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How does black box car insurance work?

How does black box car insurance work?

4th May, 2022

Drivers who traditionally face higher insurance premiums - like new drivers, drivers with motoring convictions and young people in particular - can reap the benefits of ‘little black box’ policies if they prove they can drive as safely and responsibly as more experienced motorists.

When you take out a black box policy (otherwise known as telematics insurance), your insurance provider installs telematics equipment in your vehicle to track and score your driving habits.

The type of factors monitored include speed, mileage and the times of day you drive. They’ll also monitor your braking, steering, cornering and acceleration skills.

Overall, different companies have different metrics, but the logic remains the same: the more you drive, the likelier you are to have an accident; and the majority of collisions happen late at night, or early in the morning.

Your insurer will decide how much to charge you based on the information that’s been collected and your premiums will be adjusted either monthly or annually.

As the driver, you’re usually able to see the information that has been collected on you so that you can adjust your driving to be safer – and theoretically save cash.

However, in addition to increasing premiums, there can be other penalties for bad driving, including cancelling your cover altogether if you perform poorly or frequently break the speed limit. Or, imposing curfews on when you can drive and placing limits on your mileage – so read the small print carefully!

The so-called ‘black box’ comes in all shapes and sizes – from bulky GPS devices that have to be fitted by approved mechanics, to tags that are stuck to your windscreen. In some cases you simply give your insurance company permission to remotely access your mileometer by tracking your mobile phone.

The equipment can be fitted to any make or model of car as long as it’s less than 20 years old and won’t leave any marks or cause damage when removed by a qualified technician.
Black box car insurance policies generally last for 12 months – after which you can renew, or compare prices again to find a better deal.

Whilst telematics cover can help drivers prove they’re safe and responsible, there have been complaints that inaccurate data is used to raise premiums, or cancel policies, and critics claim the technology can be affected by poor weather or lack of signal.

For example, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) found that car insurance premiums dropped to their lowest level in five years in the first half of 2021, after insurers passed on the savings they gained when mileage and claims declined during the national lockdowns.

New research from Consumer Intelligence found that motorists under 25 enjoyed a 10.5% reduction in the year-on-year cost of car insurance quotes, with 27% of these quotes coming from telematics policies.

Here at One Call, whilst we don’t offer ‘little black box’ insurance, we have partnered with Marmalade who do.

Marmalade are proud to offer comprehensive cover for young drivers - particularly for those aged 18-21 who have just passed their test.

So, if you’re a young or inexperienced driver looking to reduce your car insurance premiums through a telematics policy, why not get a quote with Marmalade today?

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