House Bill 245, sponsored by Rep. Robby Carter, D-Amite, would have required insurers to provide a 5% discount for bodily injury, property damage liability, personal injury protection, medical payments, and collision coverage for vehicles equipped with an operating dashboard camera.
“I’ve seen many cases where because of a dashboard camera you take the guessing out of who was at fault,” Carter told the House Insurance Committee last week. “If that dashboard camera is operating and it’s operating right, you take a lot of the guesswork out. I think it’s the number one preventer of fraud, because if it’s on camera it’s hard to fraud up something.”
He pointed to a report on dashboard cameras from the Department of Insurance that found camera prices range from $80 to $260, and argued the benefits of preventing fraud outweigh the cost.
New York is considering similar legislation, said Carter, who sponsored similar legislation last session.
“I believe if we get enough dash cams in vehicles we will see a market reduction in insurance premiums,” he said.
Several lawmakers in the Insurance Committee generally supported the premise of the bill but questioned whether the 5% discount is actuarially justified.
“Unless we start trying something, we’ll be sitting here 20 years from now and still no incentive to put a dash cam in,” Carter said. “We’ve got to do something to get people to put them in their cars.”
Tom Travis, the deputy commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Insurance, raised issues with provisions in HB 245 that would require the department to create rules to ensure cameras are installed properly to receive a discount.
“We don’t have the expertise to do that,” Travis said. “It would probably be better with the motor vehicle office.”
Representatives from Farm Bureau, American Property Casualty Insurance Association, and others testified against the bill, arguing the discount is not based on actuarial science. The money saved by those who would install dash cams would ultimately come from customers who do not, they said.
The insurance committee ultimately voted 6-6 on HB 245, preventing the bill from moving forward.