Why drivers with dash cams deserve insurance discounts
Dash cams act as an added layer of protection for drivers by recording video footage in the case of a potential accident. They can be mounted on the windshield of any car, and many dash cams also have a rear component to monitor activity from behind. When an accident occurs, drivers can send unbiased video evidence backing their claims to insurance companies, thereby determining which party is at fault. BlackboxMyCar customers have proven time and again that dash cams can only be beneficial for Insurance companies such as ICBC, saving them time and money while potentially speeding up the claim process.
Without a doubt, dash cam popularity has risen exponentially in recent years, yet why are North American insurance companies failing to get behind this growing phenomenon? Companies have yet to extend car insurance discounts to dash cam buyers despite their numerous benefits.
Here’s why BlackboxMyCar thinks ICBC should be the first:
Encourages safer driving
Dash cams can be used as a tool to encourage safer driving on the road, the introduction of advanced tracking technology known as ‘advanced driver assistance systems’ warns drivers when lane changes occur, when red lights are run, and monitors the car’s overall interaction with surrounding traffic. Some dash cams also have built-in detection for driving speed vs speed limits, break force and timing, as well as for driving time and distance. These ADAS systems have a number of other valuable features like forward collision warning systems (FCWS), which warn drivers when they’re too close to the car ahead. An audible alert and a screen warning will encourage safer driver distances when unintentional tailgating begins to occur. Fundamentally, by nature, humans behave differently when they know they’re being monitored.
Both young and experienced drivers can benefit from this black box technology; as well as promoting safer driving amongst dash cam users, they can likewise encourage safer driving amongst fellow motorists, acting as a physical reminder to take greater care on the roads.
As more and more consumers seem willing to invest in this innovative technology to prove they are safe drivers, it stands to reason that insurance companies like ICBC should provide some sort of compensation in return. While ICBC does currently offer up to 30% in discounts for being accident free, we have to ask why they refuse to provide a similar concession for dash cam owners?
Other countries are ahead
North American insurance companies like ICBC continue to lag behind when it comes to compensating dash cam owners. While they welcome dash cam footage as viable means to support a claim, they neglect to instill a reimbursement or discount program for dash cam users. AXA Insurance, a London UK based company, offers 10% discounts to drivers who have a professionally installed dash cam. They recognize the value in this small device in providing a long term return on investment for both insurance companies and drivers.
Another valid example comes from Korea, where there is an annual premium discount and reduction in insurance rates for registered vehicles equipped with dash cams. By 2011, there was a reported 1.5 million dash cams installed in vehicles throughout South Korea, which was years before any interest in this technology even reached North America. As a result of dash cams becoming more mainstream in South Korea. traffic accidents were reduced by 17.7%, deaths caused by car accidents reduced by 18.9%, and casualties lowered by 19.1%.
These statistics not only show a substantial reduction in the number of car accidents, but also the amount of injuries sustained and deaths overall. A Korean Transport Institute study commissioned by the Department of Traffic Safety also shows:
- Insurance companies in South Korea have premiums with 3-5% discount for vehicles equipped with a dash cam
- For example, Hyundai Hicar Direct Auto Insurance Co., Hanhwa Insurance: gives a 5% discount for dash cam usage in everyday cars
- Assuming that all vehicles in South Korea have a dash cam installed (assuming $200 per vehicle), the benefit of this is assumed to be a reduction of about 10% in traffic accidents. The nationwide cost of traffic accidents is $12,959,900,000 annually
If the benefit of having dash cams is $1.3 billion annually, over a 5-year period, $6.5 billion can be saved. As there is a significant overall cost benefit for Korean drivers overall, there is an argument of cost benefits outweighing any installation and investment costs associated with dash cam technology.
Helping hit and run situations
Did you know that dash cams can help protect your car while it’s parked? Some cameras have built in “parking surveillance” or “parking mode” options, meaning they can run while your car is parked and protect your vehicle from hit-and-run situations. Some dash cams also have advanced infrared sensors for recording at night and in bad weather. Collecting footage that proves you have been the victim of a hit and run, could discourage dishonest drivers and help penalize them with video evidence. Wouldn’t it be nice if the insurance premiums of hit and run drivers were the only ones impacted as a result of their dishonest actions? Investing in the right device for your needs is an added protection for your car. When it comes to renewing insurance, if hit and run victims could prove they were not at fault, premiums wouldn’t have to raise, deductibles wouldn’t be affected, and drivers could continue without affecting the “no claims bonus” already provided by insurance companies.
