Dashcams are now available for fairly low prices across the web, making them increasingly common in vehicles throughout the UK.
What are they?
Dashcams are small video cameras that fit to your dashboard or windscreen, and record whilst you are driving. They generally run from the 12v electric port in the front of your vehicle, and start when you switch on the engine, although they can be wired in. They can be purchased cheaply online, although generally it is recommended that you spend a little more to get a high enough quality of image for it to be useful in an accident, or for insurance claim purposes. Insurers may have a recommended or an approved list, and you can compare footage and features online.
Dashcams can be useful for providing evidence in various different circumstances. They can establish responsibility in some driving incidents, and are becoming more commonly used as evidence in insurance claims – particularly those where responsibility is disputed. Previously, if there was not enough evidence to solve claims in which both parts claimed innocence, insurers would often settle on splitting the liability, in which case each driver’s insurer would usually cover damages to their own car – and the drivers often could concede their no claims bonus.
They may also protect drivers from a ‘crash for cash’ scenario, in which drivers deliberately engineer an incident for financial gain (in order to be able to claim compensation for injuries or damage). Again, dash cam footage can be used to prove what happened during/prior to the incident and assess responsibility.
Footage can be used in criminal or civil proceedings and also presented as evidence to insurance companies. Some insurance companies may offer discounts as dashcam evidence provides clarity in situations where settlements might otherwise be split, or to save on legal costs in disputes. This can be particularly useful if you operate a business or motor trade company in which you are responsible for multiple vehicles and therefore vulnerable to multiple claims.
Dashcam footage could speed up and may in some cases aid settlement an insurance claim, thanks to the ability to revisit the accident and assess the incident timeline. Even if your insurer doesn’t offer a discount for having a dashcam installed, it could still protect you from false insurance claims and potentially save you thousands of pounds.