Dashboard cameras, commonly called dash cams, provide many benefits, such as maintaining a log of video evidence or monitoring a young driver. You may be considering purchasing a dash cam if you drive for work, commute, or were involved in a recent accident. But does installing a dash cam have other benefits, such as a lower insurance rate? Let’s dive into the topic to see how a dash cam can impact both drivers and their insurance.
- Dashboard cameras can provide valuable evidence after an accident, which may help during the claims process to determine fault.
- Although beneficial to drivers and insurers alike, no major company offers a discount for installing or utilizing a dash cam.
- It is possible to find basic dash cameras for around $100. Higher-end models with additional features may cost upwards of $400+.
What is a Dash Cam?
A dashboard camera is a recording device typically mounted on or near a vehicle’s dashboard or windshield that records the road ahead. Most dash cams record onto an SD card on a rolling basis, meaning old footage is replaced with new video. Law enforcement officials have relied on dash cameras for decades to capture evidence during traffic stops. In recent years, however, advancements have made dash cams much more inexpensive and accessible for all types of drivers.
Dash cams come in various shapes and sizes and can have additional features that set them apart from other models. For example, some dash cams may have dual recording features that capture both the exterior road and the car’s interior. Additional features may include audio recording, GPS and speed data collection, and automatic sensors that detect sudden changes in speed.
Do Insurance Companies Offer a Discount for Installing a Dash Cam?
Auto insurance companies provide discounts for many reasons, such as bundling policies or installing anti-theft devices. However, no major insurer currently offers any discounts for installing a dash cam in your vehicle. But that doesn’t mean dash cams aren’t worth purchasing. There are additional ways that a dash cam can indirectly affect your car insurance rate and help you save in the long run.
Having Video Evidence of an Accident
No one plans to get into a car accident, but they still happen. In most cases, accidents occur in the blink of an eye, making it easy for drivers to miss critical details that may have caused the collision. If there is doubt or questions regarding who was at fault for the crash, the claims process can quickly become a messy game of he-said she-said. And if you’re found at fault for an accident, you could face a rate increase at renewal. With video evidence of the accident, however, you can help alleviate any question of fault and help speed up the overall claims process.
In more serious cases, having a dash cam can prevent you from becoming a victim of insurance fraud. One of the most common forms of insurance fraud is a staged collision. This is when a scammer purposefully causes a crash and places the blame on them to receive an insurance payout. Proving your innocence may be difficult if it’s your word against a team of scammers. However, having video evidence of the scam in progress could help you expose it.
Avoid a Faulty Ticket
Despite best intentions, you can receive a ticket for an infraction you did not commit. For example, the Chicago Tribune found that speed cameras were used to issue $2.4 million worth of bad tickets in Chicago during a 2015 investigation. If you’re wrongfully issued a ticket, a dash cam can help prevent consequences in court if the footage clearly shows your innocence. If successful, avoiding a moving ticket can prevent rate increases down the line. Keep in mind that laws may differ depending on your location on how and when such footage can be used in court.
Monitor Driving Habits
According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Because of their lack of experience and increased likelihood of being involved in an accident, insurance companies typically charge a hefty premium for adding a teenage driver to a policy.
Although installing a dash cam won’t directly affect your teen driver’s insurance rate, it can cause them to be more conscious when on the road by knowing they’re being monitored. As a parent, you can routinely examine footage of their driving to catch and correct risky driving habits before a traffic stop or accident occurs.
Even if you don’t have a teen driver, you can always use a dash cam to hold yourself accountable and improve your own driving.
An Extra Set of Eyes When Parked
There are few ways to protect an unattended car. Although audio alarms can scare off potential thieves, they don’t do much to identify the person responsible for vandalism, theft, or a hit-and-run. Some advanced dash cams come with motion-activated sensors that begin recording when they detect excessive motion or vibrations. If you live in an area with a high rate of vandalism or car break-ins, a dash cam could help you catch an offender or even deter them from targeting your car in the first place.
Are Dashboard Cameras Worth Purchasing?
Although dash cams have multiple benefits, not all drivers may consider the investment worth it. Remember, you won’t receive an insurance discount for installing a dash cam. However, having video evidence can be valuable when dealing with insurance claims, identifying a hit-and-run driver, or improving driving habits. Most cameras will fall between the $100 and $200 price tag, making them fairly inexpensive compared to a rate increase after an at-fault accident.
Before purchasing a dash cam, consider the features that are important to you. If you simply want to record a log of your daily commute, an inexpensive model may make more sense.
Review Your Coverage with an AIS Agent
When it comes to saving on auto insurance, one of the easiest ways is to review your coverage and compare quotes regularly. Insurers use a variety of factors to determine your insurance premium, and some may even weigh certain factors more than others.
If you’re considering switching auto insurance companies or want to understand your current options, AIS can help. Our team of insurance specialists will guide you through the insurance marketplace and compare quotes from our network of trusted insurance partners. To speak with a specialist, give us a call at (888) 772-4247 or start a free quote online today.
The information in this article is obtained from various sources and offered for educational purposes only. Furthermore, it should not replace the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.