Do You Protect Yourself From Insurance Scammers?
If This Doesn’t Convince You To Get A Helmet Cam, Nothing Willby Allyn Hinton, on
According to FBI.gov, insurance fraud costs the average American family between $400 and $700 every year in the form of increased premiums. I’m sure there are bean-counters compiling statistics to back up those figures, but what does it really mean to folks living their lives everyday? As a woman in the U.K. found out, insurance scams are real and you can be targeted at any time just by going about your daily routine. Without the benefit of a dashcam, her life would have been directly impacted, not by a bean-counter and not by a statistic, but by a scammer with an accomplice who were out to relieve her wallet of some cash.
Continue reading for more on the scam and what it means to you.
What To Do
Watch the video. The event is almost comical in its execution, but the intent is not funny at all. The woman is driving down a residential street when the fraudster rams the back of a scooter into the front of her car and then throws himself up onto the hood. He then slides off in dramatic fashion, holding his back as he feigns injury. Suddenly a ’witness’ appears to confirm that he saw the woman hit the biker. If she didn’t have a dashcam, the law would have been on the fraudster’s side and it would have cost her dearly, probably out of pocket right then and there in a ’crash for cash’ scheme. You hit me, I have a witness; but if you pony up enough cash, I’ll forget this ever happened.
In this day and age, if you aren’t running a dashcam or a helmet cam everytime you start your engine, you’re tempting fate. The video from your own ’silent witness’ not only protects you from scammers, but also supports your position in a real traffic collision. Dashcams are fairly self-explanatory, but what about helmet cams? Are they as straightforward?
What Does It Mean for Motorcyclists?
Motorcycle helmets are tested by the Department of Transportation and those that pass carry a DOT certification. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) known as FMVSS 218 (49CFR571.218), dictates very specifically the requirements for DOT certification for helmets to be used by motorcycle riders.
Okay, so what does that mean as far as helmet cams? That means a rider cannot alter the structure of the DOT-certified helmet in order to mount a helmet cam. No drilling holes, fellas! Any alteration to the helmet voids the certification and without DOT certification, your helmet isn’t legal. Always check with local regulations, but in most cases, helmet cams mounted with suction mounts or adhesives are okay because they don’t alter the structure of the helmet. In case of an accident, the camera mount breaks off easily enough and the better cams have impact protection for the video that preserves the recorded content leading up to impact.
Sure, you can always mount the cam to your bike, but that only captures what is directly in front of the bike, not what you see when you turn your head. Still, it’s an option and better than nothing because scammers are out there and they want your money. With their accomplice as a ’witness’ you will lose in court without some way to support your side of the story.
As for the lady in the video, she was upset and immediately pointed out that she had a dashcam, which made the scammers flee while she was calling police. I like to think that I’d have the forethought to wait for the police to arrive and then make it known that I have dash footage of the whole incident. Ambush the ambusher and watch him squirm.