With insurance fraud on the rise, investing in a dash cam could help to prove who is to blame for an accident and settle disputes and claims. But is it really a worthwhile investment and do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
What is a dash cam?
A dash cam is an in-car camera system that makes a video and audio recording of your journey. Dash cams have soared in popularity in recent years, with ownership rising from just 1 percent to 15 percent of UK motorists over the last four years.
You’re likely to have seen the footage from dash cams on social media, the news and crime programmes, but their most practical purpose is to prove who is to blame in an accident and potentially reduce the cost of your insurance premium.
Some dash cams even have a parking mode, which starts recording as soon as an impact is detected. That increases your chances of tracing an individual who clips a wing mirror or scratches your Mercedes-Benz while it’s parked.
The advantages of installing a dash cam
There are a number of compelling reasons why an increasing number of motorists are choosing to install a dash cam:
- Help to settle insurance claims – Dash cam recordings can help your insurer settle a claim. If there’s doubt about who’s at fault for the accident, dash cam footage provides objective evidence that can help to resolve the dispute quickly. If the footage proves the other party was at fault, you may not have to pay your excess.
- An additional security device – Dash cam movement sensors can trigger filming when your car is stationary, potentially deterring thieves. This can also help to detect motorists who damage your car while they’re trying to park.
- Report dangerous driving – The footage produced by dash cams can be used as evidence to help detect and prosecute bad and dangerous drivers.
- Fraud prevention – Insurance fraud is on the rise. Dash cams can protect you against false insurance claims and help to reduce your insurance premiums.
- Memories of scenic road trips – Dash cam footage can be an excellent way to relive some of your most memorable road trips.
And the cons
Unfortunately, there are also a few downsides to installing a dash cam that are well worth considering before you invest:
- The footage is not always definitive – Dash cams do not necessarily capture all the details in the lead up to an accident, nor do they all provide a rear view. That can limit their usefulness in insurance claims.
- Evidence that you were at fault – Incriminating footage is a two-way street. If there’s a dispute about who’s at fault for an accident, evidence from your dash cam could put the blame at your door.
- Increase the risk of theft – Having any items of value on display can increase the risk of ‘smash and grab’ thefts.
- Must be placed carefully to avoid breaking the law – Installing a dashcam on your dashboard might seem like the most logical thing to do. However, it can interfere with the view and make for unsafe driving. Just under the rear-view mirror is one area that can give the dash cam an unobstructed view of the road without infringing on your viewing area.
On the whole, dash cams are a very useful piece of in-car technology, particularly if you spend a considerable time behind the wheel. Not only are they relatively inexpensive but they can also help to resolve insurance claims quickly so you can get on with the more important things in life.