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Black box mythbuster

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Black box insurance can be a great way of encouraging safer driving and saving money along the way — in fact, drivers aged 17-21 with zero no claims could save an average of £1,392 by choosing black box insurance over a standard policy (based on quotes generated by uSwitch between September and November 2016).

But according to recent uSwitch research, a fifth of people would never consider taking out a black box policy — mostly because of misconceptions about how the technology works. We look at common myths around black box insurance and reveal the truth.

A black box will spy on me

Of the people in our survey who said they would never consider black box insurance, 46% were concerned the technology is “too much like Big Brother”. In fact, the main factors recorded are those that could affect the cost of your insurance, such as speed, braking, mileage and acceleration.

Some black box technology goes further by detecting impacts, so your insurer can contact the emergency services if they suspect you’ve been in a serious accident. Other fitted boxes can use location tracking if your car is stolen, potentially helping to recover it more easily.

There will be a curfew

To help keep premiums low, many early black box policies imposed a curfew to prevent late-night driving as this is the time accidents are most likely to happen. However, most black box insurers have moved away from this model and allow drivers to use their car at any time without charging a penalty fee. But do bear in mind that your insurer may lower your driving score if you consistently drive late at night.

I will be reported to the police for speeding

While many black box devices and apps do record your driving speed, your insurer won’t inform the police every time you break the limit. Your data won’t be shared with the police unless it is requested with a court order as part of a serious crime investigation.

Black box policies are just for young people

While black boxes can provide significant savings for young drivers as their premiums are typically high, these policies are not limited to young people. Other drivers can save money with black box policies, including drivers with a history of claims or convictions, those with limited mileage, and those with zero no claims bonus.

Aside from monetary savings, older drivers may enjoy the benefits of black box insurance including accident alerts, theft tracking and the ability to view and improve on driving behaviour.

It will distract me while I drive

The black box shouldn’t distract you while driving, in fact the idea is to make you drive more safely. Fitted boxes are installed out of sight and you won’t get any real-time alerts. Most black box policies will allow you to log in online or via an app to view your driving behaviour over a period of time.

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