Dashcams are becoming more popular in South Africa, and many motorists want to know whether installing one will affect their car insurance.
We reached out to four local insurers to answer this question.
Discovery said it does not take dashcams into account when determining the monthly vehicle insurance premium for a client on personal cover.
“In the case where a personal lines client has a dashcam and at claim stage, they request that we use footage from it to prove that a third party was at fault, we would consider this as part of information gathered for claims assessment,” said Precious Nduli, head of marketing and technical marketing at Discovery Insure.
On the commercial vehicle insurance side, Discovery provides a “Vitality DriveView” device that sees a dashcam fitted to record views of both the inside and outside of the cabin.
“Having the dashcam may help to encourage the driver to improve their driving behaviour and avoid accidents on the road, resulting in less insurance claims,” said Nduli.
“If all other factors stay the same, lower claims tend to reduce the premium rate.”
If a commercial insurance client wants to utilise a Vitality DriveView device, they must notify Discovery to arrange the installation.
“The primary purpose of using the data from the Vitality DriveView device is to measure driving behaviour and reward good driving. We do not use this data to reject claims.”
Discovery also uses the data to provide safety features to drivers, confirm the time and location of accidents, prove who was at fault, and provide video footage to the client upon request via an online fleet portal.
OUTsurance said that a dashcam will be beneficial to their clients’ insurance premiums.
“Having a dashcam installed does impact a client’s premium favourably,” said the company.
“In order to enjoy this benefit, our clients must let us know that they have a dashcam installed in the car.”
OUTsurance said the dashcam must either film the road in front, or both the front and rear.
“Dashcams installed in cars can be a valuable source of information in understanding how an accident occurs,” said OUTsurance.
“It is also useful when attempting a recovery of damages from any other parties that are liable for the collision. Improved recovery rates have multiple benefits.”
“It is irrelevant if the dashcam is self-installed by a client or done professionally, as long as the purpose of recording the road clearly whilst driving is fulfilled.”
King Price said it does not offer discounts for installing a dashcam, but that having one can “indirectly affect your premium”.
“Dashcam footage can act as an ‘extra witness’ in an accident to help determine who was at fault for the collision,” said Wynand van Vuuren, client experience partner at King Price.
The dashcam footage helps prove who was at fault for an accident, and this helps King Price recover its clients’ excess from the other party – thereby avoiding a potential premium increase.
“It could also help fast-track the claims process,” he said.
Furthermore, van Vuuren said dashcams can avoid “cash for crash” scams where criminals deliberately cause a car accident and then blame it on others.
“This doesn’t just potentially affect your premium, but that of all policyholders, as inflated and fraudulent claims affect the broader risk pool and thus ultimately increase premiums for all policyholders.”
Van Vuuren said the dashcam itself can also be included in your insurance cover under portable possessions.
MiWay said it currently does not offer discounts on “Personal Lines cover”, but that a dashcam can assist the company “in the validation of a claim and shed light on potential liability”.
MiWay said it does, however, provide benefits to clients on its “Business Insurance Product”.
“MiWay commercial transportation clients receive a premium discount for having dashcams installed in medium and heavy commercial vehicles,” said MiWay.
“The discount allocated depends on the type of dashcam installation – road-facing only, road-facing and driver-facing, or a MiWay integrated dashcam solution.”
The company said the fitment of a dashcam will be taken into account when opening a policy, but if an existing business insurance client decides to install a dashcam after the commencement of a policy they will need to inform MiWay in order to benefit.
To qualify for the discounts, the company said dashcams must be professionally installed.
“MiWay will request dashcam footage after any major vehicle incident. If the client is unable to produce dashcam footage for a single-vehicle accident, MiWay will apply an additional excess,” said the company.
“Dashcam footage is highly beneficial to determine the cause of an accident and the subsequent recourse action after the accident,” it said.