You might have heard a lot about black box insurance from your family and friends. Whilst your friend might complain about the restrictions they face with telematics insurance, your parents might suggest that they’re a great way to save money as a first-time driver.
But who should you listen to, and is a black box insurance policy right for you? Find out the pros and cons of this type of insurance, as well as how much you could save with one by reading our blog.
Pros of black box insurance
The main pros for telematics insurance are as follows.
Cheaper insurance for young and convicted drivers
The main attraction for telematics insurance policies is that they’re usually cheaper than standard insurance schemes. This usually works through a connected app or website, which will give you daily, weekly or monthly feedback.
Feedback often focuses on how you’re driving and where you might have gone wrong. This can help you correct any mistakes you make before they add up to pricey premiums. You can find out more about how telematics insurance works by reading our blog on black box insurance explained.
If you’re a young driver or you have previous convictions and are facing high insurance premiums, black box insurance can be a great way of helping you prove what a great driver you are – all while saving money! And this usually translates to lower insurance premiums after at least a year of driving with a black box – you might find your premiums see a reduction of as much as 60%!
You can choose who views your information with the right insurance policy
Whilst there are some worries about telematics insurance compromising your privacy, this isn’t always the case. A lot of schemes allow you to choose who views your information.
So whether you want to share your information with your parents or you want to keep it private, the power’s in your hands to decide. You can check whether this is the case for your chosen insurance provider by reading their terms or asking a staff member.
Ideal for convicted drivers to prove you’re a safe driver
This type of insurance isn’t just for young drivers. It can also help you if you’ve previously received motoring or criminal convictions. A telematics policy will help you prove that you’re a safe driver and can therefore translate to cheaper insurance at renewal, especially if you don’t need to make a claim.
Can deter thefts
If your black box is on show, chances are thieves will think twice about stealing your vehicle while you’re gone! Most black boxes are, effectively, a tracker, so will easily be able to locate your car in the event it gets stolen. This is particularly important if you’re a motorhead and wanted to treat yourself to a nice car.
Some black boxes aren’t immediately visible to passersby. As a result, whilst cars with non-visible telematics devices are just as likely to get stolen, the likelihood of them getting recovered is a lot higher than if you were to have a standard car without a tracking device or black box.
Can help settle claims
Say someone accuses you of crashing into them and you weren’t even at the scene, or they accuse you of causing the accident when in actual fact they did, the data collected by the black box can help prove that you either weren’t even at the scene or that you didn’t instigate the accident.
Can help improve driving skills
A black box can work as an extension to your driving lessons. Many give regular feedback to tell you how you’re doing. Some apps even allow you to see a map of where you went wrong, so you know for next time not to make the same mistake.
Translates to cheap car insurance when you pass and get regular insurance
Whilst you might view telematics boxes negatively, it’s actually a great way of slashing your premiums by hundreds – or even thousands in some cases. And once you’ve proved that you’re a safe driver to insurance companies, that translates to cheaper car insurance too.
Some insurance policies also offer a no claims bonus for claims-free driving even when you’ve got a black box.
Cons of black box insurance
Here are some of the negatives of telematics insurance.
Curfew to prevent you from driving at night
Curfews are the single biggest complaint about black boxes. Many insurance companies will penalise you for driving late at night or outside of certain hours. This is because accidents are generally more likely to occur at night, so you’re viewed as a higher risk if you drive at night.
There are, thankfully, some insurance providers that don’t penalise you for driving at night. It’s always best to check their terms and conditions if you don’t like the thought of having a curfew.
Some insurance companies will share information with your caregiver without a second thought, which is why we’ve made this both a pro and a con.
According to a recent study, it was found that young drivers drive more safely when their parents have access to the data collected from their telematics device.
As a result, it’s no surprise that some insurance providers make it mandatory for black box information to be shared with parents of young drivers.
Installation fees and time
If you’ve purchased a black box, chances are it has to be installed by an engineer. This means you’ll have to book a time with the engineer and potentially even pay for it to be set up. And worse still, if something happens to the black box, you’ll likely have to fork out more money for an engineer to repair or replace it.
Thankfully, there are some alternatives that allow you to set up the telematics device by yourself, but these are few and far between.
Can’t tell the difference between you driving and another person driving
If you’ve added named drivers to your policy, be careful who you choose! This is because the black box won’t be able to differentiate between different drivers. As a result, if the other person makes any mistakes, this could impact your insurance premiums.
Does a black box reduce insurance?
Yes – so long as you have a good record of safe driving, telematics insurance is a great way of saving money.
How much can telematics insurance realistically save you?
Your original quote will, of course, vary depending on a number of factors, including your location and the car you choose. However, even with all this in mind, a typical quote can be hundreds of pounds cheaper.
Is it worth having a telematics box?
If you consider yourself a safe and responsible driver, it’s definitely worth getting a telematics box. In fact, according to This is Money, the policies are so widely praised that older drivers are increasingly choosing to apply for telematics insurance schemes too.
Can black boxes be wrong?
There have been a number of recent news reports that black boxes have incorrectly recorded the driver as either driving when the car was still in the garage or driving in a different location to where they actually were. Whilst technologies aren’t always faultless, mistakes are usually few and far between.
However, if you feel your black box isn’t working properly, it could be a simple case of calling your insurance provider and letting them know.
Do I need a black box?
Whilst you don’t need a black box, they can be useful if you’re facing high premiums. This makes them particularly suited to young, new and convicted drivers.
How does Adrian Flux’s black box insurance compare?
At Adrian Flux, we offer our own black box device, FluxScore, which has the following benefits:
- Approximately 80% of our customers are able to reduce their renewal quote
- Can save up to 60% on your renewal price with safe driving
- Black box can be fitted by yourself
- No curfews
- You can choose who views your information
- We provide daily feedback on how you’re driving
- Offers a no claims bonus for claims-free driving
- Smartphone app available on Android and iOS
- Online maps marking locations of incidents or driving mistakes
- GPS black box acts as a phone and locator in an emergency
- Warning system to alert you to bad driving and a rising premium