Can a dash cam make my car insurance cheaper? If that’s a thought you’ve had recently, read on to find the answer.
Dash cams – they’re all the rage these days. Whether it’s watching compilations of crazy footage from them on YouTube, or using your own one to defend against idiots on the road, dash cams have become a notable part of many people’s lives.
If you’ve equipped your own car with one, you might wonder how that impacts you from a legal perspective. Put simply, everything that your dash cam records can be used in court – whether that’s beneficial to you or not. With more evidence at your disposal, it stands to reason that some people might think – or hope – that using a dash cam will help reduce their car insurance premiums. After all, you’re giving the insurer more clarity, and perhaps even presenting yourself as an attentive driver.
However, it’s not quite that simple. The answer to the question really depends on what part of the world you find yourself in.
How dash cams affect insurance in the United States
The harsh reality is that, in the US, you’re very unlikely to find an insurance provider which will lower your premium simply because you’ve installed a camera to your car.
In the long-run though, you may still find that the dash cam helps you out in the insurance department. For instance, if you’re the victim of an accident that wasn’t your fault, and you’ve got camera footage to prove it, the claims process should be considerably streamlined. What’s more, you’re also protected if someone tries to fraudulently claim against you. If they claim you rear-ended them, but you’ve got a recording of them reversing their Nissan Altima into the front of your car, that argument’s only going to have one winner.
How dash cams affect insurance in the UK
Across the pond, it’s sometimes a different story. Unlike in the United States, there is a precedent of British insurance providers (such as Adrian Flux) offering lower fees to drivers that have a dash cam onboard their car. Do bear in mind though that this isn’t across the board – only certain providers offer a dash cam discount, and it may work out cheaper to get your insurance from a different provider even without any price reductions.
If you do opt for a discounted policy based on your dash cam usage, it’s worth noting that there are some responsibilities on your end to consider too. Your insurance provider will expect that the camera is installed in you car every day, 24/7. After all, if you have an accident on a day when you’ve put the camera away, your insurer’s going to have a few questions about the truth behind your application. If an insurer deems that you’ve misled them in any way, you might be forced to pay the discount back, or have your insurance policy invalidated.
Why do some insurance companies offer discounts?
That aside, why do some insurance companies provide dash cam-dependent discounts in the first place? Well, a dash cam offers definitive proof of liability and implies that you’re confident enough to have your driving recorded. Some insurers take that to mean that you’re a safe pair of hands behind the wheel. Also, if your car is stolen, dash cams that livestream footage to cloud storage can help police recover the car too.
So, in summary, British drivers are more likely to be able to benefit from dash cam discounts than their American counterparts, but even still, it requires some fishing around to find the best deal. If you’re UK-based, head over to Confused.com for a quote to see if your dash cam can save you any money.
Are there any negatives to using a dash cam?
It goes without saying that having a dash cam can relieve a lot of stress in the event of an accident that isn’t your fault. But at the same time, footage collected by insurance firms and also the police may also incriminate you. Regardless of whether you feel you were driving within a speed limit or not, video footage doesn’t lie. The leadup and subsequent period after an incident may paint you in a bad light. Particularly those with modified cars who like to use a bit more throttle than others. So remember, it can provide peace of mind, and it can also be your downfall. If an officer decides to pull you over for any reason, they could, with sufficient reason, seize your dash cam as well as the footage to aid their investigation.
Word of advice, don’t sync your speed with the dash cam, or use overlays to display GPS speed if you’re worried.
Looking for a simply plug and play dash cam? Be sure to check out our best wireless dash cam guide.