Savvy Britain

Telematics Car Insurance

Explained in Detail - Is it RIGHT for you?

Telematics Car InsuranceOver the last decade or so, Telematics Insurance has become a popular choice amongst UK drivers. Telematic can also be known as ‘Black box Insurance’, you will find that the vast majority of insurers will offer this form of cover, but what does it involve?

Most insurance companies will provide you with a ‘telematic box’ aka the ‘black box’. This measures various aspects of how, where and when you drive.

To find out more about Telematic insurance, and if it’s right for your requirements. Please read below our full and extensive guide.

Should I get a black box fitted to my Car?

If you want to take out a telematic car insurance policy then you will need a ‘black box’ fitting to your vehicle.

Telematic insurance is popular because your driving ability, the times you drive and the roads you use can keep premiums low. However this can and will depend on individual circumstances and is calculated by your insurance provider on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.

Generally speaking, after your first year of using a telematic box, it lets your insurer ‘take into account’ how safety you have driven. This should mean, if your driving has been excellent you should receive a discount on premiums.

Another good plus point of a telematic box, is the fact it can act as a ‘tracker’ if your vehicle is ever stolen. The box works as a standard tracking device, this means your insurer will most likely be able to locate it for you.

However, just because this is the case, don’t think you won’t have to ‘report’ the crime to the police because you will. In most cases, when the police are notified your car has telematic insurance, they will contact your policy provider.

You should be aware however, that if you do have an accident then the telematic black box can ‘sense’ an impact. This data will be sent to your insurer instantaneously. In worst-case scenarios of serious incidents, it’s not uncommon for your insurance company to even call the emergency services. That’s how quickly the information gets sent to them.

What information does a Car Black Box Record?

Blackbox InsuranceTelematic boxes record various types of data that tells your insurance company about how you drive on the road. For example, the data will tell them:
  • The speed in which you drive, on all sorts of different roads
  • Whether you drive during the day or night, and at what times you’re driving
  • If you suddenly brake, or accelerate. This can tend to mean you don’t ‘pay attention’ to the road and the hazards in front of you.
  • If you take regular breaks on long journeys
  • The telematic black box can ‘sense’ if your vehicle has been involved in an accident
  • How many miles you travel on motorways
  • Your total mileage, including both ‘city’ driving and ‘motorway’ driving.
Some people are obviously worried about their data being ‘shared’ with third parties, however the vast majority of insurers will not share information unless they are required to do so by law.

For details on how your insurance company shares your information, please read all of the documentation and privacy policies they will have sent you.

What’s inside of a Telematic Box?

Obviously, this can vary from each individual insurance provider, however typically there are four main parts of a telematic box. These include the following:
  • SIM Card – This sends all of the information and data to the insurance companies database
  • GPS System – This tells your insurance provider how, where and when you drive. It also alerts them to what type of roads you drive on.
  • Computer Software – The software is needed to collect the data and transmit it to the insurers database.
  • Motion Sensor – This provides data about an impact or accident. From the location on the vehicle to information about ‘heavy braking’.

Telematic Insurance – Common Questions

Who fits the black box to my car?

Most insurers will have a specially trained team of engineers across the United Kingdom to fit your telematics box at your place of work, or at your home. Whichever is more convenient for you, however please remember they usually need ‘fitting’ within 14 days of taking out the policy.

Will the box affect the performance of my vehicle?

No, the box will not affect your car’s ability to function; it will work like normal and will not interfere with any electrical systems.

What do insurers use the telematics data for?

Generally, most insurance providers use this form of technology to help reduce driver’s premiums. They use the black box information to help calculate renewal prices, assess how safety you drive, track the location of your car if its stolen and manage a claim in the event of an accident.

What happens if I sell my car?

Typically your black box will be ‘switched off’ by your insurance provider. Most companies will remove the device all together if you or the new owner requests to do so. However you must read all the small print and documentation with your telematic car insurance provider, as there could be a fee involved.
Original Publication: 14 June 2017
Last Updated: 14 June 2017

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