Does installing a dash cam make your car insurance cheaper?

ELLIE MCLACHLAN
Many Australians would install a dash cam on their car if it meant they could get a discount on insurance, new research shows. But before you dash out to buy one, Canstar explores whether insurers actually give discounts to drivers with cameras fitted.
Dash cam car insurance
Many Aussies say they would install a dash cam if it meant cheaper car insurance. Image: Titikul_B/Shutterstock.com.

A survey of 1,109 Australian adults, commissioned by dash cam manufacturer Nextbase, found 40% of respondents would install a dash cam if it meant they would receive an annual discount of $100 off their car insurance premiums.

This figure rose to nearly three in five (59%) of the country’s motorists if they were able to receive up to $150 off their car insurance, although it’s important to note the survey didn’t ask people how much they would be willing to spend to buy the dash cam itself, so that consideration may not necessarily be factored into these percentages.

But can having a dash cam actually get you cheaper car insurance premiums?

An Insurance Council of Australia spokesperson told Canstar that insurers used several factors to determine car insurance premiums, but having a dash cam was generally not one of them.

“Most Australian insurers don’t currently offer insurance premium reductions for the installation or use of dash cams and most insurers will not factor in the use of a dash cam in pricing a policy, because it does not actually reduce the risk of something unexpected happening that could lead to a claim,” the spokesperson said.

Canstar spoke to a selection of car insurers, including RACQ, Suncorp (which includes AAMI, Apia, Bingle, GIO and Shannons) and Youi, and found none of them currently offer discounts on car insurance if you have a dash cam.

However, in better news for motorists looking to save on insurance costs, a Youi spokesperson said dash cams could assist a driver in proving they were not at fault in an accident, and could therefore mean they can avoid having to pay an excess.

Will insurers accept dash cam footage?

Yes, car insurers typically welcome dash cam footage, as it can help their assessors determine the cause of an incident and who’s at fault, according to the ICA spokesperson. In fact, the footage may help a not-at-fault driver keep their no-claim bonus and avoid having to pay an excess, the spokesperson said.

Can dash cam footage help you with your car insurance claim?

Yes, dash cam footage can be helpful in information gathering and fact-checking following a car accident, particularly if it records the time, speed, location and direction of travel on video. But the ICA and insurers we spoke to advise it’s still necessary to get the details of the other people involved and eyewitness accounts.

An RACQ spokesperson told Canstar dash cam footage alone wouldn’t “make or break” who was at fault in a crash, but police and insurance companies could potentially use the vision to conduct independent investigations to find the cause of a collision.

“Motorists shouldn’t rely solely on the dash cam to capture the moment, but should still follow the basics if involved in a crash,” the spokesperson said. “They should ensure they record all relevant details of the crash, including the details of any other drivers involved and their vehicles, get eyewitness accounts, take photos and, if necessary, file a police report. This is often the information most valued by your insurer.”

A Suncorp spokesperson told Canstar dash cam footage is more valuable than witness statements in some cases, especially if it is clear and captures the direct cause of an accident.

Is having a dash cam installed in your vehicle considered to be a ‘modification’ by your insurer?

According to RACQ, having a dash cam installed is not considered a modification to your car, but it’s still worthwhile telling the insurer if you have one.

While it may differ by insurer, RACQ classifies a modification as any changes, alterations or additions to your vehicle that are not part of the manufacturer’s standard specifications and which enhance the performance or alter the safety or handling of the vehicle. An example of this could be alterations or additions that increase engine output or modify body structure, suspension or wheels. Vehicles modified in such ways could potentially attract higher car insurance premiums or affect the driver’s cover, but this generally wouldn’t be the case for dash cams.

“As a dash cam won’t alter the performance, safety or handling of the vehicle it is not considered a modification,” the RACQ spokesperson said. “However, motorists should consider telling their insurance company if they have a dash cam in the vehicle, to ensure it is covered if the vehicle is stolen.”

In deciding whether to purchase a dash cam for your car, you may want to consider whether it is the right option for you, such as by weighing up the cost of the device itself against any potential insurance savings it may provide.


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This content was reviewed by Sub Editor Tom Letts as part of our fact-checking process.