A simples guide

Black Box Insurance

Black box insurance, also known as telematics insurance was actually first introduced way back in 2008 but it has grown rapidly in popularity in the last few years.

 

It’s simply a way of using clever technology to produce insurance policies that reflect the way you drive. Usually insurers rely on reams of statistics to tell them which class of driver is high and low risk. By using a black box fitted inside your car, or an app on your phone, the insurer will know how you actually drive, and as a result can accurately calculate your risk.   

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How does it work?

First of all you need to have the little black box fitted to your vehicle or you may need to download an app to your phone. The good news is that most insurers don’t charge for this. A black box is about the size of your mobile phone and they are usually hidden somewhere behind the dashboard or under your bonnet.

Where exactly will depend on the make of your car but really, that’s not very important. What is, is that it is hidden. If your car were stolen, your black box could become a very handy tracker to locate it.

Telematics uses mobile technology and GPS tracking to record and send information on how and where you are driving including:

  • The time of day or night you drive
  • The speed you drive at on different sorts of road
  • If you brake or accelerate sharply
  • If you take breaks on long journeys
  • Your motorway miles
  • Your total mileage
  • The total number of journeys you make

 

This information is pulled together to produce a driver score which reflects how you are driving. Usually your insurer will give you access to a portal where you’ll be able to see this information too.

black box

Who is telematics good for?

Black box insurance is good for anyone who would typically find themselves lumped into a class of driver branded ‘risky’. Young drivers, inexperienced drivers, drivers with previous speeding convictions, drivers who’ve had accidents, all of these would typically face high premiums.If you’re in one of these categories or, if you have exceptionally low annual mileage, it might be worth comparing insurers for a quote. 

If you already have full or well developed no claims bonuses there may be little point fitting a black box. You have already proved yourself a reliable low risk driver.Remember if you share the car, the telematics will capture the driving behaviour of everyone who drives the car, so make sure they’re as responsible as you.

What does telematics mean for my insurance cover?

This does obviously depend on how you drive. If you decide to fit a black box and then hit the roads like a rally driver, you could face bad news at the first renewal point. On the other hand, assuming you drive sensibly, there is evidence to suggest that using a black box can in some cases, reduce your premiums by over 40%.

Different insurers have different processes so it is worth checking the details. Sometimes you will need to wait until your annual renewal to make a saving. Others offer monthly adjustment periods where premiums are adjusted based on your driving behaviour. 

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Things to bear in mind

Although there is usually no charge for installing the black box or if there is, it may be included in the total policy, there may be costs associated with removing it this is a requirement of the insurer – check the T&Cs to find out what happens when your policy ends or if you cancel it. This means if you change your car, or change or cancel your policy, you may get a bill. Check the details before signing up.

Some insurers set ‘curfew’ hours on the policy, typically for the hours between 11pm and 6am. If you drive between those hours it may affect your driving score and therefore your premium may be affected. Others will charge you for driving outside these hours. If you think this might be an issue, check the policy terms before signing up.

Wondering if you could save money with a black box policy? Start comparing today and see if you can find the right telematics car insurance quote for you.

 

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