If you’re a young driver or inexperienced on the road, car insurance premiums can be terrifyingly high, often in the four figures. This is because insurers see certain groups of drivers as higher risk, and anyone in that group gets hit, no matter how good a driver they are.
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One way to get a more personalized premium and potentially save money on your car insurance is to choose a “black box” car insurance policy. here we explain how these policies work.
Reading: What is car insurance black box
what is black box insurance?
Black box car insurance, also known as telematics car insurance or pay-per-drive car insurance, is a type of policy where your driving is monitored and used to set your premium (along with with other factors, like your age and where you live).
To do this, a black box device is usually installed in your car, although some insurers may also offer a plug-in device or smartphone app. the device will be small, about the size of a smartphone, and installed in an inconspicuous location.
How does black box insurance work?
once you have installed a black box in your car, or activated its app, it will record how you drive. items you can monitor include:
- Smooth driving: how it brakes, turns and accelerates
- hours of day you drive
- duration of your trips
- types of road you drive on
- how many miles you drive.
- tracking your car that could help locate it in case of theft
- regular feedback on your driving and suggestions on how to improve it
- Your insurer can alert emergency services in the event of an accident.
- Limits and Restrictions: Some policies may limit when you can drive and will set charges or fines if you drive outside of certain hours. some may limit the number of miles you can drive in a given period of time, again with charges if you go over this.
- Additional Charges: Some policies may have fees to install or remove black boxes. you may also have to pay if you need to switch to a new car in the middle of a policy or to get out of a policy early.
- Any Age Restrictions: Some policies may target people within a certain age range.
- Benefits: Compare how the policy you’re considering rewards safe driving.
- Penalties: Also note if you will be penalized for driving unsafely.
Always check the metrics your individual policy will monitor, as these will vary between insurers and policies.
what if I’m a safe driver?
If your data indicates that you are a safe driver, your premium may be adjusted at fixed points during your policy or when you renew.
You can also be rewarded in other ways for your driving habits. As an example, some policies will set a limit on how many miles you can drive over a period of time and charge you if you exceed it. safe driving habits can be rewarded with extra miles.
admiral, as an example, says: “If you drive safely, you’re more likely to get a discount when it’s time to renew.”
You should get regular feedback on your driving, either online or through an app.
What if I am found to be an unsafe driver?
Depending on your policy, your insurance premium may increase if your driving habits mean your insurer considers you high risk, so read the terms and conditions carefully. you may also face a one-time charge or even cancel your policy in certain circumstances.
as an example, insurethebox says: “we may cancel your policy for persistent or excessive speeding.”
Is black box car insurance right for me?
Black box insurance is aimed at groups that insurers consider to be high risk, such as young drivers, new drivers, drivers with a driving record, or older drivers.
However, some policies may only be offered to younger drivers, so check the details. direct line, for example, has a policy called driveplus black box insurance that is only offered to people under the age of 25.
If you’re not in a group considered high risk, you’re less likely to save through black box insurance, since your premiums are likely to be lower in the first place.
Are there other benefits of black box insurance?
In addition to potentially lowering the price you pay for your insurance, having black box insurance can also offer other benefits, such as:
Will an insurer share my black box data?
Insurers are required to protect your personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. Failure to do so can result in fines.
Insurers may share your data with third parties to help you with the policy or so you can receive additional benefits or services, but they must explain the reasons for this.
Insurers will not share your data with the police unless there is a legal basis to do so.
admiral, as an example, says: “admiral does not report to the police if the data collected suggests that he was only committing a speeding violation. We will only share data if there is a police investigation or a serious incident occurs.”
What should I pay attention to in a policy?
As with all insurance policies, you should read the fine print before committing. Things to watch out for in black box policies specifically include:
Where can I buy black box car insurance?
Several insurance companies offer black box auto insurance, so be sure to shop around to find the best policy for you. To find the most competitive price, it’s wise to compare black box insurance policies with other types of auto insurance policies as well.