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Black Box Insurance: Pros and Cons

Posted on 31/05/2017

Black box insurance policies are becoming increasingly popular due to the rising cost of car insurance, with many drivers opting for this type of car insurance to reduce their premiums.

Black box insurance will charge you based on your driving style instead of using statistics, so it’s particularly valuable for young or first time drivers. The usual factors that affect your insurance premiums will be taken into consideration, such as your occupation and age. The device fitted to your car is no bigger than a smart phone and sends the data back to the insurer. You can check how you are performing online by accessing the feedback that is sent by the insurer.

The device records:

  • Speed
  • Distance travelled
  • Time of day/night
  • Braking
  • Corners
  • Mileage
  • Steering
Young girl receiving new car keys

Pros

  • Black box insurance can be beneficial if you have high insurance premiums. If you are a first time driver, a young driver, have had claims in the past or have been convicted for a driving offence, opting for a black box insurance quote can reduce the price of your insurance, as long as you drive carefully and sensibly. If you don’t travel many miles a black box can be beneficial. Most companies will allow you to choose how many miles you will travel, and if you underestimate you can buy extra.
  • Paying monthly is an advantage for many, especially if you find your insurance cost is lowered due to your black box insurance. One of the big disadvantages of car insurance is that pay monthly plans have a higher interest rate than if you pay upfront for the year, so if you save with a black box and pay monthly it can be a huge advantage.
  • Insurance claims are handled much quicker and easier with a black box installed. The data that is collected can be useful when someone is making a claim against you as it can prove how fast someone was going or whether they were driving dangerously.

Cons

  • If you have a long commute to work and back, you may find that black box insurance isn’t worthwhile as you will end up paying more if you have a limit on your mileage. Curfews that are imposed can also be very restricting if you do shift work that includes driving to and from work at night.
  • If you share a car then you will need to consider that all driving done in the car will be taken into account, so whoever you share your car with must also drive in a similar manner and follow all of the conditions that are set out by the insurance provider.
  • It has been argued that pay as you drive policies may change your behaviour for the worse whilst driving, as you are focusing on keeping the price of your policy low. If a driver needs to brake sharply, but because a black box is installed they brake softly, it could have serious consequences. However some companies have argued that you will only be penalised if you are braking heavily repeatedly.

If you’re a young driver, why not check out cars that are cheap to insure.

Black box insurance not for you? Check out our tips on finding the best insurance policy!

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