Black Box Insurance Guide

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Written by Michael Foote, founder of Quote Goat, has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

A Guide To Black Box Insurance

The adoption of black box technology has boomed in recent years. This new technology brings down insurance prices (for good drivers) at the cost of being monitored. Naturally, this sudden uptake of new technology has led to drivers asking a host of questions which we hope to answer in this article.

Introduction to black boxes

Black boxes or telematics are a new type of technology that monitor a person’s driving ability. At first glance, you may sigh at the idea of being tracked by yet another piece of technology, (I know I did), but they can help to address a big problem – the seriously high cost of young driver insurance. Insurance for young drivers is currently £1400 a year on average, nearly double that of the average driver.

Why? Young drivers are much more likely than any other group to be involved in an accident (1 in 4) and to cover the cost of these claims, insurance providers must charge more. However, instead of charging all young drivers more, black box technology makes it possible to reward young drivers that are more cautious on the roads and therefore lower costs for those who are less likely to make a claim. It makes insurance fairer for everyone.

What does a black box do and what does it monitor?

Black boxes relay driving data back to your insurance provider. Your performance is then typically ranked & the top x% are rewarded for safer driving.

The key areas that black boxes monitor are:

  • Steady braking: slamming your foot on the brake regularly demonstrates that a driver is distracted and/or not providing enough room in front of their vehicle.
  • Speeding: Perhaps the most obvious data point; breaking the speed limit regularly is more likely to result in an accident.
  • Speed round corners: Taking corners at a slower speed demonstrates control & safety awareness.
  • Vehicle location: Insurance prices vary depending on where a vehicle is kept overnight and more generally where it is driven. This data point tells the insurance provider if a vehicle is kept at the address provided on the policy. Side note: this data can also be vital if a vehicle is stolen.
  • Time of day that the vehicle is driven: Driving at night increase the chance of an accident so black boxes often discourage late night driving, which can negatively affect your performance score
  • Mileage: The more miles you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.

Is black box insurance cheaper?

Yes and no. Black boxes reward safe drivers. If a driver is sensible, it is highly likely that black box insurance will make up the cheapest insurance quotes on comparison sites and stay cheap throughout the cover period. If a driver is dangerous on the roads, it’s going to drive up insurance costs.

It’s obvious that riskier drivers are going to shy away from black boxes, so we may start to see that non black box insurance costs even more as one could argue that only drivers who have something to hide would want insurance without a black box.

Can I install a black box on a parent’s car?

Yes. There are policies available that allow a young driver to install a black box on a parent’s car without affecting the vehicle owner’s insurance, even if the young driver must make a claim.

Are black boxes just for young drivers?

No. Black boxes are suitable for all ages. The best way to see whether a black box can lower the cost of your insurance is to compare quotes on a comparison site like Quote Goat.

Can I get a black box without a curfew?

Yes. There are car insurance providers that offer black box insurance policies that do not impose a curfew. Limitations on driving at night are one of the biggest frustrations shown by drivers with black boxes, but it needed be the case.

Should I get a black box?

Whether a black box is suitable or not depends on your circumstances. Price will most likely play a big role in any decision, so we recommend that you compare quotes and see what difference it actually makes. When you compare with Quote Goat you have the option to see prices with or without a black box.

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