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How does black box car insurance work?

How does black box car insurance work?
Image source: Getty Images


If you are a ‘high-risk’ driver looking to lower your car insurance premiums, black box insurance could be the answer. Here’s a useful guide on what black box insurance is all about, including how much you can save.

What is black box car insurance and how does it work?

Black box car insurance (also called telematics) is a type of car insurance that calculates your premiums based on the way you drive.

Your insurance provider installs a small GPS device or box in your car that measures various aspects of how, when and where you drive. Over time, this paints a picture of your driving style, telling them whether you’re a good driver or not.

Most providers have a mobile app or portal through which you can monitor your driving stats.

The exact features of the app will vary from one provider to the next. Metrics you can expect to be collected by the box and used to determine whether you are a good driver include:

  • Speed
  • Length of journey
  • Steering
  • Braking
  • Cornering
  • The time of day you drive

Your premiums are then calculated based on your driving habits. If you are a safe and responsible driver, the insurer will reward you with lower premiums. Depending on your insurer, this could be either every month or when you renew your policy after a year. 

Who should consider black box car insurance?

If insurance providers are likely to classify you as ‘high-risk’, it might be worth checking out black box insurance as it could be cheaper than traditional car insurance.

Typically, this would be a young driver (under 25), an inexperienced driver, or a driver with a motoring conviction whose premiums are often high.

What makes black box car insurance a fair option is that it provides an opportunity for your driving to be rated based on your actual driving alone.

How much can you save over time?

The amount you can save with black car box insurance will vary from driver to driver. But if the black box deems you to be a good driver, savings could be significant, so it offers a real incentive to drive carefully.

There is not much data online on the specific savings that are possible. However, Money Supermarket found that age often plays a big factor.

For example, for people between 17 and 19, the average premium for normal car insurance is £2,339. With black box car insurance, the average drops £1,490, translating to savings of £849.

Motorists aged between 20 and 24 can make savings of £150 (£1,179 for traditional insurance vs. £1,029 for black box insurance).

For people aged 25 and above, traditional car insurance might actually be a cheaper and better option.

What are the other benefits of black box car insurance?

Other benefits associated with black box insurance include:

  • It can keep you safe. For example, your provider will be alerted if there is a strong impact, and they can call you or send emergency services, if needed.
  • You can use feedback from the black box to improve your driving skills.
  • It has GPS technology which emergency services can use to locate your vehicle if you’re in an accident.
  • It can help in settling claims faster. Data from the box can help to establish who was at fault for an accident. 

Are there any cons?

Here are a few points to consider when deciding whether this kind of insurance is right for you:

  • Bad driving will result in higher premiums
  • It could restrict your driving
  • There are extra fees involved, such as installation and removal fees for the black box
  • The technology may fail, meaning that the device records data incorrectly (though such cases are few and far between)

Final word

As with any insurance policy, only you can determine whether black box car insurance is right for you.

It’s best to assess your personal driving habits honestly and then shop around, comparing different quotes from different providers.

After weighing the two, you should have a good idea of whether black box car insurance would be a good option for you.

What next?

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