Defaqto rating: 3/5 stars
Insure The Box was rated three out of five stars in 2020 by experts at Defaqto, an independent financial research and ratings company.
Note: Not all Defaqto products with the same star ratings have the same covers and terms.
Trustpilot rating: 1.7/5 stars
Broadly unfavourable customer reports are to be found on the consumer review website Trustpilot. Its rating of 1.7 stars reflects that 81% of the 252 people rated its services as 'bad'.
Insure The Box was the world’s first telematics-only car insurance company and provides cover that enables young and careful drivers to earn discounts.
This type of car insurance scheme involves the fitting of a 'black box' telematics device to your car that enables the insurer to monitor how safely you drive and rewards good driving with discounts that can be a welcome break for young drivers.
Indeed, Insure The Box declares that most of its customers renewing after their first year can expect an average renewal price discount of 37%.
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Insure The Box was launched in May 2009 by insurance innovator Mike Brockman, who made the "black box" telematics device a success following his daughter's noisy 18th birthday party.
He began to think that the range of personalities at this party – from the noisy and temperamental extroverts to the shy and quiet ones – reflected the way young people drive. His business model was to capture the bottom quartile who are more introspective and safer drivers, reducing the risk spectrum and, therefore, the premiums.
The company remains the market leader in telematics insurance, although the competition in this area has increased rapidly in the last few years, and in 2015, Brockman sold three-quarters of Insure The Box to Japan's Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance and resigned from the company.
Insure The Box's sister company Drive Like a Girl offers a similar telematics scheme also aimed at careful drivers. It is so named because female drivers are lower in the risk spectrum as they are statistically less likely to have an accident.
Insurance policies sold by Insure The Box are underwritten by Catlin Insurance, one of the Lloyd’s of London companies.
Insure The Box sells cover to young people who drive less frequently or fewer miles than older drivers. It works very simply:
You buy a specific mileage package, based on how many miles you drive a year – choosing between 6,000, 8,000 or 10,000 miles
Your premium is based on this specific mileage, so if you look likely to go over, you must buy additional miles
A telematics device is fitted to your car to record your driving behaviour based on factors such as speed, acceleration, braking and cornering
The device communicates with you through your Insure The Box portal on your smartphone to alert you to bad driving behaviour and ways for you to improve
The device also tracks exactly how many miles you drive
If you drive safely you can earn up to 100 bonus miles a month
Safe driving is also rewarded with potential discounts at renewal – the company says 55% of customers renewing after their first year received an average renewal discount of 37%
If you drive over the stated amount of miles without getting top up miles, your policy is cancelled
Insure The Box offers nothing for the seasoned motorist, nor for those seeking to insure high-performance or vintage cars. Its target customers are very well defined as careful, young drivers.
Summing up, then, you’d buy Insure The Box car insurance because:
You're a young driver who has been quoted an excessively high premium at the more traditional cover providers
You're a careful driver who wants to build up a no claims discount and be rewarded with lower premiums each year
You drive low annual mileage
In November 2019, Insure The Box celebrated five billion miles of driving data from its policyholders. During the same month the company was a major sponsor of the National Road Safety Conference in Telfold, an annual event that brings local authority road safety experts together.
The Financial Ombudsman Service received 11 car insurance complaints about Insure the box. To put that in context, 67 firms had 10 or more complaints each and those totalled 4,550 complaints. Nearly 200 firms had fewer than 10 each, sharing just 479 complaints between them.