Younger motorists have been trading their freedom for less expensive motor insurance, as a new pilot programme is fitting video cameras in their cars in exchange for a 15 per cent discount on their insurance premiums.
Car insurance companies say the cameras are a useful tool to minimise fraudulent claims in the event of an accident, as captured camera footage can provide an objective record of what happened just prior to a car crash. However, even with the new measures, discount car insurance for young drivers is still largely out of reach, with the average price paid for comprehensive cover being around £2,500 for the under-25 crowd.
Insurance experts say that there simply must be more done to counteract the massive rate hikes that have characterised the motor car insurance market over the past few years. Fitting cameras in cars may be one way, but it’s not necessarily new and groundbreaking, as the technology has been viable in emergency vehicles and lorries for years.
The cameras now being used are miniaturised high-definition camcorders that are small enough to fit in the palm of one hand and can be fitted either to the dashboard or the windscreen. A built-in accelerometer keeps track of relative movement, both vertical and horizontal, which can provide detailed information in the event of a crash beyond the initial camera footage, and also has a microphone as well in order to record sounds.
However, there are some limitations with the camera. At £250, the technology is nowhere near cheap, and it’s not much use in a rear-end shunt or if a motorist is crashed into from the side, though the microphone and accelerometer will record whatever information they can in such an instance.