To say that a car accident can be a harrowing and stressful time for everyone involved is something of a dramatic understatement. Even if you do (thankfully) manage to make it through such an event without any type of serious injuries, your thoughts almost immediately turn to the next most important issue, which is: “Oh man, what is going to happen to my car insurance rates?”
Questions begin to fill your head along with feelings of anxiety: “Is this going to turn into a ‘he said-she said’ situation?” “Are there serious damages that I can’t see?” “How am I going to pay for all of this?” and “How long is this going to take to resolve?”
To help ease the stress that comes along with that last question, people around the world have been purchasing dash cams in recent years in greater numbers. On the one hand, the logic is sound — if you have video evidence of the exact conditions that caused a wreck, it should entirely eliminate guesswork from the equation. But do dash cams really benefit you in the event of an insurance claim? Do they really help the whole process resolve as quickly as possible?
Dash Cams and Insurance Claims: What You Should Know
According to a recent study from the United Kingdom, the average car accident-related insurance claim takes about 248 days to resolve — which is probably longer than you even thought it would. However, that number can be nearly cut in half if you’ve got the type of HD video that a modern-day dash cam can provide.
So to answer the question “Do dash cams actually help you in the event of an accident?” the answer would be an overwhelming “yes.” However, this isn’t where their benefits end.
Modern-day dash cams do a whole lot more than record your car before, during and immediately after a car accident. Many also have additional features like GPS chips, lane departure warnings, distance warnings and even driver fatigue alerts. Yes, some dash cams actually have a little camera that is facing the driver at all times. If the device sees that your eyes look a little sleepy or if your attention seems to be wandering elsewhere, it can actually sound an alert and snap you back to attention.
What makes all of this important is that a dash cam can act as an independent witness in the event of a car accident. This, in turn, goes a long way toward helping to definitively prove a no-fault accident scenario, which generates a certain amount of protection against fraudulent insurance claims at the exact same time.
Likewise, dash cams can also help you in another way, even if you’re never in a car accident. Many auto insurers in the United States in particular often offer premium reductions for drivers who take certain steps to improve their driving habits. If you lower your annual mileage, for example, it stands to reason that you’re less at risk of an accident because you’re not driving as frequently as the average person.
Buying a dash cam can also help to show your insurer that you’re very serious about safe driving, which could allow you to save money on your car insurance each month. Some companies even offer discounts as steep as 10 to 20 percent if you’ve got a dash cam installed somewhere on your vehicle!
In the end, if you’ve been thinking about getting a dash cam for your car but haven’t yet pulled that proverbial trigger, now would be an excellent time to think very seriously about it. Beyond the fact that they statistically reduce the amount of time it takes to settle an accident claim, they help you (and drivers just like you) out in a wide range of different ways that most people can’t afford to ignore. They’re also relatively inexpensive and getting more powerful all the time, which is a trend that is only going to continue over the next few years.