Is There a Dash Cam Insurance Discount?
There are plenty of reasons to install a dash cam, from filming evidence of an accident to documenting a scenic drive. But many drivers are hopeful that using a dash cam can have a positive impact on their insurance rates. Currently, no major U.S. insurance company offers a dash cam insurance discount for passenger vehicles, although dash cams in the Cobra SC Series family qualify as eligible devices for Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) deductible benefit. That doesn't mean that having a camera in your passenger vehicle won't help with your insurance rates, however.
How Does a Dash Cam Help Insurance Rates?
While just having a dash cam does not lower your insurance, the evidence that the camera in your passenger car provides may help prevent your rates from going up. One of the biggest benefits of a dash cam is its "always-on" nature; if you're driving the car, a video of your surroundings is being recorded. A dash cam can capture first-hand evidence of an accident, dangerous driving, a hit-and-run, or a hazard on the road. If you can provide video footage that proves an accident was not your fault, you may avoid the accompanying insurance rate increase. Nearly every insurer will raise your rates after an accident because you'll be flagged as a "risky" driver; however, if you can show the insurance adjuster that something or someone else was at fault, your rates are more likely to stay the same.
Having a dash cam that offers incident reports can be particularly helpful in streamlining the insurance claim submission process. While incident reports won't get you a dash cam insurance discount, they can speed up the process of proving that you were not responsible for an accident or other incident.
Dash Cams and Traffic Tickets
A dash cam may also help with insurance rates in cases where you've been improperly ticketed by the police. Moving violations – including speeding, running a stop sign or red light, improper lane usage, and reckless driving – can all result in tickets and points against your license, which can lead to higher insurance rates. Exactly which violations and how they affect your insurance can vary by state, but your insurance agent or state motor vehicle department can provide more information.
If you have a dash cam with video evidence to prove that a ticket was wrongfully issued, you may be able to fight it in court. Here are a few examples:
- In cases of a ticket issued by a malfunctioning red light camera, you may have video showing the light was green or yellow.
- If you're mistakenly issued a ticket for improper lane usage after you swerved abruptly to avoid an obstruction in the road, the dash cam video may help get the ticket dismissed.
- Many dash cams with GPS encode the vehicle's speed in the video, and there have been cases in which a driver was able to successfully fight a ticket (or avoid getting one) with dash cam evidence that proved they were traveling within the posted speed limit.
- If your dash cam has a cabin-view camera, it can prove that you were wearing your seatbelt.
- A cabin-view camera can also provide evidence that your eyes were on the road in cases where you might be charged with distracted driving.
Once a ticket is dismissed, it no longer affects your driving record or your insurance. Not only does this save you money, if you drive for a living, it could save your career.