A picture is worth a thousand words and having footage after an accident can help you with any sticky insurance claims.
Today’s modern cars are manufactured with high levels of safety. Cars are manufactured with built-in collision systems that are intentionally designed to crumple when there is a significant impact. That crumpling works at protecting passengers but it can also mean that repairing car damage from an accident can run up a big bill.
Even if your insurance does cover it, you may have to pay more for insurance in the future if you can’t show the accident was not your fault. For car incidents involving a dispute or a hit and run, having a dashcam can help you to lodge a successful claim.
Are they legal?
Dashcams have become increasingly popular in Australia and are legal. Similar to other satellite navigation systems, as long as the camera does not obstruct the driver’s vision, or is touched while driving, there is no legal issue. You can record footage anywhere in a public place, however, regulations are different when it comes to driving on private property.
Making insurance claims
Insurance companies in Australia take a fairly relaxed approach (compared to many other countries) when it comes to recorded proof in common car insurance claims. In some countries such as Russia, insurance companies require footage when processing a claim due to the high number of fraud cases.
In some unfortunate situations, another car (and driver) may be the cause of an accident without receiving any damage to that car.
Dashcams can prove useful when disputing speeding tickets such as needing to speed up to avoid an accident or avoiding erratic behaviour of other drivers.
Keep in mind, there may be other situations where having a dashcam may actually work against you. If you are caught for speeding you hold additional evidence on the memory card. If you cause an accident there may be no disputing the facts once the footage is examined.
When another driver on the road intentionally causes an accident in order to receive a payout, it is known as insurance fraud. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon and can be a miserable task for you and your insurance company to go through. Often the claimant will include injuries such as whiplash and back pain in their claim in an attempt to receive an even bigger payment from your insurer.
Capture other incidents
Even if you aren’t involved, having a dashcam installed can increase the chance of capturing other incidents occurring on the road around you. Your footage can assist an innocent party in an accident where they don’t have evidence or can assist police officers investigating road offences.
Documenting a journey
Dashcams can be an excellent addition to holidays and road trips. Enjoy the journey with people you love and the wide open road in front of you can make for a great keepsake. At the end of your journey, you can transfer the footage to your computer. Whether it be some beautiful mountain scenery, or a thylacine crossing the road, add some dashcam footage to your next holiday video.
Buying and operating
The cost of a dashcam is small in comparison to the value it can provide you. Typical prices are about $50-$200 for basic models. Or if you want the best of everything, you could get set up with an ultra high definition front and rear camera for about $1000.
The operation is normally quite simple. Most dashcams can be set up to operate automatically when your vehicle is in use. In other words, the camera will start recording each time you start using your car. Once you are set up you only need to attend to the dashcam if you ever need to transfer some footage to another device.
Why don’t new cars have dashcams?
Some new cars actually do. Increasingly, new cars may include front and rear cameras that record footage in addition to serving other purposes. Or, those options may not be included with a base model but may be available as optional extras. If that is something you want in your next car, have a chat with your car brokerabout the options available to you. Happy motoring!