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Are Dash Cams Worth it?

are dash cams worth it

People don’t buy dash cams just to post crazy road videos on Youtube; these recording devices serve a greater purpose. While having a dash cam doesn’t lower your car insurance rates, it can help prove your innocence in a car accident that would otherwise cause your premiums to go up. This post goes over what a dash cam can do for you and help you decide whether or not a dash cam would be worth it in your case.

What is a Dash Cam?

A dash cam is a travel-size digital camera that sits on either your windshield or dashboard. These cameras tend to be the size of a GoPro or Smartphone. An SD memory card is inserted to save the recorded video files. When the memory becomes full, it starts recording over existing media.

A dash cam, depending on the model, can record in 720p, 1080p, and 1440p with some capable of 4k resolution. Dash cams also come with other features that may be helpful, like night vision, 24-hour car monitoring, and real-time tracking. In the age of smartphones, dash cams are now able to connect to your phone via an app where videos can be viewed and downloaded.

How Much do Dash Cams Cost?

You have some options when it comes to shopping for dash cams. You can get a cam with just the essential recording features for under $100. Average prices for these dash cams tend to be around $70 to $80.

However, if you want one with the features discussed in the last section, then you can expect to pay more. Advanced dash cams can go for at least $400, but the features like tracking and parking monitoring can help recover your car if it is stolen. However, you can also meet in the middle of the road. It can cost around $200 for a dash cam with several of the features like 4k, night vision, and car monitoring.

How Does a Dash Cam Work?

Dash cams are mounted on your windshield or dashboard, facing the road where they can record everything. They’re typically powered by 12-volt chargers, so they can be plugged into the cigarette lighter port of your vehicle.

You can also have it wired into the electrical system -this is a must if you want your dash cam to monitor your car while it’s parked. Dash cams that monitor your parked car are able to detect motion near it and any impacts it experiences. If you need to use your footage after a car accident, then you can transfer the video from the card to your computer or phone.

Why is Having a Dash Cam in Your Car Worth it?

There are some reasons why having dashboard cameras can be beneficial. Here is why so many drivers are opting for them.

Have Recorded Footage of an Accident

This can go a long way, especially when you’re trying to prove whose fault the accident was. By finding the driver at fault, insurance companies will be able to resolve the claim properly.

Fault matters because the driver that caused the accident will have to use their own insurance to pay for damages and injuries. Dash cam videos can also help speed up the claims process.

Getting a Ticket Dropped

You may have been pulled over and ticketed for something you didn’t do. It happens; sometimes, the officer doesn’t always see everything. It’s up to you and your dash cam footage to provide them with the details they missed.

A traffic violation or ticket can result in an increase in car insurance premiums. Having it dismissed and proving your innocence is one of the reasons why dash cams are worth it.

Car Insurance Fraud Prevention

There are drivers that will stage accidents with you in order to get an insurance payout. This is a common scam that is estimated to cause $40 billion worth of stolen payouts per year.

Dash cams can help catch the scammers in the act. It helps if the footage shows the suspected driver making erratic turns or stops that cause them to collide into you or you to collide into them. This footage can help you in court or with your insurance provider. You will not have to file a claim with them, which helps your car insurance rates.

Become a Safer Driver

Another great thing about car dash cams is that they are always filming when your car is moving. You can learn a lot about your driving habits by viewing the footage of your casual Sunday drive.

Maybe you spot yourself running a stop sign, or you nearly hit someone after speeding up to an intersection. There’s no learning like learning from your mistakes, and you can do just that with your dash cam. Being a safe driver is a sure-fire way to get lower car insurance premiums.

See How Other Drivers Fare

If you share your car with another driver or have a driver in your household under the age of 25, you can see their driving habits with your dash cam. Young drivers are charged the highest premiums since they don’t have much of a driving record. Thus they have a higher risk of getting into an accident.

Some drivers opt for multiple dash cams in their younger driver’s car, including two-way ones. If a senior driver uses your car, you can also see their driving with dash cams.

Keep in Check With Your Parked Car

You can keep an eye on your car while you are away with the dash cam’s standby camera that films when motion around the car is detected. Even if someone were to steal your car, you could use your dash cam or app to track where your car is heading.

You can also work with your insurance provider and the police department. The police can help you find the thief and your car using the footage, and your insurance provider won’t raise your rates when they see that it wasn’t your fault.

Capture Valuable Footage

You can catch some extraordinary events with your dash cam running almost constantly. You’ve seen all the viral dash cam videos of close encounters with animals, projectiles, or other drivers. The footage of those deers running out in front of your car can save you with your insurance company.

What Are Cons of Having a Dash Cam?

The pros vastly outweigh the cons when it comes to having dash cams. You can save on your car insurance premiums by providing the footage of the accident. If it clears you as the at-fault driver, then your insurance premiums will usually not change.

However, you should be aware of where you place your camera, so you don’t create a significant blindspot. Distraction is a big factor when then comes to having one installed. Another is how dash cams are so out in the open and can’t be hidden under the seats. This can make them appealing to thieves.

Last, your own footage can be a case against you if it shows that you were, in fact, at fault for the incident. This could be damaging if you were sure that you didn’t cause it.

So, is a dash cam worth it? While it won’t directly affect your insurance, it can indirectly keep your premiums in check by providing evidence that you weren’t at fault for an accident.

When your car is vandalized or stolen, it can also be an enormous help. Depending on the jurisdiction, the video may even be admissible in court. Look at dash cams such as the Vantrue X4 ($180), Nextbase 622GW ($400), and Garmin Dash Cam Mini ($90) for the best ones on the market.

Even if you have a less than favorable driving record, Insurance Navy can help you find affordable auto insurance. Get a free SR-22 insurance quote online or call us at 888-949-6289.

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