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Black Box: is it Right for You?

Black Box: is it Right for You?

For all drivers, but most especially new and younger drivers, insurance is a significant financial implication of driving. In a time when most people are feeling the strain financially, a black box could help save money. While some people dismiss telematics as a bit “Big Brother”, there are undoubtedly benefits. But what exactly is a black box, and how does it work?

What is a black box?

A black box can be a physical electronic appliance that is installed in your vehicle, or it could be an app on your smart phone. It gathers data via GPS regarding your location, speed, how far you travel, how often, and at what times of the day. More specific information such as how hard the car brakes, how quickly it takes a corner, and acceleration speed is also collected.

How can black box, or telematics, impact your insurance payments?

By tracking your driving habits, your insurer can get a relatively good idea of how you drive. They can use this information to reward safer driving. These rewards can vary depending on the insurer that you choose, but they can include a discounted premium for consistently good drivers, money back from the premium, and “bonuses” such as vouchers. If you have a policy that has a mileage limit, good driving may be rewarded with bonus miles – extra miles that you can drive over the next quarter or month.

For people who love data, telematics can be quite good fun as you can view your data and challenge yourself to improve on each month’s performance. However, if you are a more erratic driver, you could be penalised; some insurers will increase the premium while others could cancel cover entirely for consistently poor performers.

The benefits of fitting a black box

If you are under 25, your insurance premium is likely to be much higher than that of older drivers, because younger drivers tend to be less experienced and take more risks. If you drive sensibly, this increased premium can seem unfair. A black box is a great way for you to prove that you drive with care, and can help you to get an insurance quote that reflects your driving style, not that of everyone under 25.

Telematics aren’t just for young drivers, though. If you drive fewer miles than average, you could benefit from reduced insurance. It’s simple: the less time you spend driving, the less likely you are to be involved in a road traffic collision, so insurers are able to offer you lower cost insurance.

If you are unsure about whether to fit a black box – especially if you know that you have picked up some poor driving habits – it might be worth speaking to different insurers to see how your premium could be reduced. As for driving habits, a couple of refresher lessons with a reliable driving instructor could help to improve your confidence and save you money: win – win. For more car safety tips and advice, follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or Twitter.


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