Black box car insurance

Black Box Car Insurance - A Guide

As one of the numerous actions young drivers can take to bring down the cost of their insurance premium, having a ‘black box’ installed on their car is a very effective, if sometimes tough decision to make.

A new driver will be undoubtedly excited to get out on the road and enjoy the freedom of being a fully licensed driver. However, insurance companies may not be as thrilled about an inexperienced motorist being let loose among other drivers and as such, will likely charge you a fair whack for insurance costs.

What is black box car insurance?

Luckily, the same companies have introduced a telematics box referenced by many as the ‘black box’ that should help reduce this cost. This is a small device that is fitted behind your car’s dash in a tamper-proof state and tracks not only your location, but also measures your driving abilities.

As a result, car insurance with a black box very often puts off drivers who aren’t too keen on their car being tracked in such a manner. The same technology can also be used to help people attain car finance.

Black box car insurance

The following driving metrics are measured through black box car insurance:

- Braking: sharp breaking is very much frowned upon, so marks will be lost when putting the anchors on too late and too heavy

- Cornering: taking corners gently is what is being looked for here

- Consistent steering: no sharp movement of the wheel or sudden veering

- Speed: hopefully this is a pretty obvious one - no speeding, or aggressive acceleration

- Time of driving: there can be consequences if you drive between certain hours, usually between 11pm-5am, as it’s seen as more dangerous

- Mileage: you’ll likely need to stick to a pre-agreed mileage

How does this affect my insurance?

While many will prefer car insurance without a black box, the pros and cons are down to you to control and the the benefits can be very rewarding for a young driver. Not only does putting a black box on your car help reduce the initial cost of insuring your car, but adhering to the above factors can bring the cost down further.

Money back discounts are used by some insurers if you can show through your black box data that you are a safe and competent driver; this can be done on a monthly or quarterly basis. But, if you show to be a driver that doesn’t adhere to the discussed metrics, you’ll likely be punished by having your premium increased. Your insurance can even be cancelled if you’re seen to be a particularly danger behind the wheel.

Your insurance company will will give you feedback on your driving in one form or another. One popular method is through an app that can be accessed through you phone or online; it will give you information such as how well you’re performing in each area monitored and give you an overall score.

Dropping below a certain score may incur a penalty of a higher premium, while keeping within a particular score bracket could see you recoup costs or have them reduced.

Black Box Car Insurance

How do I get a black box installed?

Upon agreeing the insurance contract, you will not have to immediately have the telematics box installed, but you will need to arrange a time and a place for it to be done in the near future. The installer will then meet you at the designated location and fit the device; this usually takes about an hour.

At this point, you’ll need to show certain documentation to the installer: your driving licence and V5C document (logbook for your car) or confirmation of purchase if you’re still waiting for this.

Who should I choose for black box car insurance?

As the black box insurance market has grown, so has the amount of insurers offering it as a product. Who you choose will likely be based on personal preference and how you want to be rewarded, as well as how old you are, as black boxes aren’t just for young drivers but some will cap a driver’s age at 25.

The way black box car insurance works in terms of discounts and even bonus miles will differ from insurer to insurer, so as is commonplace in these situations, it’s best to shop around and see who does what. Some will review your driving and apply benefits on a quarterly basis, some will do it annually and some after the first three months and again nine months later.

Also, keep an eye out for fees regarding the black box. While very few will charge for installation, many will do so for having it remotely cut off/removed if you decide to end the contract or not to renew.

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