Can Dash Cams Lower Insurance Costs for Your Fleet?
When you’re in the transportation and logistics industry, you can’t help but notice “nuclear” verdicts in liability cases are on the rise.
As Lytx recently chronicled, the average size of verdicts against commercial fleets skyrocketed from $2.3 million in 2010 to more than $22 million in 2018—an increase of nearly tenfold. This surge was driven by an increase in so-called “nuclear verdicts” of more than $1 million, which has tripled over the past couple of decades.
This increase has, of course, led to a corresponding increase in fleet insurance. Your company may be feeling the sting of higher premiums even though most of your drivers have outstanding records. But that doesn’t mean you are powerless to reverse this trend.
Collisions are also costly beyond monetary loss—they can take a toll on customer perception of your company, employee morale, and they can even cost drivers their job or license. Let’s explore how you can deploy dash cams to lower insurance costs for your fleet.
How Implementing Dash Cams Lower Insurance Premiums
The good news is that, according to a recent American Transportation Research Institute study, you’re not destined to pay high premiums based on the misdeeds of drivers in your competitors’ fleets. The study reports this glimmer of hope:
“While all fleets now pay more, premiums definitively scale based on safety records. One respondent specified that “low risk” motor carriers are experiencing eight to ten percent increases in insurance costs, while new ventures and average-to-marginal carriers are experiencing a 35 percent to 40 percent annual increase – a trend that has occurred for three consecutive years.”
If you’re serious about leveraging dash cams to lower your insurance costs for your fleet, focus on solutions that provide:
- Road-facing cameras. You’ll capture high-resolution footage of exactly what happened on the road. This may be enough to refute the claims of aggressive plaintiffs and prevent the verdicts that can raise your premiums. You’ll also be able to provide evidence you need to back your drivers. Even if you’ve coached your drivers effectively, and your fleet safety is at an all-time high, your employees are still on the road with drivers who are texting, drifting all over their lane, and speeding. What if one of them hits your vehicle?
- Driver-facing cameras. In many accidents, plaintiffs will try to increase their settlements by claiming that your driver was negligent or incompetent. Inward-facing cameras will help you prove that your driver wasn’t texting or eating at the time of an incident.
- Video telematics. When you integrate your dash cams with GPS data, it dramatically increases the effectiveness of just dash cams alone. While it’s essential to be able to provide video evidence of exactly what was happening inside and outside your truck during an accident, when you can also prove that your driver was traveling at a reasonable speed, following the route and reacting within acceptable norms, you neutralize yet another weapon that plaintiff’s attorneys may try to leverage to their advantage.
In many cases, video telematics alone will be enough to exonerate your driver of wrongdoing. Suppose there’s damage done to property by a large delivery truck at about 2:00 PM on a Wednesday afternoon. A witness claims that one of your trucks was in the area. Using GPS data, you can show that although your truck did pass through that neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, it wasn’t until 2:12 PM, which was outside the window of time that the incident could have occurred.
Video intelligence acts as an unbiased eyewitness for your defense in the event of a collision, providing evidence and support for your drivers in proving what actually happened—helping your business to avoid liability and the associated costs, including higher premiums.
Let Gridline Show You the Advantages of Video Telematics
Ready to get started using dash cams to lower insurance premiums? Gridline can help you select and implement the dash cam technology you need. With the right solutions and help from our video telematics experts, you can give your fleet the “unbiased eyewitness” it needs to lower or even prevent a surge in your insurance premiums. Find out how.