Dash cams are ubiquitous in Russia. An entire industry has flourished based on the crazy things these cameras have captured, covering everything from meteors to grand theft auto and insurance fraudsters. In the United States, however, these cams are very rare and are often limited to commercial trucks and law enforcement vehicles.
Unfortunately, as things stand, you can’t get a car insurance discount just for using a dash cam. Lawmakers are trying to change that, pushing through rules that would enforce insurers to offer dash cam discounts, but so far, those laws have not been passed.
However, there are other benefits to owning a dash cam that could save you heaps of money in the long-term.
It Will Eliminate Fraud
Russians are not installing dash cams to enjoy their 15 minutes of YouTube fame or capture the next viral video. They install these cameras to expose the countless crash-for-cash frauds that occur every day, not to mention the many people who throw themselves in front of vehicles, feign injury, and make a claim.
Although these issues are more common in Russia, they still occur in the United States. Estimates suggest that fraudulent property and injury claims cost insurers over $34 billion every year, and while it’s easy to dismiss these losses (who cares about super-rich insurance companies?), they are eventually passed onto consumers.
Known as “fraud tax,” it could increase your premiums by as much as 25%, even if you have never made a claim.
If more drivers use dash cams, this issue will become a thing of the past. Fraudulent claims will plummet, and car insurance premiums will follow.
Dash cams will protect you from personal claims as well. Has someone made a false claim regarding property damage or personal injury? If you don’t have any witnesses, it could be your word against theirs. On the other hand, with a dash cam you won’t have to worry. You can take great pleasure in proving that you’re telling the truth and that the other person is trying to make a fraudulent claim.
It Reduces Car Crime
There was a time, many years ago, when cars with satellite navigation systems were targeted by thieves. They would see the devices attached to the windscreen, perform a quick smash and grab, and sell the device for a couple of hundred bucks on the black market.
For this reason, a small percentage of Americans still live with the fear that having a camera will tempt a thief by giving them something to steal. Regardless, thieves are not interested in your $70 camera.
In fact, dash cams often deter thieves, as they sense they are being watched. It doesn’t even need to be turned on, but if you want a little extra protection, you can opt for a camera with built-in motion sensors. It will switch on when you’re driving and when someone approaches the car.
If a thief decides to take their chances, you’ll catch their crime on video, with every second of footage streamed to your computer or smartphone.
It Helps You to Avoid Wrongfully Issued Tickets
Millions of tickets are falsely issued every year in the United States. You can argue your case, but when you’re going up against the state government, you’re fighting a losing battle.
If you’re backed by dash cam footage, however, you have proof that the ticket was wrongfully issued and can take that proof all the way. You can avoid the fine and any additional penalties associated with it.
If it helps you to escape just a single ticket, the dash cam will pay for itself.
They Are Cheaper!
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, dash cams are cheap and easy to install. The simplest dash cams cost around $70 and work through a USB port. You’ll get a high-quality, long-lasting HD camera that will protect you in the event of an accident or fraudulent claim.
You don’t need to worry about fiddling with the device every day or transferring data. Instead, it simply sits there, does its job, and in the event of an accident or other serious incident, you’ll have access to an HD recording that provides an accurate and honest portrayal of events.
It’s one of those things that you rarely use and may never need, but you will be thankful for if and when you do need it.