The principle of using telematics in car insurance has been around for some years now but only recently has the technology of the the black box started to make a real impact on the price and availability of motor insurance in the United Kingdom.
What is telematics car insurance?
The telematics black box is fitted into the vehicle and records total data that provides insurers with a greater understanding of the way that the vehicle is being used and how it is being driven. This additional information provided to the insurer allows a greater understanding of the risks involved with that driver and vehicle ans as such premiums can be tailored more accurately to reflect the risk.
What information does the telematics black box collect?
The data provided by the black box is designed to provide core data as to the use of the vehicle and the way it is driven and this includes;
- Where the vehicle is being used
- The amount of time you spend driving
- The times of day that the vehicle is used
- Information regarding your braking and acceleration patterns including data regarding your cornering habits
- The speed of the vehicle
Whilst to some this information may seem intrusive, there are significant benefits to lower risk drivers and if you have concerns that “big brother” is watching you then perhaps telematics is not for you!
There are differences in approach from one insurer to another but the same principles apply to all. If the information provided presents you as a “better risk” then you will be rewarded with lower premiums, if you appear to be a “bad risk” then your premium maybe increased or even cancelled by the insurance company.
Whilst some of the factors may appear obvious such as braking patterns, acceleration and speed, the additional information also forms a key part of the analysis by insurers. For example late night and early morning driving have statistically higher frequencies of accidents.
What telematics equipment is installed in the car?
The slow called “black box” is a small device, smaller than a portable hard drive, that is installed discretely in the vehicle so that it is both safe from accidental damage and from the prying eyes of thieves. Installation is a simple process that takes a few minutes and will be arranged by your insurance provider.
Who is telematics based car insurance suitable for?
Theoretically telematics is a useful innovation for all drivers requiring a competitive car insurance policy priced correctly to reflect the risks presented by a driver, but certainly it is a most useful development for
- Young Drivers
- Newly qualified and inexperienced drivers
- Drivers with a low annual mileage and lower vehicle usage
Does telematics offer anti theft protection?
The telematics system does not in itself prevent theft but vehicle tracking comes with the product and as such will lead to a greater chance of recovery in the event that your vehicle is stolen. It also makes sense that if a potential thief is aware that the vehicle may have a black box installed then they will try their luck elsewhere, so a deterrent effect is entirely possible.