Growing numbers of South African motorists are installing dash cameras in their cars – but apart from recording epic road trips and bad driving clips to share on social media, can they reduce your insurance premium?
While local insurers don’t offer a discount for installing a dash cam, having one in your car can indirectly affect your premium, said Wynand van Vuuren, client experience partner at King Price Insurance.
“In some countries, like the UK, most insurers use dash cam footage in the event of a claim, and many offer discounts to drivers who use a dash cam. In South Africa, you won’t get a discount on your premium for having a dash cam, but it could still be useful in a couple of ways,” said Van Vuuren.
Prove you weren’t at fault in an accident
Dash cam footage can act as an ‘extra witness’ in an accident to help determine who was at fault for the collision. Why is this important? 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, says Van Vuuren.
Avoid ‘cash for crash’ scams
Car crash scams – where 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 then claim it was your fault.
This doesn’t just potentially affect your premium, but that of all policyholders, as inflated and fraudulent claims affect the broader risk pool and thus ultimately increase premiums for all policyholders. Dash cam footage can help prove them wrong, and keep your premium from going up.
Help you become a better driver
Research suggests that people with dash cams 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,” said 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 could help keep your premiums low in the long term.”
And if you want to insure the dash cam itself, it’s simply a case of specifying it under your portable possessions insurance, said Van Vuuren.