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Holley & Chaparro Introduce Pro-Consumer Bill to Reduce Insurance Premiums for Certain Coverages for Residents Who Use Dashboard Cameras

(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats Jamel Holley and Annette Chaparro recently introduced legislation that would require insurance companies to provide a reduction in certain automobile insurance premiums for residents who have installed dashboard cameras in their vehicles.

Most car insurers offer discounts for vehicles that have anti-lock brakes, air bag and passive restraint systems, and anti-theft vehicle recovery systems. However, the sponsors note that since dashboard cameras are a relatively new technology available to drivers, insurance provisions and regulations for dashboard cameras have yet to be developed in the state.

“Air bags, a collision-avoidance system and dashboard cams are all safety devices created to help decrease accidents,” said Holley (D-Union). “A dashboard camera and the actual video footage it provides of an accident will become an invaluable tool for insurance companies. Consumers who install dash cams in their vehicles should see a discount in their insurance rates for providing such transparency in their driving.”

The bill (A-4192) requires a 10 percent premium reduction for personal injury protection coverage, bodily injury liability coverage, property damage coverage, and physical damage coverage for a named insured who has installed a dashboard camera in the insured private passenger automobile.

Under the bill, the insurer may require reasonable proof that a private passenger automobile is equipped with a dashboard camera and that the camera is in operating condition before providing the reduction in premiums. A visual inspection of the automobile in accordance with the existing provisions of the law would be considered reasonable proof. An insurer may also require proof of ownership of the dashboard camera before providing any reduction in the premiums for that coverage.

“There are many benefits to a driver using a dash cam in their vehicle,” said Chaparro (D-Hudson). “The video obtained from a dash cam can give a clear picture of an accident, hit and runs and even help insurance companies ward against fraudulent claims. Drivers who use dashboard cams are going the extra mile to ensure the safety of their vehicle, themselves and passengers. There should be a discount on insurance premiums for their effort.”

The bill also provides that in the settlement of any claim involving a private passenger automobile, an insurer will review any available images from a dashboard camera (s) installed in any of the motor vehicles to which that claim relates.

The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, in consultation with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, would be directed to establish standards for the size, location and use of dashboard cameras installed in private passenger automobiles. The commissioner may maintain a list of those dashboard cameras approved as conforming to the specifications and requirements established for those cameras.

In addition, the bill specifies that the commissioner may suspend an insurer’s obligation to provide the premium reduction required pursuant to this bill if the commissioner determines that compliance with this requirement will result in an insurer’s financial condition becoming unsafe or unsound.

The bill was introduced on Monday, September 19. It has not yet been referred to a committee.