As technology evolves, auto manufacturers are constantly coming up with ways to make their vehicles safer for drivers. One of the newer things that select companies are doing is installing a rear view camera (also commonly called a “back up camera“) on new cars. A rear view camera basically allows the driver to see what’s going on behind their vehicle. The reason that they were installed was to prevent people from hitting people (i.e. small children), animals, and other vehicles when backing up. The camera takes up a small portion of most rear-view mirrors and helps the driver get the total picture of what’s going on behind them.
Does a rear view camera lower car insurance rates?
Although it would make sense that having a rear view camera installed on your mirror would result in lower rates (because it is an enhanced safety feature), most insurance companies will not give you any special additional savings because you have one installed. The reason that rates are not lower compared to vehicles without this specialized technology is because there is not conclusive evidence that they significantly increase safety. If they increased safety to the point that it saved insurance companies thousands of dollars per year, there would likely be a discount.
Don’t car safety features always lower insurance rates?
Keeping your vehicle as safe as possible and reducing your threat to others on the road will lower your rates. However, simply having a rear view camera installed doesn’t significantly decrease the number of insurance claims in comparison to vehicles without them. The reason for this is because most people take precautionary measures and do a thorough check behind them before backing up.
Looking at the official data and statistics
Personally, I think that the cameras are a great feature and do have a lot of safety potential. If we look at evidence collected by the U.S. government, there are nearly 200 fatalities and over 15,000 injuries as a result of drivers backing up their vehicles. These are commonly referred to as “back over accidents” and the great majorities (unfortunately) involve younger kids.
Since there really is no conclusive evidence that having rear view cameras prevents enough of these accidents, most insurers do not give out specialized discounts. A day may come when they decide that the rear view camera technology is a significant enough safety device to offer additional savings so don’t get your hopes up.
Rear View Mirror Back Up Camera with GPS: New Vehicle Technology – A general example from MediaViewTech (Video)
Could my rates increase as a result of having a rear view camera installed?
What may sound odd is that your rates could actually increase because you have a rear view mirror camera installed. It is a nice feature and can be very helpful to increase safety, but they do increase the vehicles overall net worth. Since each of these cameras can cost anywhere from $350 to $600 to install, they will definitely jack up the overall cost of an insurance claim. Think about repairing the camera system if it was damaged in an accident – it’s not going to be cheap for the average person.
Not only do they add value to the vehicle of your car – which could increase your insurance rate, but they are becoming a common target for advanced street thieves. Although it is unethical to steal, many people are breaking into vehicles and targeting their camera system to sell for money. Anytime there is some cool technology added to cars that’s worth a decent chunk of change, you can be that thieves will be lurking to capitalize.
So because of thieves as well as the price of your vehicle being enhanced by the rear view camera, your insurance rates could actually go up!
What safety devices will reduce my car insurance costs?
Since you may be frustrated that having a rear view camera doesn’t lower your rates (and may actually increase them), you probably are wondering what you can do to save money. What types of safety features will legitimately lower your insurance premiums? Well, there are still some great ways to save by enhancing the safety of your car. Below I’ve highlighted five of the more common ways to increase your safety and save additional money through your insurance company.
5 Additional Ways to Reduce Your Premiums with Safety:
1. Antilock Brake System – Having ABS (Antilock Braking System) really increases safety when it comes to stopping on slippery roads. In wet and winter conditions, this could really be a life saver and the statistics prove that it’s safer. You will reduce your risk of accidents with safer braking.
2. Car Alarm – Having a car alarm that works to prevent theft is always a good thing. I know you probably don’t want your vehicle to get stolen, but neither does your insurance company. They may reduce your rate for having a quality alarm installed.
3. Installing Airbags – I already wrote an article answering the question of whether having airbags installed will lower car insurance rates. The truth is that if you have airbags, you are more protected from fatal accidents as opposed to someone who doesn’t. Your insurer will reward you in savings for having these.
4. Crash Safety Rating – Driving a vehicle with a good crash safety rating (as opposed to one with a low rating on the scale) will save you more money. It’s common sense to realize that the safer you are in the event of a crash, the lesser the amount of money an insurance company will have to pay out.
5. Vehicle Storage – Something as simple as storing your car in a parking garage will save you money as opposed to parking out on the street. If you aren’t already storing your vehicle in a reliable place, it is recommended to do so to save.
Final thoughts on the emergence of rear view cameras
Although you may be paying more for insurance as a result of having a rear view camera, most people that have it installed really love the feature. One of my friends has the rear view camera in their car (a Lexus) and I think it’s awesome that they can see a clear view of the road when backing out. You still do have to check your blind spots and actually physically turn around, but cameras do help prevent accidents.
Hopefully one day they will come standard and insurance companies will realize that they enhance safety. If you would like to get a quote from the top insurance companies and ask more about these cameras (or just find the best possible rate), please use the quote form at the top of the page and enter your zip code – it’s a completely free tool for the people!