‘Black Box’ Car Insurance Policies

The AA announced back in January that it is set to launch a new insurance policy using the same technology as sat-nav systems in order to track driver performance.
May 8, 2012 - PRLog -- The system would allow better drivers to receive cheaper car insurance premiums.  The AA is not alone, with other car insurance companies also reviewing the idea, including Direct Line who is piloting its own "black box" scheme, aptly named Tracker which will hopefully be launched by the end of the year.  

Other insurance firms such as Co-Op already offer similar schemes; the Smartbox is intended for young drivers who can receive a safer driving discount.  This is worked out using the data supplied from the Smartbox fitted to the car and every 90 days the driver will find out if they are to receive a discount.

An analysis of 10,000 young driver claims by the Co-op suggests that those with telematics or ‘black box’ insurance are 20 per cent less likely to have a car crash than those with standard insurance.

It involves the installation of a small black box into the driver's car which records how they drive, monitoring speed, braking severity, cornering and the types of roads used during certain times of day.  This collated information is sent to insurers and drivers can check the data via a website which will give them a warning if they are close to being moved to a higher insurance premium bracket.  

Critics of the proposed technology said that data should not be used as a reliable measure of a driver's ability.  Although the AA say "The point is that these sorts of devices firmly put in the hands of the driver a responsibility for driving safely. It makes you think."  

Future uses of the information could be to detect sudden hard braking so assistance could be sent or to prove who was at fault in an accident.   Although initially, the pay how you drive systems are aimed at young drivers to save on the astronomical insurance costs they face, with young male drivers (http://www.compareinsurers.com/Car-Insurance/Car-Insuranc...) now paying around £3,000 a year for car insurance.

The Transport Secretary, Justine Greening last week urged young drivers and women motorists to have ‘black boxes’ fitted to reduce car insurance premiums (http://www.compareinsurers.com/Car-Insurance/Car-Insuranc...) by as much as half by limiting night time driving and demonstrating safe driving behaviour.  

Under-25s are more prone to accidents while driving late at night and early in the morning and ministers believe women drivers can benefit as they are statistically safer than men.  Women drivers (http://www.compareinsurers.com/Car-Insurance/Car-Insuranc...) currently pay less than men but their car insurance bills will increase from December, thanks to an EU ruling preventing gender discrimination in insurance.
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