If you can’t beat them, join them – or bribe them


Is it just me or have car insurance companies completely given up on any sort of nuanced approach to controlling their costs and have turned to straight bribes?

I mean, let’s look at the facts: this week, one major motor car insurance provider has launched a new initiative where it will slash a policyholder’s premium price by 10 per cent if they will let the insurer fit a dashboard-mounted camera to their car. What’s the impetus behind this? Well, insurers are getting tired of paying out on bogus car insurance claims and they see dashcams as great ways to gather evidence against any claimants that come forward. The move is supposedly going to save the insurer shedloads of cash, which is great for them I suppose but why doesn’t anyone seem to care about the privacy implications of this?

Yes, I know there’s already more CCTV cameras in the UK per square mile than there are overpaid footballers motoring about in absolutely hideous Land Rovers, but could we at least preserve some of our privacy rights? I don’t want a camera mounted on my bloody dash. Bloody Nora.

Meanwhile the whole reason behind insurers finding ways to get their own customers to do their work for them is because fraud is supposedly out of control once again in the UK. Aviva says that it found its fraud figures went up by 20 per cent last year, pointing the finger squarely at criminals that have organised into bands of cash for crash scammers. Now I’m not going to come out and say point-blank that i suspect some chicanery in Aviva’s figures but I’m going to hold my tongue until we get a bit more corroborative evidence from other sources before declaring some overblown fraud epidemic in the UK.

This isn’t to say that fraud might not be a problem – I’m sure there are plenty of bastards out there cheating insurers – but I highly doubt these cheats can compete with how insurers have been cheating their own customers for years and years.

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