Do Dashcams Make Car Insurance Cheaper?
Before answering the question as to whether dash cams make car insurance cheaper or not, let’s start with the basics – what is a “dashcam”?
Basically, they’re a type of on-board camera that you can fix to your car that continuously records video footage of everything that goes on around you whilst you’re driving. It essentially captures evidence that can be used by you, in the unfortunate event of an accident, to help determine with whom the fault lies.
They are a kind of onboard impartial witness that helps to avoid the whole “he said/she said” arguments that can be the bane of road traffic accidents everywhere.
Why do dash cams reduce the cost of insurance?
So, let’s examine just a few of the reasons why having a dash cam could lower your insurance premiums:
- You’re likely to drive far more carefully with a dashcam onboard capturing precisely how you’re driving which, in theory, equates to fewer accidents;
- Clear dashcam footage makes it easier for insurers to see who was involved in an accident and who was at fault, so claims tend to be settled more efficiently;
- It protects against fraudulent claims like the “cash/flash for crash” scams, as the time and date stamp provide often irrefutable evidence that the alleged incident never even happened, or certainly not as suggested.
- Some dashcams provide protection by switching on if your car is bumped/vandalised whilst parked which can help identify the perpetrator, even when you’re nowhere near at the time.
By how much do dash cams reduce insurance costs?
Over the years, many insurance companies have begun to realise the benefits to them in their insured drivers using dash cams. So much so in fact that significant premium discounts can now be obtained from insurers to encourage drivers to invest in and use such a device.
In a recent Which? review of the kind of discounts available (that you can read more about here, reductions of between 10% and 25% are shown to be available, provided certain pre-agreed criteria are met of course.
So, are there any downsides of using a dashcam?
A few things to consider before deciding to invest in a dashcam, and thereby potentially lower your insurance premiums, are:
- It could show you to be at fault – the best way to avoid this is to simply ensure that you drive carefully and responsibly at all times;
- You’ll need a decent model of dashcam so that the footage recorded is clear and usable. As such, you’ll need to weigh up the upfront cost of buying the device against the potential future insurance savings;
- To benefit from the insurance premium discounts available, you must ensure that you always use the device as agreed with your insurance provider. If, for example, you are required to always have the device switched on when the car is in motion and you have an accident but the device is switched off, this could mean you have to pay back any discount you have obtained in that insurance period. The best way to avoid falling foul of these kinds of issues is to make sure that you know what you have agreed with your insurer and then ensure you always stick to this;
- Dash cams are not legal in every country and, even if they are, you’ll have to be careful not to breach data protection legislation or you might find yourself the subject of civil or even criminal proceedings as a result.
Is it widely accepted that having a dash cam will save you money on insurance?
More and more insurers are now starting to see the mutual benefit to both themselves and their insured in having an onboard camera to collate valuable evidence. Having said that, there are still many insurers out there that don’t.
The jury is still out but as more and more drivers buy dashcams and start making use of the significant discounts available to them for having and using such a device, then there’s a good chance that more insurers will start to see the humble dashcam as more than a mere gimmick.
At Direct Gap, we’re UK car insurance industry experts, so whether it’s dashcam insurance reductions, vehicle replacement gap insurance, tyre insurance, scratch and dent insurance, alloy wheel insurance or anything in between, why not contact us today and let us show you where there are savings to be made.