Story after story has surfaced of fraudulent claims made by drivers to take advantage of insurance companies. This includes staging accidents or pedestrians who purposefully run into the path of oncoming vehicles so as to claim personal injury. Fraudulent claims are the hardest cases to prove. As the sole insurance provider for BC residents, any excess payments awarded by ICBC for fraudulent gain can negatively impact our premiums and payments.
A CBC News report stated that:
- Opportunistic fraud was the most prevalent exaggerating the extent of one's injury
- Premeditated fraud was less prevalent staging an accident
- Fraud was more widespread in major cities and towns
A consumer group study conducted by the Canadian auto insurance industry also found that one in four claims have “elements of fraud.” This means that insurance companies like ICBC are progressively losing money for vehicle accidents when it could be avoided. The existence of video testimony can serve as substantiating evidence and could prevent fraudulent claims from happening in questionable situations.
ICBC’s take on dash cams
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, better known as ICBC, has finally weighed in on the dash cam phenomenon. In an emailed reply to ‘The Province’, an ICBC spokesperson stated that "Driving is a complex task that requires our full attention" and “while it is not illegal to have a mounted camera in a vehicle...we don't encourage the use of any electronic devices while driving because there is always the potential for it to be a distraction." However, there is an overwhelming lack of evidence to prove that dash cams are a distraction for drivers.
A 2017 study conducted by JamPR surveyed over 800 adults, the majority of whom were drivers, asking their thoughts on whether or not dash cam owners should get a discount on their car insurance.
- 70% of people polled agreed that ICBC should provide a discount to drivers with a mounted dash cam in their vehicles
- 35% of those “strongly agreed” with this thought. After all, why wouldn’t ICBC want to reimburse dash cam owners?
The concerns listed in this article are certainly nothing new to drivers in large cities like Vancouver; these issues are going to keep occurring and will most likely never stop unless something changes. While we can’t declare that dash cams would completely eliminate fraudulent claims and hit and runs, if ICBC had a viable program in place for dash cam users, we are confident that the number of claims would drastically decrease, as demonstrated by other countries around the world.
We are in possession of valuable technology which effectively encourages safer driving, reduces the power of fraudulent claims and acts as an impartial witness in accidents, yet this all comes at an additional personal expense. North American dash cam owners are literally paying out of their own pockets to protect themselves while on the road; BlackboxMyCar has to ask when will they be rewarded for taking extra safety measures to encourage higher standards of road safety? When will they see an insurance break or reimbursement policy for purchasing dash cams? They shouldn’t have to pay hundreds more in order to feel safe on the road or prove their innocence when accidents happen. Taking road safety seriously should be actively recognized and rewarded.
As ICBC is already in a $1.3 billion deficit, it will certainly be interesting to see in the coming years if any North American insurance companies will follow in the footsteps of Asia and Europe by offering a reasonable discount in car insurance.
We at BlackboxMyCar continue to lobby for fair compensation for dash cam owners everywhere. We want our Insurance companies to wake up and publicly acknowledge just how valuable this technology can be, offering a physical return on investment for our customers.
Don’t have a dash cam yet but want to become part of this growing movement for increasing road safety? We can help!
BlackboxMyCar aims to justice in any wrongdoings, careless driving and criminal activities on the road by providing products that effectively protect our community.
As North America’s largest supplier of dash cams, our main priority remains the safety of our customers, so we are pleased to offer a complete service from research to installation. Choosing the right dash cam is no less important than purchasing the car it will be mounted in; you need to be sure that you’re getting a high-quality product that will perform well under pressure. Given the sheer number of dash cam brands on the market, and a constant stream of new models emerging each year, it is certainly easy to feel overwhelmed by choices.
This is where BlackboxMyCar comes in
Let our patient and attentive sales team guide you through the buying process, helping you select a dash cam that is best suited to your needs and your price range. We have a wide range of cameras and accessories so we are confident that we have something for everyone! Once you’ve picked the right camera for you, we offer local installation services or even provide easy step-by-step video instructions which can guide you through the setup process. Finally, our knowledgeable support staff are always on hand to help you troubleshoot and answer any questions you might have post-purchase.
If you are not 100% satisfied with your dash cam, then we are not doing our jobs correctly! We have witnessed time and time again how a dash cam can protect our customers on the road, so you can trust that we sell only the most reliable products on the market.
Visit us in-store or online, and protect your car today!