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Dashboard cameras and how it helps your car insurance

View from the drivers seat of a car, looking out the front windshield with a dashboard camera

January 10, 2020. In 2018 the average American was photographed by some kind of camera an estimated 75 times as day. In London, England—one of the cities with the most cameras in the world—it was reported that Londoners were photographed 300 times a day. The stated reason for these public cameras is security of the population.

Even with so many cameras recording so much of the activity in any given area, there is still a rising popularity in the installation of dashcams: those small cameras mounted inside a vehicle to record what goes on in and around the vehicle. Despite the rising trend in the appearance of these devices, many people wonder to what advantage the use of a dashcam offers, and what, if any, break an owner of vehicle with a dashcam will receive on their auto insurance premiums.

How the insurance industry looks at dashcams

  • As of 2019 no major North American insurance company offers a discount for having a dashcam in a vehicle.
  • From the insurance industry’s point of view the use of a dashcam has not proven to directly affect the safety of the operation of the vehicle, nor does it directly affect the quality of the driving.

Auto insurance is a numbers’ game

  • A person must remember that insurance is a game of numbers.
  • The more claims an insurance company deals with generally mean more money is paid out; the more money paid out, the higher future premiums become.
  • The poor behaviour of some drivers often affects the cost of insurance of better drivers.
  • Decrease cost of claims; slow the increase in premiums.

Despite the unrecognized direct influence of dashcams on automobile safety, there are some results from the use of dashcams that could affect insurance rates.

Dashcams could help eliminate the ‘fraud tax’ in insurance premiums

  • $34 billion is lost annually to fraud by the insurance industry.
  • Provinces and states with no-fault insurance suffer the greatest losses to fraud.
  • Some estimate that 10-25% of a premium is based on this “fraud tax”.
  • Evidence provided by a dashcam could help expose staged accidents, and may help save a driver a premium increase of a possible 33% had the driver been found at fault in a bogus accident.

Besides helping in cases of fraud, dashcam footage may clearly show evidence of fault in any collision. This helps the insurance assign proper fault and avoid those often bitter “he-said vs he-said” arguments.

Dashcams and faulty traffic tickets

  • Thousands of wrongfully issued traffic tickets are issued every year.
  • Most wrongfully issued tickets are issued from evidence from automated cameras that malfunction, or are improperly set and increase violations.
  • Dashcam evidence may help you avoid paying a fine, and having points put against your license which could increase your premium.

Dashcams and vandalism and break ins

  • Some dashcams can be set to monitor motion and activate to record the attempted theft or vandalism of a vehicle.
  • Evidence of the crime is helpful for the police and when a claim is made to the insurance company.

Dashcams monitor driving habits

  • Since the dashcam visually records how a vehicle is operated, the driving habits of the vehicle operators can be reviewed and perhaps some lessons learned.
  • Driving review is good for every driver to do occasionally, and could be very instructive for new drivers.

Keep in mind that insurance is a numbers’ game, so anything that can help reduce the number or value of insurance claim will benefit all drivers in the long run. Dashcam use and the evidence they provide can have a positive effect on the attitudes in the insurance industry.