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Some car insurers offer a discount by fitting a special device, known as telematics or a black box, into your car. This device tracks your driving and feeds back data to an insurer to show how well you drive. You’re usually charged a fixed fee to drive a certain amount of miles a year.
Black box insurance policies measure everything from acceleration to cornering, plus the types of roads you drive and the times you drive at. This means your car insurer can get a full impression of your driving habits – and charges you accordingly.
Some black box and telematics insurance policies work by refunding drivers for good behaviour or increasing the premium for those who drive less safely.
Black box car insurance can’t make you a better driver – it’s not like you get an electric shock for making a mistake! But it’s set up to foster good driving habits by awarding points that translate into money off your premium.
The particular driving skills black box insurance policies focus on may differ between insurers. But they typically include:
Acceleration and driving speeds, the time of the day or night you are behind the wheel, with particular focus on night and rush hour driving, as well as sharp braking and cornering speeds.
The underlying plan is that with premiums so high, relatively cheap black box insurance will prove attractive and within time the driving habits it encourages become second nature. This is good for the insurer, which can only be a good thing for you, too.
Last updated: 28 January 2022
A black box is a device fitted discreetly behind the dashboard of your vehicle that measures how well and safely you drive. It tracks how, where and when you drive using GPS – similar to your location app on your mobile phone. It provides your insurer with data on where you are, how fast you accelerate and drive and whether you brake gently or not. It also gives your insurer a view of your general driving style as well as the sort of roads you are using.
If you’re a careful driver, telematics car insurance can count in your favour. Your insurance quote will be based on your own driving, and not on the general risk of someone with your age and risk profile. So, you can be rewarded for being a safer-than-average driver.
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