Can I get a discount on car insurance with a dash cam?
Dash cams can help insurers work out who’s at fault in an accident. Some may even offer discounts to dash cam owners. Here’s what you need to know.
Compare car insurance quotes
What is a dash cam?
A dash cam is a small camera that attaches to your car's windscreen.
Sometimes two cameras are included. One records out of your front windscreen, the other records out of your rear windscreen.
They constantly film the road, so any crashes or bumps are captured on the camera.
What are the benefits of dash cams?
Dash cams are designed to capture footage on the road. If the camera captures an accident, the footage can be used to determine who’s at fault.
This helps the authorities and insurance companies resolve the incident quickly and efficiently.
‘Crash-for-cash’ scams still happen on our roads. This is where fraudsters deliberately crash their car for an insurance pay out.
They’ll try and pin the blame on you for the accident, so having a dash cam can help prove the accident was deliberate.
Some dash cams have GPS tracking and location settings installed, giving information on where and when the accident happened. The more detail you can give to insurers and the authorities the better.
Most dash come with a parking monitor. When your car’s parked, the parking monitor should automatically turn on. The camera senses the motion of the car being broken into, triggering the camera and capturing thieves in the act.
Parking sensors are often built into dash cams too, helping you get into those tricky parking spaces.
You might get cheaper car insurance as well.
Is car insurance cheaper with a dash cam?
Insurers do look favourably on dash cam users, so they might offer you a discount. It shows them that you’re willing to have your driving scrutinised - the camera doesn’t just record other drivers.
In this sense, it’s like having telematics - or a black box - fitted in your car, so it's worth mentioning when you're getting your insurance.
Our car insurance expert Alex Kindred says:
"If a customer is willing to have their driving recorded, it demonstrates to an insurer they regard themselves as a more accomplished driver.
"But there are lots of dash cams available, with varied picture quality, and the insurers who are now offering discounts will only do so based on the higher-quality cameras."
This sounds obvious, but insurers and the police will need to be able to see what’s happening on the road in the footage.
Make sure the camera records in high quality and you have a clear shot of the road ahead. You can check your shot in the camera’s built-in display.
You also need to make sure it’s on and recording when you’re driving.
It’s important to remember that if you make a claim and you don’t have dashcam footage to support it, you may have to repay any insurance discounts. It could also invalidate your policy.
Read more: How to get cheaper car insurance
Can I use dash cam footage to support my insurance claim?
Most insurers are happy to use dash cam footage to support insurance claims, as they’re more reliable.
Geoff Rolls is a psychologist from the University of Southampton.
He says: "Traffic accidents happen so quickly and cause such stress that it's highly likely the recollections of the people involved will be sketchy, even without considering that people naturally interpret things to their own advantage.
"Dashcams provide a solution to this problem, and can even discourage dangerous or inconsiderate driving by making motorists accountable for their actions."
Where can I send my dash cam footage?
If you’ve got footage of a traffic accident or incident, you can submit your footage to The National Dashcam Safety Portal.
The portal makes it easy for road users to submit footage of dangerous drivers to their local police force.
Are dash cams easy to install?
It’s relatively straightforward to install a dash cam.
Usually, both the front and rear cameras come with suction cups that you attach to your window.
Make sure that you have a clear shot of the road and the camera isn’t blocking your view.
What features should I look out for in a dash cam?
Before you get your dashcam, check the following:
What quality does the camera record in? Generally, the higher the quality the better, usually 1080p will work. You’ll get a clear picture so insurers can see exactly what’s happening in the footage.
Does it have a G-sensor? This automatically detects moments of high impact. The camera will store these moments to use later, even if the SD card is full.
Does it have GPS tracking? Some cameras have a built in GPS system that shows exactly where and when the collision took place.
Is the SD card included? Footage from the camera records onto an SD card - you may have to get this separately.
Starting to see the benefits of a dash cam? Our selection of best dash cams for 2021 can help you pick the right model.