Find out how drivers of all ages could benefit from a black box insurance policy
Black box insurance is growing increasingly popular among drivers — in fact, uSwitch saw a 66% increase in black box sales between January 2015 and January 2016. But with these policies marketed heavily to young drivers, older drivers could be missing out on a huge range of benefits.
What is black box insurance?
Black box, also known as telematics, is a type of car insurance policy that measures driving behaviour to help insurers give an accurate premium. 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.
Is it aimed at young drivers?
Many young drivers find that car insurance is very expensive as they are considered to be a high risk to insure, and black box policies allow them to prove that they can drive safely.
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. In fact, drivers aged 17-21 with zero no claims could save an average of £1,282 by choosing black box insurance over a standard policy (based on quotes generated by uSwitch between November 2016 and January 2017).
Young drivers typically pay the most for their car insurance, with premiums for those aged 17-22 costing an average of £1,771. The average price drops to £599 for drivers in their 30s. The lowest premiums are enjoyed by those in the 60-69 age range at an average of £418 (AA British Insurance Premium Index July 2017). However, there is still room to make savings and black box insurance can be an option for drivers of any age.
Can I save even if I’m older?
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, especially those who do not cover many miles in their car. 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.
This type of policy can also be suitable if you have learned to drive later in life. If you have 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.
Are there any other benefits?
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.
A black box policy could even help to save your life. 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.