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Dashcams and car insurance

Dashcams may not save on your premiums, but it can support your car insurance claims.

These tiny dash cameras could help you with insurance in several ways, like giving proof for your insurance claim after an accident. But if you’re going after a safe driving discount, a telematics insurance program might serve your purpose better than a dashcam.

Can I get a dashcam discount on my car insurance?

No, insurance companies don’t offer discounts for installing a dashcam in your car. However, this camera could prevent you from taking the fault for a car accident, saving you money on raised insurance premiums. Plus, a dashcam can benefit you in other ways:

  • Filing a claim. A camera might capture accident details that pinpoint who’s at fault or the extent of a car’s damage.
  • Proving fraud. It can give visible proof of staged accidents, helping companies fight insurance fraud.
  • Avoiding rate hikes. If a dashcam proves your innocence, you could avoid an increased premium or losing your no-claims bonus.
  • Improving your driving. You may drive more defensively knowing your camera is capturing your actions as well as other’s.
  • Keeping tabs on other drivers. A dash camera can show that your teen driver is taking precautions on the road.
  • Watching over your parked car. Some dash cameras have motion detection that enables them to record when your car is switched off. This can give you footage of a vandalism or theft attempt, including the person’s identity.

What is a telematics discount?

Telematics devices still provide proof of your driving habits, but insurance companies use them differently. For one, the device doesn’t gather video, rather it monitors your speed, mileage, braking and number of trips to give insurers more information about your driving.

Using a telematics device can lead to a personalized assessment of risk, plus suggestions for improving safety. Many companies also offer a safe driver discount just for signing up for the program. If you’re using a pay-as-you-go insurance, the device also helps you pay only for the miles you drive.

How can a dashcam save money after an accident?

You could save money if the dash camera proves you’re not at fault for an accident. A standard at-fault accident could increase your rate around 30%. Serious accidents involving bodily injuries or DUIs could hike a premium above 50%.

The US is lagging behind other countries where dashcams can net you discounts of 10% or more. No major car insurer offers discounts yet, but that could soon change. The popularity of telematics devices have increased in the past few years alone, and dashcams and their related discounts could be soon to follow.

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How do I submit dashcam footage?

Typically you can send a copy of the video recording to your insurer on a USB drive, CD or upload link. Keep the dashcam and the original video with you.

Which dashcam should I get?

The best dashcam in a claim would be one that records from multiple angles, or one dashcam in the front and one in the back. The most common crashes are rear-end and t-bone angles, where a standard dashcam may not capture the incident. For full coverage, it’s best to look at models with a 360-degree view or install multiple cameras.

Fancier models include multiple lenses, to give a view of the passenger cabin as well as through the windscreen. They may also have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity and 360 views.

When selecting a dashcam, look for models with GPS which stamp the speed, location and direction of travel on to the video file. Also, make sure you spend time looking at video samples on YouTube, both during the day and at night. Cameras with a wide dynamic range will be able to adapt to differing light levels to film usable footage. 4K cameras or those with a resolution of 1,080P HD provide the most detailed videos.

Don’t forget to grab a good quality SD card that is compatible with your dash camera. The higher the MB/s writing standard, the less likely the camera will drop critical frames and the higher the storage capacity, the more footage you can record. 4K is best for digital enlargement of licence plates.

You can get a dashcam from $30-50 for a basic model on up to $300 or more for a high-end camera.

Is a dashcam worth it?

A dashcam could save your skin after an accident, but not everyone will benefit from video monitoring. Factors to consider about getting a dashcam:

  • You may not get an insurance discount. You may not see savings on your premium from your insurance company.
  • You live in a no-fault state. Companies in no-fault states don’t investigate who’s at fault in an accident, making a dashcam less worthwhile.
  • You don’t drive that often. The less you drive, the less chance you’ll need proof of what happened in an accident.
  • You’re not guaranteed savings. You may not need proof if you’re not involved in an accident, and dashcams can range from $50 to $300.

Bottom line

Dashcams may prove your innocence after a car accident or fraudulent claim, but insurers don’t usually offer discounts for having one. Instead, you can shop multiple providers to see what other discounts you might qualify for.

Frequently asked questions about dashcam discounts

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