Motoring accessory giant Halfords has reported a huge increase in the sales of “Dash Cams” over the last few months with motorists installing the video camera’s to record events before, during and after a crash to protect themselves against the increasing number of “crash for cash” fraudulent insurance claims. The devices which are windscreen mounted rather like a portable Sat-Nav system can also be used to protect drivers against accusations of driving offenses such as tailgating and lane hogging to which there is now a fixed penalty which came into force in August this year.
It is estimated that around 30,000 “crash for cash” cases are recorded each year, contributing to an increase of around £44 for innocent drivers on their insurance premium.
“Following an incident people are often reluctant to admit guilt and risk losing their no claims discount. In addition, the surge in fraudulent so-called ‘crash for cash’ claims is causing genuine concern among innocent drivers. The range of recording devices we now offer means that we can provide drivers with the means to produce evidence of how an incident occurred and who is at fault should the need arise.”
One case that helped a lorry driver prove his completed innocence against a whiplash scam, was when a Ford MPV swerved straight into his vehicle after travelling across three lanes of a motorway. A dash-cam recorded the whole shocking incident which led to four claims of whiplash and a potential insurance claim of £75,000. The lorry driver was blamed but the footage from the Smart Witness camera fitted clearly showed that the Ford driver had driven right across M25 into the lorry drivers path and the claims were quickly thrown out.
There are around 550,000 whiplash claims made each year to insurance companies with an estimated 60% of them thought to be bogus.