Monthly Archives: May 2017
Monthly Archives: May 2017
Traditionally, in order to cut your daily car insurance costs, you needed to increase your excess, reduce your annual mileage, possibly add a more experienced driver to your policy or pay for it up front. (rather than making payments in instalments) Nowadays, insurance companies are increasingly willing to knock off as much as 10 to 15 per cent if you install a dash cam in your car.
These devices are now available for less than 20 quid on Amazon. It’s easy to see why about three million UK motorists already own a dash cam. Aside from immediate cost benefits, how could this little device be of use to you as a motorist?
For starters, it might be used to prove an accident was not your fault. This is especially helpful where there are no witnesses. Or if both drivers claim that they are the innocent party. Should your dash cam footage show that you weren’t at fault, you could very likely keep your no claims discount and your excess payment would be refunded. More important than anything, there’s a better than average chance that your insurance premium would not rise at renewal time.
Dash cams are also popular with motorists that are worried about being caught up in a crash for cash game. This is where fraudsters deliberately cause an accident for financial gain. The camera will record footage in the run up to the accident which can show what really happened.
Dash cams use a car’s 12V socket for their power. They can be wired directly into the fuse box. The camera is mounted at the top of the windscreen, most often behind the rear-view mirror.
On an unrelated note, you should also make sure your dash cam doesn’t obstruct your view as a driver. Certain jurisdictions will have specific laws regarding how much space a dash cam or GPS unit can take up in your windshield viewing area.
The dash cam is designed to begin recording when the engine is started and stop when you turn it off. You can also set the camera to operate when it detects motion when the engine is off. This requires the dash cam to be permanently powered.
Most units have a screen to play back footage, but it’s often a lot easier to just remove the SD card and play the recordings on a computer.
Some dash cams are available with GPS, which will record your location and speed. This could get you into hot water if the camera shows you were exceeding the posted limit at the time of an incident. Fortunately, most cameras will allow you to turn off this feature.
While a dash cam may be able to provide information about why a crash occurred, it is in no way designed to stop the crash from happening in the first place.
Cameras don’t prevent accidents from happening, and there is currently no evidence that points to dash cams making people better drivers. So why then would a discount be given? As more and more people are using them, additional data collected may sway things in dash cam owner’s favour. Dash cam footage may very well reduce the time that’s required to settle disputes, and thus push insurance companies to offer those sweet discounts.