As a driver in the UK, especially if you’re young or have just passed your test, you will be well aware of the extremely high costs of car insurance. However, there are many ways you can reduce your premium and lower your costs. One such way is to use a black box policy, also known as telematics insurance.
What is black box insurance?
Black box insurance works by fitting your car with a small GPS device that monitors your driving performance. It records your speed, distance travelled and the time of day that you are driving. It also tracks the types of road you drive on, and your acceleration, braking and cornering. All of this data is recorded to build a profile of your driving style, and is sent to your insurer. They will then use this data to calculate the cost of your insurance depending on how safely you are driving.
You will also be able to get feedback on how well you’re driving through a secure website or an app. It will give you a detailed analysis of each category that you are assessed, thus showing you what you can do to improve your driving and lower your costs. Your premium will be updated on a monthly basis, so you will be constantly rewarded for good driving or penalised for more risky driving.
How do I save money?
This all depends on how well you drive. You will have to show your insurers that you’re always staying within speed limits, not driving too much at night and staying away from more hazardous roads. They will then reward you with lower premiums when it comes to renewing each month.
You will also be judged on your mileage, so the less you drive the more you will be rewarded. You can even take out a policy based on mileage, where you set a limit on how many miles you will drive. By sticking to these policies you can be rewarded with bonus miles at no extra cost to your premium.
If you want to save money on your car insurance by using a black box policy you can’t be a reckless driver. Driving long distances or at night is perceived as risky to your insurers and will result in higher premiums. Your performance could also be so poor that they cancel your cover completely. If you’re often caught breaking the speed limit then a black box policy isn’t for you, unless you change your habits.
Black box policies don’t guarantee you savings and could cost you more money. You should always shop around to find the best car insurance from different insurers, and the requirements you need to meet in order to be rewarded with lower premiums.
What are the cons?
As your car insurance costs are directly linked to your driving performance, black box policies offer a fairer system than traditional insurance, especially for young drivers. However, there are a few disadvantages and it won’t work for everybody.
If you travel long distances for work or are constantly driving during rush hour in congested areas, you will likely pay more than a traditional policy. You also could believe that you’re a safe and considerate driver, but are actually not as skilled as you thought. If you want to save money on a black box policy, you should be confident that you’re driving is up to standard.
Depending on your insurer, there could also be a small installation fee added to your costs. However this would be outweighed by your savings if you drive safely.
Some of you may not like the idea of having your every move constantly tracked and monitored by your insurance company. But this could also have it’s benefits, such as locating your car if its ever stolen. It could also help you if you’re involved in a dispute with another driver over an accident. Your black box will be able to prove who was culpable for the collision.