The Pros & Cons of Black Box Car Insurance  

Is it the right policy for you? Weigh up the options.

Considering how eagerly each generation embraces new technology, we were surprised to discover from searches on our own website that a significant number of young drivers still want to buy traditional, non-black box car insurance.

Black box insurance (or telematics insurance as it’s also known) can be a good way for young drivers to reduce premiums in their first few years on the road. So why is there still such a high demand for traditional, non-black box policies? Is it a good choice for everyone?

Learn about the pros and cons of black box insurance before you decide which type of policy is right for you.  

The pros

Before you decide against a telematics policy, consider some of the benefits you could be missing out on:

Improve your driving skills

When you have a black box fitted, you’ll probably find yourself thinking far more consciously about your driving habits. You’ll be given secure access to view the data collected by your black box, which provides you with opportunities to see where you could improve your driving. 

This can be quite addictive, as you look for ways to reduce your premium! 

Lower premiums for careful drivers

Accident, injury and claim statistics have driven up insurance premiums for young drivers as a whole, but why should careful drivers be treated the same as the bad ones? 

Black box insurance offer you the chance to get out from the crowd and be treated as an individual. Careful driving means you could pay less than other drivers with similar risk factors to you.

Cheaper insurance for convicted drivers

Black box insurance could actually be a good option for drivers with convictions. That’s because the premium for a traditional policy is based in part on your previous driving history. That can really push up the cost of car insurance, even if you’re a really careful driver these days. 

A black box policy focuses more on how you drive now, so it might be a cheaper alternative. 

Theft deterrent

Black box insurance uses GPS technology to determine a vehicle’s location at all times. This can be a deterrent to would-be thieves and a useful aid to recovering your vehicle if it’s stolen.

Black box data can be useful in settling claims

Insurance claims sometimes use black box data to help settle claims or determine fault after an accident. For example, it can highlight whether an insured driver was speeding, accelerating or braking, as well as the force of impact. If a third party is disputing your version of events, that could be to your advantage.

Helpful feedback for parents

Parents have an obvious interest in following their son or daughter’s progress as they go out on their own after passing their test. Accessibility to black box data can help to put parents’ minds at rest that their child is driving sensibly. 

The cons

Bad drivers will pay higher premiums

The black box in your car sends your insurer lots of data relating to your driving and the journeys you make. If you’ve got some bad driving habits (and you don’t reform), you could actually end up paying more with a black box policy. 

Regularly driving over the speed limit, hard braking or rapid acceleration, poor cornering or road positioning are likely to lead to higher premiums. 

Curfews or journey restrictions

Many accidents happen late at night or when the roads are very busy, so some black box policies impose curfews, with fines or higher premiums if you drive outside the designated hours. 

(Note: Our own Black Box policy, created in partnership with Marmalade, doesn’t impose curfews – find out more.)

There may also be limits on the number of journeys you make or the distance you travel in any given time period. The logic is that statistically, the chances of an accident increase the more you drive.

This can make black box insurance impractical for shift-workers or driving during unsocial hours, drivers who make frequent journeys or who regularly travel longer distances. 

Privacy concerns

Black box policies gather large amounts of data about drivers, but while insurance companies take great precautions to keep this information secure from hackers, some drivers still have concerns about privacy. 

Less careful named drivers

You may be a great driver, but other people insured to drive your vehicle may not be as careful. They could push up the cost of your insurance, as most black box policies won’t be able to distinguish who’s driving.

Get a Quote

Find out more about our non-black box car insurance

  • £100,000 of legal expenses cover as standard
  • Affordable payment options
  • Wide range of additional products, from breakdown cover to gadget insurance

Or look again at a black box insurance policy

  • No premium increase once you pass your driving test and become a full licence holder
  • No restrictive night-time curfews
  • Available for 17 to 24-year-olds
  • Provisional or full licence holders 
  • For vehicles up to 1.4cc engine size only
  • Cover for vehicles up to 9 years old
  • Drivers must be accident and conviction free
  • A parent or guardian must be a named driver on the policy
     

Released On 19th Mar 2018

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