Installing a dashboard camera can positively impact your car insurance by acting as a witness.
A dashboard camera records what is going on in traffic in front of you and behind you. (Different from a back-up camera /video screen that monitors what is behind you while driving in reverse.) If you are in an accident, a dash cam will have recorded what happened so that police and insurance companies will not have to rely on the testimony of witnesses or the pattern of damage to the vehicle. Additionally, dash cams are very useful for recording interactions with the police, capturing hit and runs, and watching what happens while your car is parked. Also, they can be helpful in providing a statement if you witness a crash.
Although insurers do not currently offer direct discounts to drivers with dash cams, for a small equipment investment ($50-$200) you will enjoy significant dividends including potential cost-savings and priceless peace of mind!
5 BENEFITS OF DASH CAMS:
1. Record of Your Accident: If your dash cam recorded the accident as it happened, the video could help remove or alleviate any question of fault during the claims process. A video from a dash cam might even be able to provide sufficient evidence to speed up proceedings and help you settle the claim faster.
Imagine you were T-boned at an intersection and the at-fault party is providing the police officer a different version of what happened than the version you are telling. Being charged for an accident could not only hurt your driving record, but could increase your insurance premiums. In this case, a dash cam could help provide a clear picture of the events as they unfolded and help prove the other driver was at fault.
$ Being found at fault for an accident could bar you from recovering any damages from the other party’s insurance or require you to pay out of your own insurance coverage for repairs, which typically comes with a premium increase.
2. Fight Insurance Fraud: If someone tries to involve you in a staged accident to receive a fraudulent claims payout, the result can be disastrous. Having a video record of these events could help protect you from financial exposure.
$ A fraudulent claim can cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees and increased insurance premiums.
3. Acts as a Security Camera: If your policy includes comprehensive coverage, then incidents that damage your car while parked such as theft, vandalism, falling tree limbs and damage from fires are generally covered. Acting as first-hand witness, dash cam video evidence strengthens your claim, assists law enforcement to track down the perpetrator and may speed the entire process.
For example, if you come out to your car and find your sideview mirror has been knocked off, you could review your dash cam footage to see the plate of the vehicle that did it.
$ Possible recovery of stolen property and damage reimbursement.
4. Make You a Better Driver: If you are a new driver or have had a few close calls behind the wheel recently, you may want to review your dash cam video to see what could be done differently next time.
$ Safe Driving directly affects the price you pay for car insurance; you may qualify for a Safe Driver Discount.
5. Monitoring Your Teen’s Driving: Due to their lack of driving experience combined with a tendency to make riskier decisions, insurance companies generally rate teenage drivers as high-risk motorists and charge a hefty premium for even basic liability coverage. Although the insurance company will not necessarily lower your costs because you have a dash cam in your teen’s car, your teen may be more conscious while driving knowing that they are being monitored.
$ Extra peace of mind while your teen is on the road is priceless.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Rhode Island?
It is completely legal to use a dash cam in Rhode Island. Recording footage in public places also does not evoke any questions or restrictions on privacy. The dash cam must be positioned correctly and not mounted on the windshield itself. Dash cams may be installed on the dashboard pointing forwards towards the road as long as it does not “obstruct the driver’s clear view.”
Sources: Bankrate, Consumer Reports, World Population Review