Dash Cam Insurance Policy? Here’s How One Could Save You Money

April 17, 2014

Smart Dash CamDash Cam Insurance Policy? Here’s How One Could Save You Money

What is a Dash Cam?

We’re referring to small cameras that are attached to the dashboard of your car and record your driving habits. For the programs that use video, it records driving data by plugging into your car’s computer the way a mechanic does when checking your car’s emissions. The driving data is reviewed by a person at your insurance company on a periodic basis. It’s sort of like auditing your driving.

Some programs, such as the Progressive Snapshot, collect less data. Instead they report back on only the time of day you drive, how many miles you drive, and how many times you brake hard. The data that is used to analyze your driving and the risk you pose to the car insurance company varies from insurer to insurer, so be sure to read the fine print on your policy documents and if possible, speak to your insurance agent and ask them specifically what data their dashboard camera or telematics device collects,

Why would a car insurance company want to use these devices? They recognize that calculations and computations aren’t as accurate as using real data from individual drivers, so a dashboard camera gives them a chance to determine your car insurance premium based on your actual driving habits.

What is the benefit to using dashboard cameras or telematics devices?

Being rated on your actual driving, rather than how statistics and facts suggest that you might drive is the largest benefit. Good drivers can get up to 30% off of their monthly car insurance payment. Another great reason to have a dashboard camera is that it can protect you from insurance fraud or from false testimonies in court cases stemming from traffic accidents. Footage from these cameras makes great supporting evidence should you ever need to protect yourself from either of those scenarios.

For parents, a dashboard camera can be installed to keep an eye on your teen’s driving or their whereabouts. Some cameras can be turned on remotely for added security. These cameras can even be a low-cost alternative to anti-theft devices such as Lo-jack.

Save money on car insurance with a dashboard camera

/>There are a few programs live in the US. The Progressive Snapshot program is one of the ones getting the most attention. This program is aimed at all drivers, but the people who stand to benefit the most are new drivers, seniors, and young drivers as the device shows insurers that the individual driver is safer than statistics suggests. There is a catch, of course: if your driving proves to be worse than the average driver for your demographic (age, local, driving experience and history), then your rates could go up significantly. It’s a bit of a risk, but if you’re a good driver the benefits are substantial.

These programs are still new and not all car insurance providers are offering dashboard cameras or driver monitoring insurance discounts. However, if the Progressive Snapshot program takes off, we expect more insurers will pick up the trend. Already State Farm has added a similar program to their insurance offerings.

Other options

One way you can reduce your premium is by buying a safer car. Often, car insurance companies will offer you a lower premium if your new car has built-in safety features.  Check out our post on new car safety features to learn more.


Car Owner’s Guide

What to do in a hit and run? What steps can you take to prevent auto theft? What can I do to lower my auto insurance payments? Car owners get faced with a lot of questions. Read our Car Owners Guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your car.

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