Will a dash cam help your insurance claim?

In a bid to protect themselves, drivers are turning to dash cams. But how useful is the footage? Is it rock-solid evidence for your insurance company?

Answer: Insurance companies, like RACQ, say dash cam footage can be used for claims but insist it isn’t a necessity. If the footage is available and offered up it will be considered. But won’t necessarily make or break your case.

Investigations are carried out so that insurance companies can get to the bottom of why a collision occurred. The footage might show what happened but not the lead up to or the why, which is the fundamental issue when deciding who is at fault. The footage might not also show the entire event: if your dash cam is pointing forwards and you’re hit side-on, it may only capture a portion of the incident.

Police also say they’ve considered dash cam footage in the past when investigating a traffic incident. But any dash cam footage is only part of their investigation.

The advice from the experts? Instead of relying solely on the dash cam to capture the moment, stick to the basics. Make sure you record all relevant details of the crash and other drivers, get eye witness accounts, take photos and file police reports. These are your true and trusted methods, and the information most valued by your insurer.

Things to take note of:

  • Motorists need to ensure their dash cam doesn’t obstruct their view and that they’re not touching it while driving. If you’re distracted from the road because you’re pressing record or changing the position of the camera, you could be accused of driving without due care and attention, or driving while not having proper control of the vehicle.
  • Dash cams utilise loop recording. This means they’re constantly taping over the oldest footage stored. So, if you’re planning on keeping vision for an insurance claim make sure you save it before it’s deleted.
  • Dash cams vary in the way they operate and in price. Consider what you want if you do plan on buying one. You can nab a bargain at about $60 for the cheapest type, to in excess of $300 for more advanced models. Some have night and sound recording capabilities, others front and back facing cameras and a few are GPS enabled, taking account of where the bingle occurs.