Can a dash cam save you money?
10/07/2018 - Hugh J Boswell
Dash cams, or in-vehicle cameras, despite being around for a number of years now, remain relatively underused and misunderstood by commercial vehicle owners and fleet operators. One of the most common questions we’re asked when talking about dash cams is “how much discount on my insurance will I get if I install them” – a question that highlights the misconception to the benefit of cameras on an insurance policy, and perhaps goes some way to answering why more aren’t installed. So, should you be looking to invest in a camera for your vehicle(s)?
Disputes regarding what happened in a motor accident are a major issue, particularly in the absence of a witness or CCTV to give an independent perspective on what actually occured. The outcome of these disputes was more often than not that an innocent party had to concede a proportion of responsibility, when they knew that the other party was not being wholly honest regarding the circumstances of the accident. Apart from a feeling of injustice it also led to a fault claim being recorded against the innocent party, which could have an adverse effect upon future insurance premiums.
There is – and has been for a while – a tool to assist in minimising the outcome, described above, in the form of dash cam technology. This can provide footage at the time of an accident and act as the much needed independent witness. Dash cams are simply cameras, which can be fitted to any vehicle. Some car manufacturers are now fitting them to their vehicles, but the majority still need to be installed by the owner. Depending upon the amount you are willing to pay they can merely be forward facing or also rear facing and on larger vehicles such as heavy goods vehicles or buses, have the facility to record a side view.
In the event of an accident, depending upon the system you select, the required footage can be downloaded from the camera and shared with your insurance broker to aid them in their negotiations with your insurer and the third parties. The footage obtained from dash cams is now recognised within the insurance industry as being an important tool which aids the early resolution of many claims. The support they can give to the arguments your broker / insurer makes on your behalf is invaluable in protecting your claims record, recovering uninsured losses and keeping your renewal premiums down. It is far harder for an unscrupulous third party to maintain a false version of the event when faced with footage which clearly shows they are being dishonest or misremembering the circumstances.
The footage this brokerage sees on a regular basis has made it easier for us to establish and gain admissions of liability at an earlier stage than previously, minimising the time taken to recover uninsured losses. In addition the consequence of vindicating you is that your claim, having been settled on a non-fault basis, should have minimal effect upon your insurance premiums.
Of course, dash cams can have other benefits too, such as capturing incidents that take place when parked and assisting with driver training.
In conclusion, the benefits of installing dash cams is far broader than a simple premium discount. By shortening timescales and preventing fraudulent claims, your claims history will almost certainly benefit, and your claims history is one of the most key factors that make up the premium you pay. We recommend dash cams to the majority of our clients, and work with reputable suppliers and insurers to ensure clients receive the best deal for them.
If you would like to discuss anything raised in this article, or anything else insurance related, please contact
Hugh J. Boswell on 01603 626155.
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