Overall, car insurance companies determine how much they’re going to charge you every month for your coverage based on the amount of risk you represent. If you’re a young driver, for example, your rates are going to be higher because, statistically speaking, people under a certain age get in more car accidents than adults do. If you drive a particular type of car that is more likely to get stolen, your rates are going to reflect this. If you have a driving history littered with accidents that were your fault or a laundry list of parking tickets, your rates will go through the roof. The list goes on and on.

The point is, car insurance companies don’t like risk — in fact, they hate it, even though it’s essentially the foundation of their business. Therefore, any step that you can take to relieve some of that risk is likely to net you a reward by way of a discount on your premiums. If you go a long period of time without any traffic violations or car accidents to speak of, your rates will likely go down.

All of this is to say, you can add “car insurance discounts” to the long line of reasons that already exist as to why purchasing a dash cam is one of the best decisions you can make with your money.

Your Car Insurance and Your Dash Cam: A Match Made in Heaven

From the point of view of a car insurance company, a dash cam decreases your risk (and theirs) in a number of ways. For starters, if you’re ever in a car accident, it’s far easier to determine who was at a fault if you have a hard drive filled with HD footage that you can easily refer to. Even if it devolves into a “he said/she said” situation, it doesn’t matter — the video footage doesn’t lie. If that accident wasn’t your fault, your car insurance company doesn’t have to pay out a claim — therefore, they’re more willing to pass a little bit of those savings on to you.

Secondly, people are far more likely to engage in safe practices if they know they’re essentially being watched at all times. If you’ve gone out of your way to buy a dash cam, you’re probably not going to speed recklessly all the time or run red lights if you know that dash cam footage may one day be used against you.

If your car gets stolen, that dash cam footage may help the police recover your vehicle — especially if it’s a unit that also has built-in GPS functionality.

These are all of the many reasons why dash cam purchases are a good move to make for drivers, but rest assured that car insurance companies are taking notice too. Many of them are even offering discounts of 10 percent or more if you purchase and install a dash cam with these and other types of important features.

Over the last few years in particular, dash cams have exploded in popularity — largely due to the way they’ve grown far more advanced and far more affordable over the same period. For a few hundred dollars (or less, in a lot of cases), you can get a unit that offers 4K recording, for example. It will also probably have night vision capabilities, allowing you to record crystal clear footage even in the middle of the night. Some models even have a “parking mode,” where the camera will automatically turn on if someone else nudges your car while it’s parked.

So even if you’re unimpressed by all of these advanced features, when you consider that you could potentially save hundreds of dollars per year by way of decreased car insurance premiums alone, it’s obvious that this is one decision you’re definitely going to want to make in the not-too-distant future. Those savings will essentially pay for the dash cam sooner rather than later.