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What is Blackbox car insurance?

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to car insurance, and it seems everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon; blackbox car insurance, also known as telematics.

Why the need for this new type of insurance?

Traditional insurance policies base their premiums on demographics. Drivers are categorised based on factors such as their age, gender and how long they’ve been driving. 

Unfortunately, for young drivers, or drivers who have recently passed their test, it means their insurance premiums are always sky high, regardless of how safe a driver they might actually be. This is because, statistically, those two types of drivers are the most likely to be involved in an accident or make a claim.

So what is blackbox car insurance?

Blackbox car insurance, or telematics, aims to address this by assessing drivers’ driving style and habits. Their insurance premium is then tailored specifically to how they drive. This means if you’re a safe, careful driver, you could be in for a much better deal.

How does it work?

A blackbox is a small device roughly the size of a smartphone that is fitted to a vehicle. It records things such as speed, acceleration, cornering, how many miles the car travels and the time of day. GPS is also used to track location and which roads the vehicle is being driven on.

The idea is that safer drivers, and those that drive fewer miles, at quieter times of the day or drive more frequently on less dangerous roads, are rewarded with cheaper insurance.

Are there any disadvantages?

That all depends on your driving style. If it turns out you’re not as safe a driver as you thought, then a blackbox policy might actually be more expensive than a traditional policy.

That said, most telematics policies give you an online dashboard to review your statistics, and offer you a chance to rectify anything that might be negatively affecting your premium. So if your driving style isn’t helping your premium, you will have the opportunity to improve before you pay higher fees. The idea isn’t just to save you money, but to make you a better driver as well.

Some policies may include an additional charge for the actual blackbox device itself. However, the policy is designed to save you more than this initial cost, if, of course, you drive safely.

Is there anything to watch out for?

Although all blackbox policies follow similar principles, insurers tend to have very different approaches when it comes to pricing. It’s always best to shop around to see which insurers offer the best price for you, your vehicle and your driving habits.

What are the best driving habits when you have a Blackbox installed?

Stick within the speed limits

The GPS locator will know the speed limit for the road you’re on, and what speed you’re doing. You won’t want it logging you braking the speed limit. Also, it’s illegal and you could cause an accident.

Brake early and steadily

Sudden, sharp braking is more dangerous and not good for your car. Also if the road is wet or icy then braking late will increase the chance of a skid or slide.

Accelerate slowly

Increasing your speed steadily is safer and will also use less fuel.

Watch your mileage

The less you drive the less you’ll pay for your insurance. If there’s a journey you don’t need to take, then don’t. If there’s somewhere you could walk to instead, then do that. It’ll be cheaper and make you healthier.

Don’t drive at night

Statistically nighttime driving is more dangerous. If you save your miles for daylight then you’ll be rewarded with cheaper insurance.

Drive on safer roads

If you can take a motorway instead of back country roads then this will most likely be cheaper. Country roads are not gritted as often in the winter and have more accidents. Despite their higher speeds, motorways are the safest roads in the country.

Conclusion

If you’re young or new to driving, then a blackbox policy could almost definitely save you money as well as help you to become safer on the roads. There’s little to dislike about this new type of insurance policy.

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