The case for dashcams
In just three years, retail analysts GfK say sales of dashboard cameras, or ‘dashcams’ for short, have risen by 600%. Within two years, they claim one in five motorists will have one. But what’s sparked this rise? And are they really as valuable as these analysts say? We think so. Because there’s a lot they could do for drivers.
The biggest boost (and most people’s first thought) for dashcams has been avoiding so-called ‘crash for cash’ scams. This is a type of insurance fraud where dodgy drivers create a crash in order to claim insurance cash from you. By capturing their driving at the moment of impact, a dashboard camera can prove it wasn’t your fault. And that goes for any incident, not just one caused by fraudsters.
Save time, reduce stress
Dashcams aren’t just emergency aids, however. Their footage is useful in much more mundane, and common, accidents. From car park bumps to streetside scrapes, the footage can show context that both speeds up the process and rules out unfair claims. One study found that dashcams reduced the time from insurance claim to payout from six weeks to seven days.
The other big claim is that dashboard cameras could reduce insurance premiums. The theory is that they can help insurers cut costs by reducing fraudulent claims. But also that, like ‘black box’ telematics, they provide insurers with more data to tailor their premiums and policies. However, actual savings, if any, will vary depending on your insurer.
Improve your driving
The bottom line is that, if used properly, these cameras aren’t just safeguards against a claim from a bad driver. They’re a tool that can help you spot your driving blind spots and improve your skills.
To see for yourself how data on your driving can help, download the free O2 Drive app. It will provide journey scores and give you driving tips. It even stores each journey, so you can see the improvement over time.