Press release:

Motorists u-turn on black box insurance due to rising premiums

  • Rising car insurance premiums and hikes to Insurance Premium Tax drive over half of Brits (56%) to consider a black box policy[1]
  • Six in ten (60%) motorists who would consider a telematics policy would do so in a bid to lower their premiums[2]
  • uSwitch.com reports a 66% increase in sales of telematics policies[3]
  • Young people aged 18-21 save the most with a black box policy – over £1,300[4].

The rising cost of car insurance premiums is driving motorists to consider black box policies – where premiums are calculated based on actual driving behaviour rather than historic data, according to uSwitch.com, the price comparison site and switching service.

In 2015, car insurance premiums rose on average by an inflation-busting 20%, in part fuelled by the Government’s Insurance Premium Tax increase[5]. As a result of this hike, over half (56%) of drivers say they are now more likely to consider adopting a black box policy[1]. This appetite has translated into more people buying a policy – in the last year uSwitch.com has seen telematics policy sales increase by two thirds (66%)[3].

Young drivers stand to save the most from black box policies. Those aged 18-21 can save on average £1,347 with the technology[4], as figures show this age group is typically made up of new drivers at high risk of having an accident[6]. Yet Brits say they would only need to save £89 a year on their insurance premium to take the black box plunge[7].

Despite these savings, a fifth are yet to be convinced by the technology and would never consider taking out a black box policy[8]. Of these, nearly half (46%) say they wouldn’t consider a black box policy because it’s too much like “big brother”, and 13% don’t want to be monitored by their insurance company[9].

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “More motorists are getting up to speed with black box insurance in a drive to manage rising costs.

“Younger drivers in particular can now prove their worth on the roads, having been penalised by their boy racer peers for years. The little black box can make all the difference. As the technology bases premiums on actual driving habits, not generalised data, careful motorists can enjoy a substantial saving.

“For black boxes to appeal to all, the industry needs to convince motorists about how their personal data is used. Once drivers feel fully assured they aren’t trading their privacy for cost savings, black boxes will be well and truly here to stay.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

Research carried out online with the uSwitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel between 17.02.16 and 22.02.16 amongst a sample of 4,832 GB adults.

  1. When asked “In November, the government raised Insurance Premium Tax from 6% to 9% of the total premium. In addition to this, insurance premiums have risen 8% since last year. As a result of this, do you feel more or less likely to consider a black box insurance policy?”, 22.9% said ‘A lot more likely’ and 33% said ‘A little more likely’. 22.9 + 33 = 55.9%
  2. When those who had indicated they would consider a black box car insurance policy were asked why, 59.5% said I’d do anything to lower my premium
  3. Based on a comparison of the proportion of sales figures in January 2015 and January 2016
  4. Telematics was the cheapest choice for 18-21 year olds looking to buy car insurance through uSwitch, as even with zero No Claims Discount they could have saved on average £1347 in January 2016. Figures based on quotes for motorists applying on their own.
  5. AA British Insurance Premium Index – 2015 quarter 4. http://www.theaa.com/newsroom/bipi/car-home-insurance-news-2015-q4-bipi.pdf
  6. AA ‘Young Drivers at Risk’ report http://www.theaa.com/newsroom/news-2012/nigel-mansell-young-drivers-at-risk.html
  7. When asked ‘What is the minimum that you would need to save on your annual insurance premiumto consider having telematics?’, the mean was calculated at £89.10.
  8. When asked “Would you ever consider getting a black box car insurance policy in the future, either for the first time or renewing a current black box policy?”, 21% said ‘No’.
  9. When asked “You indicated you would not consider a black box car insurance policy. Which of the following reasons explain your choice?”, 46.2% said “I wouldn’t like being spied on, it’s too much like ‘big brother’” and 12.7% said “I don’t want my driving monitored by my insurance company”.

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