'Black box' helps to cut accident figures by a fifth

Telematics is reducing the cost of premiums as well as making the roads safer for motorists.

A little black box that sits in your car and uses satellite technology to discover how well you drive has had a dramatic effect on accident figures.

Analysis of 10,000 claims has revealed that drivers with telematics insurance – which uses the black box – are 20 per cent less likely tohave a car crash than those with standard insurance.

The boxes are normally aimed at young drivers for a simple reason – the information gained from them can help insurers reduce the cost of premiums. That's particularly useful for teenage drivers who have no track record and usually attract very high premiums because of the high number of accidents recorded by those in their age group.

A 17 to 22-year-old driver is often charged thousands of pounds for cover. But by using telematics, motorists are rewarded for good driving habits by lower premiums or cashback. The black box analyses speed, cornering, braking, acceleration and the time of day the car is driven, to spot better driving habits.

Co-operative Insurance launched its Young Driver scheme a year ago and it has run the rule over 10,000 claims it has received since. It says the data proves that as well as having fewer car crashes, young drivers with a black box are involved in less-serious road accidents. The cost of a typical insurance claim from a customer with the box is 30 per cent less than from a customer without.

The AA launched its own telematics cover in January, and other firms are turning to the benefits it offers. The chief attraction is that it allows insurers to offer individual pricing, rewarding those who are sensible behind the wheel.

For that reason, it could help women drivers who face insurance hikes later this year. From December, a new EU ruling will ban insurance companies from charging insurance on the basis of sex. It means women drivers – who at present pay less because of their better claims record – will be forced to pay as much as men. "This isn't fair as women are statistically safer drivers than men," said Amy Kilmartin, manager of the Young Driver Insurance scheme at the Co-op. "But if they use black-box insurance, they can prove they are safe drivers and get cheaper insurance as a result."

In short, safer drivers will be the ones who benefit from having the black box in their cars. Along with the Co-op and AA, it is offered by specialist firms such as Young Marmalade and Insurethebox.

They were joined last week by Autosaint, which claims its premiums are up to £1,900 cheaper for young men and £600 less for young women when compared with the average car insurance premium.

"We believe young motorists' premiums should be calculated based on how safely they drive and not how much of a perceived risk their sex suggests they might be," said Stuart Whalley of Autosaint.

The Co-op's director of general insurance David Neave said more firms should use telematics. "It would be great to see more insurers follow suit. Telematics has a key role in cutting insurance costs and avoiding creating an uninsurable generation."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003