In 2015 Regis was awarded the contract to manage the Fire and Rescue Authorities Indemnity Mutual. The Mutual was established by 9 fire authorities, the aim was to improve their overall risk management and the way they dealt with the cost of incidents to vehicles and people.
The challenge faced by the Fire Authorities was common to other local authorities, emergency services and blue light services; there was a limited insurance market servicing this sector and this meant they had little control over the process. The Mutual now has 11 Members and is onboarding more members throughout 2020. Interest in the Mutual has increased rapidly due to its reputation for transparency, cost efficiencies and the unique nature of being member focus.
The introduction of dashcams has significantly changed the claims journey. Whilst it is not compulsory for fire authorities to have dash cams to join the mutual the benefits are substantial. Installing dash cams, especially 360-degree cameras, can be expensive and needs approval by the individual Authority through a comprehensive business case. Whilst the Mutual cannot help this process it does offer a reduction in contributions to support this.
Nic comments ‘Without doubt, dashcams have had a profound effect on how we manage and deal with claims. In an ideal world all fleet vehicles would be fitted with a dash cam, but there are financial implications the Authorities need to consider.’
95% of the claims into the Mutual are for motor. Using the footage from the cameras these claims are quickly assessed and the appropriate action agreed. The witness statements are not interrogated as the video evidence provides all necessary and often unequivocal evidence. This provides a huge benefit to all staff involved in incidents, it removes the stress of lengthy reporting and reduces the fear of interrogation – especially as this environment is already highly charged.
Video evidence has also reduced the impact of fraudulent claims to the Mutual. There have been occasions where the videos have shown that car damage has been exaggerated or was already there before the incident took place. Recently the Mutual defended a fraudulent personal injury claim saving the Mutual over £10,000 – all due to evidence of the dash cameras.
The footage also provides a great training tool and supports continuous learning by reviewing the incidents for lessons learnt. It supports new recruits who do not know the area as they are able to check the dashcam footage of the local roads and see where the potential hazards maybe. Nic describes this benefit as a ‘real eye opener. Using anonymised footage, you can support the officers to understand the roads and potential hazards, this manages possible risk and will in turn cut the incidents of claims’.
Nic concludes ‘Dash cams have transformed the claims process, especially the speed to resolve claims. We work with our Mutual Members to provide an efficient service. Any savings that they may see from improved claims resolutions are given back to the Mutual. Any surpluses achieved, which are available for distribution, are used for the benefit of the members or as members agree.”
He continues; “But dash cams are just the starting point of changes in the claims industry. Technology is involving at such pace and this is driving continuous innovation. Machine learning for claims resolutions is already starting to gain momentum and it is also likely that we will further enhancements to chatbots to support first notification of loss. This omni channel approach to claims is growing – it is exciting times. However, it’s important not to forget that the Member, or customer, must have a need and indeed want for these channels and changes. The Mutual exist for the Member, its responds to their needs and goals, so you will have to watch this space for what happens next.’
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