Black box insurance is growing increasingly popular among drivers. But with these policies marketed heavily to young drivers, older drivers could be missing out on a huge range of benefits too.
Some of the benefits of black box policies include helping to improve your driving, by making you a safer driver. As the black box records the way you drive, you're more conscious about the speed limit and how you use your brakes, leading to reducing your insurance costs.
Black box insurance is also known as telematics insurance. A black box is fitted to the car.
The box uses telematics - a combination of different technologies - to monitor driving behaviour
This helps car insurers price premiums more accurately
Black box policies monitor drivers’ usage of their cars via a small device installed in the car or through a mobile phone app.
Instead of solely basing the cost of a policy on application details, such as the driver’s age, car type and driving experience, black box policies can offer a more tailored price by taking speed, braking and driving habits into account.
A black box is a device that allows the car insurer to monitor driving behaviour
For example, acceleration, braking, cornering, miles covered and also what time of day you are driving and on what sort of road
The price of your insurance then goes down if you can prove you are a good, safe driver
However, bad driving can see your premiums go up and your insurance could even be cancelled
The younger and more inexperienced a driver is, the more likely they will be to have an accident.
A black box can help prove to an insurer that a driver is safe.
It is a good option for young drivers and drivers under 21 because it means the cost of your cover will be based on your driving alone, not every driver in your age group.
While it’s not exclusively used by young drivers, black box insurance is most associated with younger people thanks to the impressive savings they can achieve.
Young drivers typically pay the most for their car insurance.
The average price drops for drivers in their 30s. The lowest premiums are enjoyed by those in the 60-69 age range.
However, there's still room to make savings and black box insurance can be an option for drivers of any age.
It’s especially useful for people who only drive occasionally or for short trips, with some policies charging you by the mile, meaning you only pay for the trips you take.
The main benefit of black box insurance is that your insurer can base your premium on how you drive, not how other people in your age group or area drive.
The aim is to reward you for careful driving — you may receive a discount on your premium during the term or at renewal time, and some insurers also offer other rewards such as discounts and freebies.
Black box insurance can offer cost savings for older drivers, such as:
Many black box policies base their pricing on mileage, and these can be beneficial for those who are retired or who do not use their car on a daily basis.
A black box policy could also be economical for those who drive outside peak traffic hours and tend not to drive at night, as these are the times most accidents occur.
Black box insurance could also help those with a history of claims or convictions to prove to their insurer that they can drive safely, potentially resulting in a discount at renewal time.
A black box may also be suitable if you've learned to drive later in life. If you've just passed your test you may find that insurers will charge you more as you have little driving experience and you may be more likely to have an accident than a more experienced driver.
It’s also handy for people who’ve taken a break from driving, or returned from abroad - as they won’t have a no-claims discount build up. In these cases there can be significant savings by using a black box policy as it can show you are safe.
Black box insurance policies can have many other benefits besides cost.
Most types of black box policy allow you to view statistics on your journeys online or via an app, and can help you to improve your driving by providing valuable feedback on factors such as speed, cornering and braking.
Certain black box devices include an accident alert feature and can contact the emergency services if they detect an impact. This could help you to get faster medical attention in the case of an accident, which can be especially appealing to drivers who regularly use secluded roads.
Fitted black boxes can also act as a tracker, making it a deterrent for thieves and if your car is stolen it will make it easier for the police to trace and return your car.
A black box can also help to determine the cause of an accident, potentially speeding up the claims process and determining who was at fault.
It's important to weigh up whether traditional car insurance or telematics/black box insurance is better for you based on your finances and driving habits.
Things to consider:
Cost - The less that you are driving, the less you will have to pay. You'll be charged based on the miles you complete.
Flexibility - You have the option to cancel once you give some notice without the usual cancellation fees.
Mileage - How much you drive, will determine if this is the right cover for you. If you drive a lot of miles during your cover then black box insurance might not be for you.
Check out our guide, for an in depth view of pay as you go insurance, including other options asides from black box insurance.