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Should I consider a black box insurance policy?

Black box car insurance can be a good option for drivers looking for a way to lower their insurance premiums. But are they a good fit for you?

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If you are a young driver, or simply someone with only a small amount of driving experience, shopping for a car insurance policy can be painful.

Having less on-road experience equates to higher risk for insurance providers, so if you haven’t spent much time behind the wheel you can be met with high insurance premiums that break the £1,000/year barrier.

However, insurance companies do offer up a solution that eases some of that financial burden – a ‘black box’ type of car insurance that uses telematics to track your driving. These policies can certainly reduce your premiums, but they won’t suit everyone’s needs.

What is a black box?

A telematics system, also known as a black box, is a device that essentially monitors and tracks your driving. It contually sends data to your car insurance provider so they can have more confidence (or less confidence) in your driving, and thus lower (or raise!) your insurance premiums.

This tracking device is usually installed under the bonnet on your car battery, but some insurers now ask that you install a plug-in on your dashboard or download a smartphone app instead (or a combination of these). Some particularly cautious insurers may also ask you to install a dashcam on your windscreen as part of your black box policy.

Once installed, the device (or app) records and transmits data about the vehicle’s location, speed, and driving behaviour. Black box insurance is a ‘pay-how-your-drive’ arrangement, so it only really works in your favour if you plan to be a safe and responsible driver who is looking for a way to lower your insurance premiums. Speeding, heavy braking and refusing to slow down for junctions will not lead to cheaper insurance costs – in fact, quite the opposite.

Does black box insurance policy suit me?

So, if you are still interested in a black box policy, we have established that you plan to take the rules of the road seriously. Here are some situations where a black box insurance policy may be a good option:

  1. If you’re a new driver – New drivers, especially younger drivers, may face higher insurance premiums due to their lack of experience. A black box insurance policy can help to lower these premiums by demonstrating safe driving behaviour.
  2. If you have a low annual mileage – If you don’t drive very often, a black box insurance policy may be a good option. Since your driving will be monitored, the insurance company can assess your risk level based on the limited amount of time you spend on the road.
  3. If you want to improve your driving – If you’re looking for ways to improve your driving, a black box insurance policy can provide valuable feedback on your driving behaviour. The feedback you receive can help you to identify areas where you can improve and become a safer driver. Black box policy holders will always receive regular (often monthly) feedback from their insurer about their driving because it’s a win-win for both parties – you feel safer and more confident on the road, and your improvement lowers the risk that the insurer has taken on by giving you a policy.
  4. If you’re on a budget – Black box insurance policies can be an affordable option for drivers on a budget. Since the policy is based on your driving behaviour, you may be able to save money on your premiums if you drive safely and responsibly.

Overall, a black box insurance policy can be a good option if you’re a safe and responsible driver who is looking for a way to lower your insurance premiums.

However, it’s still important to shop around and compare policies from different insurance providers to find the best option for your needs and budget.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.