Posted on 14th May, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
We’ve covered the steady rise of dashcams before on our blog, and how they’re being increasingly used by everyone from private motorists to larger commercial vehicles. There’s no question that they’re becoming a more popular type of vehicle camera than ever before; their practical advantages are clear when it comes to proving liability in court, saving drivers and fleet managers a lot of time, money and hassle.
For similar reasons, some car insurers offer discounts on premiums for vehicles who have them, which can be exceptionally good news for HGV drivers and fleet operators. It’s not a hard and fast rule, though, so it’s always best to do some research beforehand. To help you with that, we’ve covered some of the answers to your key questions below.
It’s relatively straightforward, really. As far as insurers are concerned, if a customer is willing to have their driving recorded, that’s a good-faith demonstration that they fully intend to drive safely and confidently. Other, similar telematics devices such as black boxes are already well-known for taking the edge off insurance premiums – they’re are even mandatory requirements under certain policies – and most dashcams fall firmly into the ‘telematics’ category for the vast majority of insurers.
It’s not just insurers who regard them positively – a big proportion of drivers favour them, too. Nextbase, a dashcam manufacturer, conducted a survey and found that almost half of their respondents thought driving standards would improve if dashcams were widely fitted. They also found that almost 40% of motorists would feel personally safer driving with one fitted.
As you might expect, the answer varies between insurers. Back in 2014, though, Swiftcover was one of the first major insurers to start offering discounts for drivers who owned a dashcam. Initially, this discount was as high as 12.5%, as Swiftcover’s position was that dashcam owners were more likely to be careful on the road.
A few years have passed since then, so you might not be necessarily able to benefit from quite such significant discounts these days, especially with the steadily rising numbers of dashcams on the roads today. The general rate of discounts at the time of writing can be anywhere from 5% to as high as 25%. The quality of your dashcam can be a factor now, too. Higher quality dashcams which are capable of capturing a clearer image are likely to help you secure higher discounts than the budget versions of vehicle cameras. The number of vehicle cameras can also be a contributing factor – while drivers of regular cars will usually find that one dashcam is sufficient for their needs, HGVs who have covered all available angles of their vehicles with a network of vehicle cameras can also benefit from decreased insurance premiums as a result.
However, on the other hand, there are also insurers who don’t think that vehicle cameras are enough to significantly reduce the risk from individual drivers though, so even if you’ve got a dashcam fitted, it might not necessarily entitle you to a discount!
Obviously, we’ve already covered the biggest one – your dashcam won’t just be recording the behaviour of other drivers, but yours as well. If you’re a driver, it’s important to bear that in mind, whereas if you’re a fleet manager it can also be a handy way to make sure your drivers are adhering to the appropriate motoring laws and company ones too (for example, taking appropriate breaks where required).
If you’re planning on getting a dashcam or other vehicle camera to reduce your insurance premiums, it’s important to make sure you’re actually in possession of it before the start date of your policy. If you’re found to be driving without the vehicle cameras specifically stipulated by your policy (or even the wrong type of cameras), not only will you have to repay any discounts, but it could even invalidate your policy, leaving you vulnerable to legal repercussions. The vast majority of fleet managers won’t need this reminder, but it bears saying nonetheless!
Finally, before you commit to any policy, make sure you do the maths. If you’re only looking at the costs of premiums, the cost of buying the specified dashcam might actually end up outweighing them. If you’re already equipped with vehicle cameras and other safety technology, it might be wise to choose your policy based on other considerations.
Here at Vision Techniques, we have a wide array of vehicle safety technology (including vehicle cameras) to help you get up to speed. Vehicle insurance aside, the safety benefits of dashcams and vehicle cameras cannot be overstated, which is why they’re a key part of our product offering here. You can browse our full range of vehicle safety products here, or call our friendly sales team on 08452 875 578. We’re here to help!