleets of vehicles, or even in your own personal one. There’s insurance reductions to be had, safer driving to be done and in terms of a business, the efficiency improvements can reduce repair costs to vehicles, tyre wear and fuel usage – making for a much more streamlined fleet of vehicles.
One aspect we haven’t much touched on in the past though, is that it can also help prevent insurance fraud, which caught three people attempting to do just that a few weeks ago. Fortunately, a built in telematics “black box,” soon put a stop to it.
The claim was valued at £54,000 and involved three lorry workers after their flatbed was rear ended by a Vauxhall Astra. The aforementioned car purpotedly crashhed into the back of the lorry, causing what the passengers of the larger vehicle described as whiplash, entitling them they thought, to over £50,000 in compensation and medical bill coverage. Fortunately for the driver of the Astra, who’s insurance premium would have been likely to have skyrocketed after such a claim, their vehicle was fitted with a telematics system, which told another story.
It ultimately proved, that with the low speed the Astra was travelling and the fact that the driver had braked before the collision, further reducing the impact to the driver and passengers of the flatbed lorry, claims of whiplash were not only implausible, but likely impossible. The case was ultimately thrown out of court, though none of those who claimed injury were charged with any crimes.
Aviva was no doubt pleased with the outcome too, as it insured the Astra driver and would have had to foot the bill should the claims of whiplash turn out to be true. Like other insurers, it’s been encouraging its customers to install telematics hardware as it helps avoid instances of insurance fraud such as this, which ultimately drive up premiums for everyone under the company, since the costs of business must be covered somehow. To help increase the uptake, it and other companies like it, have begun offering reductions in premiums simply for adding the systems to your vehicle, though extra bonuses for safe driving are also being implemented by some insurers.
It’s a good plan too, as official statistics show that fraudulent claims have increased almost 20 per cent in the last year alone, much of which insurers believe, is down to criminal gangs, which have found loopholes in the system to allow for payouts after specially constructed scenarios between them and a third party allow everyone to benefit – except the insurer, and ultimately that insurer’s customer base.
“Motorists must be careful of opportunists who apparently escalate the severity of an incident in an attempt to profit from the situation,” said Neil Thomas of Asset Protection Unit (via The Telegraph).
“Fraudulent personal injury claims add millions to the cost of the nation’s insurance premiums. Many fraudsters prey upon vulnerable motorists in premeditated attempts to fleece them and their insurance firm out of thousands of pounds but others are simply opportunistic.”
Image Source: Wouter van Erve