Insurance is one of those financial obligations that we often question, but when it is needed, it often proves to be a vital form of protection. Some car insurance policies that exist seem to be extortionate for the cover they offer, others are extremely cheap and don’t offer much protection at all. One possible way to get the best premium possible is to opt for black box car insurance. This potentially money-saving way of cover is attractive to many, but as we find out in this month’s blog, it can also prove costly.
Black box car insurance (or telematics) is a form of car insurance that actively monitors a driver’s road use and driving style. A GPS box is fitted to the car and sends information back to the insurance provider, informing them of your driving performance. It will send data based on the speeds you drive at, how hard you brake, and how you handle corners as well as many other key driving attributes.
The safer you drive, the lower your insurance premium, the more reckless you are, the higher the cost of your policy.
Fitted by a professional and about the size of your smartphone, the black box will soften sit behind the dashboard, and will not compromise your vehicle or driving ability. Secure, tamperproof, and unseen, thieves won’t know you have it.
Black box car insurance will monitor many aspects of your driving including:
Black box car insurance was initially seen to be beneficial for newer or younger drivers. The drivers who tend to find their premiums are extremely expensive due to insurers deeming them much more of a risk on the road. However, due to the way it helps record data, more experienced drivers are also looking at this option. If an experienced driver has been involved in a collision, they may be able to use black box data to show that the event was a one-off and nothing like how they regularly drive. Typically, policies are made available to drivers aged 17-25, but in most cases, you will be able to find a black box policy regardless of your age.
Opting for black box car insurance could bring you several benefits, including:
Perhaps the biggest benefit of all is that your premiums can be significantly reduced. Driving safely, being consistent, and exhibiting all the signs of a model road user will see the insurance companies feeling much more confident in your ability behind the wheel, and as a result charge you less for their cover.
Because a black box transmits live data, drivers are more inclined to be more careful on the roads. This, in turn, reduces accidents involving both other drivers and pedestrians. Where you can view your data, you can learn from driving errors and correct them, helping you keep your premiums low and reduce the chance of being involved in an accident. This stands to benefit other road users but will also enhance your driving skills.
If your car has been stolen, the black box can transmit accurate location data via GPS to your insurer. They can then locate your vehicle and see that the erratic driving or accident that may have taken place wasn’t caused by you. Furthermore, due to the way they are installed, black boxes are almost impossible for a thief to remove. They won’t know where they are located, and in most cases won’t know you have one. This all means that once they have stolen your car, they will be getting tracked even though they think nobody has seen them steal, access, or drive the car.
Your black box submits a variety of data that supports how safely you have been driving. If an accident were to occur, the insurance company could see whether you were driving at the correct speed limit and not driving in a manner that could cause an accident.
Whilst black boxes can be of huge benefit to some drivers, they may not be so beneficial for others.
In some cases, a black box policy may state that a certain number of miles is permitted. This is because the more you drive, the more you increase the risk of having an accident. This is not necessarily handy for drivers who spend a lot of time on the road for long commutes or have family located far away. As a result of covering more miles than stated in the policy, you could see your insurance costs move upwards.
More accidents happen at night than in the daytime and as a result, you could find yourself paying more for insurance if your black box records you regularly driving after 11pm. If late-night driving is a frequent occurrence for you, black box insurance may not be the best option.
The black box is meant to encourage safer driving but if you have some habits you cannot shake, black box insurance could cost more than a regular insurance policy due to how your driving style is monitored by the black box.
If you decide that black box insurance is no longer worthwhile or opt for a new car, you will likely be charged for the removal of the black box and have to pay the balance of your policy.
Whilst the pros and cons may have started to sway you one way or the other, there are some specific rules relating to black box insurance policies that you should consider. If you adhere to them, black box car insurance could be worthwhile, if you are unlikely to be able to follow them all, another type of policy may be best. When using a black box, you should:
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