Car Insurance – perhaps the biggest regular expense a motorist has today, with premiums ranging from not a lot, to on the verge of extortionate.
There are many different things you can do to help reduce your insurance premiums, but today we’re going to talk about a little known method of reducing your insurance costs – the dashcam.
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What is this “Dashcam” you speak of?
You may or may not know what a dashcam is, but for those of you who don’t, we’ll explain briefly.
Increasing in popularity by the day, dashcams are small, usually fairly discrete cameras which are designed to be mounted in your car – although the name suggests that they would be mounted on the dashboard, most dashcams are mounted on the windscreen, either by sticky pads, or a suction cup mount.
Most people choose to mount their dashcams out of the way behind the rear view mirror, which means they don’t have an extra distraction in their line of sight, although others mount them low down by the dashboard, it’s down to personal preference.
So we know what they are, but what’s their purpose? Well basically, the camera’s main purpose is to record your journey, whether you just want it to replay a film of your favourite driving roads, or you want to protect yourself from blame in the event of an accident, a dashcam has you covered.
Most dashcams have G-sensors fitted which detect the force of an impact, when this happens they will automatically save the video clip and keep it safe for you to review later.
What uses do dashcams have?
Dashcams have a massive amount of uses, it would take us a long time to go through them all, and we’d probably miss a load, but we’ll go through the most common uses here for you.
-Evidence in the event of a crash
More than ever we’re hearing stories of people who have been involved in a car crash and, although they swear they were 100% NOT to blame, the third party who was involved is refusing to take the blame, instead blaming the other driver.
Now, this could partly be down to the insurance companies who, in their contract, state that you should not admit liability in the event of an accident, but that doesn’t mean you have to blame the other driver, if you were at fault, exchange insurance details and leave it at that.
The other reason for people blaming the other driver is pure dishonesty, if you’ve made a mistake, and as a result damaged someone elses property, or even worse – injured someone else, be the bigger man (or woman) and take responsibility. Would you like someone else to blame you if you’d been driving along minding your own business and been T-boned? Remember the old saying, treat others as you wish to be treated.
Ok enough rambling on about possible scenarios – the point is, if you find yourself in a situation such as above, and have a dashcam fitted, you have undeniable evidence in the form of video which proves 100% that you did not cause the accident, what this means is, the third parties insurance company will have to pay out, yours won’t and you’ll not lose your no-claims bonus.
It is important to note however, that no matter who is liable, you will need to declare the accident at renewal time, this may or may not load your premium slightly, but it is not classed as an “at fault accident”.
– Track Day Footage
Are you into your track days? What’s better than zooming around the track testing your driving ability, and the ability of your car? Well, apart from maybe telling your friends all about the superb driving you done on the track..
Well now, with the help of a dashcam, you can watch back your trackday driving, and even show it to your friends – have you set an amazing laptime on the nurburg ring? Who would believe you unless you had proof? A dashcam will see you the envy of your mates down the pub when you show them your superior driving skills.. or maybe not?!
– Car CCTV
Did you know that some dash cams come with “valet” mode or “parking” mode – what this does is, sets the camera into a sort of stand-by mode, with a motion sensor. When someone approaches your car or walks past, the camera will begin to record footage, and continue to record for a couple of minutes after the detected movement is gone.
“What’s the point in that?”, you may ask – well, not a lot if all it captures is the odd person walking down the street, but what if you wake up morning to find a large scratch down your bonnet – your dashcam will have caught the vandal red handed. How about when your car is hit by a delivery driver who’s in a rush, who then drives off? A dashcam will not only capture the impact, it will more importantly capture the registration plate of the vehicle AND provide vital evidence as to who’s responsible – it’s hard to wriggle out of something if you’re caught on camera.
If all that wasn’t enough, having a dashcam recently got one more BIG benefit – It can lower your insurance
How can a dashcam lower my insurance?
Some insurance companies have now realised that if you’ve got a dashcam in your car, then they’re going to get a lot less claims where fault can’t be decided, which means they’ll pay out a lot less 50/50 claims. Not only this, a dashcam will easily show a “crash for cash” type accident, and save insurance companies thousands, if not tens of thousands on whiplash claims.
Benefits of a dashcam in your car
-Prove that you were not at fault
-Prove the third party was at fault
-Capture hit and run style crashes, and identify the culprit
-Prove that a third party intentionally caused a crash “crash for cash”
-Encourage you to drive better – if your journey is being recorded, you don’t want to incriminate yourself by speeding or driving eratically!
Insurance companies have wised up to all of this and slowly but surely, they are begining to adopt a discount scheme for dashcam users.
List of insurance companies who provide a discount for dashcam users
- SwiftCover – these guys were the early adopter and offer a 10% discount for dashcam users (swiftcover.com)
- Axa Insurance – Axa are now offering “up to” 10% off for dashcam users – a professionaly installed camera may get you the full 10% however self installs are also accepted.
- Adrian Flux – Adrian Flux are offering up to 15% off your premium if you have a dashcam installed, they do have an approved dashcams list however it is fairly extensive
- RAC – RAC insurance are offering £30 off your premium if you have an RAC dashcam purchased directly from them, check their terms and conditions before going for this one
We’ll update this list as we find more insurers who are offering a similar scheme. But remember, having a dashcam protects your no-claims bonus too, so even if your insurer doesn’t currently offer a discount, a dashcam could save you money passively! If you’re looking for a dashcam, check out our best dashcams in 2016 post to help you choose.