Can dashcams reduce your insurance premiums?

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Dashcam footage can act as an extra witness in an accident.
Dashcam footage can act as an extra witness in an accident.

PERSONAL FINANCE


A growing number of South African motorists are installing dashboard cameras in their cars.

Apart from being able to record epic road trips and bad driving clips to share on social media, they could do you and your insurer some good.

While local insurers don’t offer a discount for installing a dashcam, having one in your car can indirectly affect your premium, says Wynand van Vuuren, client experience partner at King Price Insurance.

Research suggests that people with dashcams are safer drivers because they know there’s another set of eyes on them, as it were.

Proving fault in an accident

Dashcam footage can act as an extra witness in an accident to help determine who was at fault for the collision.

If you can show the accident wasn’t your fault, it could help your insurer recover your excess from the other party, and thereby avoid a potential premium increase. It could also help fast-track the claims process.

Avoid ‘cash for crash’ scams

Car crash scams – in which fraudsters deliberately cause car accidents for which you get blamed – are becoming increasingly prevalent in South Africa.

Scammers will brake suddenly in front of you, or pretend to allow you to merge into traffic, but then cause a collision and claim it was your fault.

Read more: When your vehicle insurance leaves you with a shortfall

This doesn’t just potentially affect your premium, but that of all policyholders, because inflated and fraudulent claims affect the broader risk pool and thus ultimately increase premiums for all policyholders.

Dashcam footage can help prove them wrong and keep your premium from going up.

Help you become a better driver

Research suggests that people with dashcams are safer drivers because they know there’s another set of eyes on them, as it were.

“Everybody thinks they’re a great driver, but watching footage of your own driving could be a bit of an eye-opener, and help you change your driving behaviour,” says Van Vuuren.

“It won’t help directly with your premium, but keeping a clean driving record shows your insurer that you’re a lower risk, and this could help keep your premiums low in the long term.”

And, if you want to insure the dashcam itself, it’s simply a case of specifying it under your portable possessions insurance, says Van Vuuren.


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