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Claims Count - Richard Naylor

Published: 07/12/2017

Claims Count - Richard Naylor

Investigating the heady world of motor insurance and claims:

Dashcam dash

A research study from Accident Exchange reported that the use of dashcam footage following car accidents has risen by 285% since 2015.  They also make the point that this spike in use of dashcam footage after an accident has resulted in fewer disputes whilst speeding up claims processes.

The figures illustrate that claims are now nearly three times more likely to feature dashcam footage amongst supporting evidence compared to just two years ago.

The analysis follows a report in 2015 which revealed a startling 918% rise in dashcam sales in just a year, suggesting that awareness and acceptance of the technology among motorists is growing fast. 

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of operations and sales at Accident Exchange, said: “For many, the post-accident experience is one of the most stressful elements of car ownership, and it benefits everyone – motorists, accident management firms and insurers – to make it simple, stress-free and to limit unnecessary claims disputes. The fact it brings even more transparency to the process is great for us and our customers.”

The study examined tens of thousands of accidents recorded by Accident Exchange between January 2015 and July 2017.

Flint's motor claims expert, Richard Naylor, says:  

Dashcams are an excellent tool and something I’d encourage any client to install, but insurers will not build a discount into their premiums because of their usage. Dashcams are very much an ‘after the event’ aid and any saving generated through them will be due to the successful defence of a future claim, including the avoidance of unnecessary or unjust third party claims on the incident.

If you want any further advice on what you can do to control motor claims, call Richard on 0345 371 1483 or 07736 337137.

Rise in vehicle vandalism

Another area, that we might not think about too much is that of car vandalism. RAC Insurance has put together data from police figures about vehicles that had suffered criminal damage. What they found was that the number of vehicles vandalised in England and Wales has increased by 10% in the last three years. 

A total of 210,418 vehicles were reported to have suffered criminal damage such as deliberate scratches, slashed tyres, snapped windscreen wipers, smashed wing mirrors and broken windows in 2016 – 19,238 more than in 2013 when 191,180 were vandalised.

It was the Greater Manchester Police area that experienced the biggest rise with 37% more vehicles being damaged in 2013 than 2016 – 10,670 incidents compared to 14,588 last year. Greater Manchester also recorded the highest number of vehicle vandalism offences outside of London (the Metropolitan Police force area) which had 26,064 in 2016, equating to 12% of all cases across the country.

Hertfordshire Constabulary and West Yorkshire Police both had the second greatest increase at 25% each. Due to the higher population in West Yorkshire, however, the number of incidents was far larger – 10,051 in 2013 versus 12,542 in 2016. The West Yorkshire force had the second largest number of offences of this type outside of London. Hertfordshire experienced 3,766 four years ago compared to 4,714 last year.

Twenty-four forces saw increases in cases of vehicle vandalism while 12 forces experienced a drop in the number of reports with Gloucestershire seeing the biggest decline at 17% with 2,301 instances in 2013 falling away to 1,907 in 2016. Only Surrey Police saw no change in the volume of such cases.

As RAC Insurance director, Mark Godfrey points out “Vandalism is one of the most frustrating and annoying crimes. Just a moment of selfish intentional criminal damage causes vehicle owners no end of grief”.  We can all identify with this sentiment, but it's also highly likely that these figures do not represent the true extent of the problem. Some motorists will choose to deal with any damage themselves rather than risk higher premiums by claiming from their insurance and reporting it to the police, as they would be required to do. Specialist paint finishes, vehicle livery, badges, mirrors and headlights can be very expensive to repair, so for some perhaps they have no choice but to claim, but again increased costs for insurers affects us all. 

With regard to mitigating our risks this common sense advice from the RAC pretty much says it all

“During the day try to park in well used areas and at night go for well-lit streets away from pubs and clubs if at all possible, and if you have access to a garage use it. It’s also good advice to use car parks that carry the 'Park Mark' Safer Parking Symbol which means there are measures in place to ensure the safety of people and vehicles.

“Should you be unlucky enough to have your vehicle vandalised take pictures of it, report it to the police and get a crime reference number as this will help with any subsequent insurance claim.”

http://www.parkmark.co.uk/about-the-safer-parking-scheme

Bad weather advice

And lastly, whilst we know that many of our clients are highly experienced drivers, here's a short reminder of how to stay safe on the road in winter.

As more of the country has now experienced their first signs of snow, drivers need to be prepared for what's to come and the white stuff isn’t the only winter driving hazard. Even the most experienced drivers can be alarmed by the unpredictable nature of rain, ice, fog and wind on the roads. The tips below will help you to slightly adjust your driving in extreme weather, and ensure any incidents; injuries or lengthy delays are neither caused by you nor involve you.

Windy conditions

It isn’t just high-sided vehicles that are affected by windy weather, strong gusts can also blow a car, bicycle or motorcycle off-course. Particularly risky zones are bridges and open stretches of road exposed to crosswinds. Large vehicles create turbulence in windy weather and this could affect your vehicle, so keep your distance.

Driving in the rain – when the two second rule becomes the four second rule

Stopping distances on wet roads are at least double those required for stopping on dry road, because your vehicles tyres have less grip on the road.  

To stay safe you should:

  • Mind your distance: make it easier to see and plan ahead by keeping well back from the vehicle in front.
  • Unresponsive steering? Water may be preventing your tyres from gripping the road. Slow down gradually be easing off the accelerator.
  • See and be seen: Make sure your lights and windscreen remain clean from rain and vehicle spray.
  • Puddles: avoid them - you never know how deep they could be.

Fog

Fog can appear quite suddenly with little warning. If the word ‘Fog’ is shown on a roadside signal but the road is clear, be prepared for a bank of fog ahead. Even if it seems to be clearing, you can suddenly find yourself in thick fog.

When driving in fog you should:

  • Check your mirrors then slow down.
  • Use your fog lights.
  • Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front, and be prepared to slow down and stop at short notice. This is particularly important on motorways and dual carriageways, where stopping distances are longer
  • Beware of other drivers not using fog lights.
  • Don’t accelerate to get away from a vehicle that is too close behind you.
  • Stop in the correct position at a junction with limited visibility and listen for traffic. When you are sure it is safe to emerge, do so positively and do not hesitate in a position that puts you directly in the path of approaching vehicles.
  • Remember: You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced as they can dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. You MUST switch them off when visibility improves.

 

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