By Andrew Smith, managing director, Cobra UK
Rising insurance costs are no longer a concern only for young or, more recently, female drivers, but increasingly so for fleets.
I believe company car driver-based insurance could be at the heart of the fleet insurance industry reform.
Year after year the same problems are being discussed such as the growing number of personal injury claims, the rising young driver casualties and the frequency of staged accidents leading to fraudulent insurance claims, all of which cause corporate premiums to rise.
Telematics technology is already in place which can reduce corporate driver accidents, identify crash-for-cash incidents and at the same time improve standards of driving.
We believe that simply looking at changing the focus of their company car driver insurance from car based to driver based will not only be an effective way for fleets to reduce fleet costs, but improve driver safety, helping employees become more conscientious drivers and helping employers meet duty of care requirements.
We also believe reducing the accident frequency of high-mileage company car drivers and company insurance premiums through adoption of pay-how-you-drive or pay-per-use policies is a real tangible way to reduce a fleet operator’s risk.
In addition, telematics technology can genuinely reduce the risk of crash-for-cash insurance fraud. The latest figures show this fraud is costing UK motorists £392 million each year.
Fitting black box telematics technology to more vehicles will enable operators and insurance companies to start stamping out fraudulent claims. Our in-car black box enables an insurer to detect everything from a vehicle’s movement, speed, cornering and braking parameters, to rollover and impact events, providing trip statistics, driving behaviour analysis and incident reconstruction.
Internal GPS and GSM antennae enable location, mapping and reporting, plus theft tracking when required.
Telematics technology is already available here and now for fleets and insurance companies wanting to adopt this approach. It is now up to fleet operators to sit down with insurers to kick start reform for the industry.