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Black boxes (telematics) and insurance

Damo S Nov 14, 2018

  1. Damo S

    Damo S Active Member

    This is just my experience with them, which may or may not be useful to people in future:

    So last December we bought a car for my daughter to drive since she just passed her test. We took out a telematics policy with O2 drive as it seemed a fairly decent deal (just under 1200 for the year).
    There are different policy features from various companies but for this one its a 3 strikes (speeding) and you are out. Her scores on different aspects of driving which you can monitor via an app were always good. That's where the fun starts. She had done well up to within the last few months, then we get a notification that she was doing 36 in a 30. A week later she gets another notification that she had been doing 24 in a 20 zone. She claims she has not really changed her driving habits (which may or may not be true) but even so 24 in a 20 seems harsh. So thats 2 of the 3 allowable strikes so what does that mean? 1 more and they will cancel her policy, and this could easily come from a mistake such as speeding a bit into a 30mph zone from a 60.
    We looked at what it meant if they cancelled the policy. You have to declare this to future insurers and it basically meant her cheapest quote was then £2600, pretty much double and that would stick with her for 5 years and in some instances for life with some insurers.
    That was an absolute no no. so she had 2 choices.
    1) not to drive until her renewal, take the 1 years NCD over to a new policy with a different insurer as those black flags stay valid for 6 months with her current insurer.
    2) cancel the policy herself and take out a new one and sacrifice her no claims.

    She went for option 2, and then paid £1600 for a policy with no black box with 0 NCD. Honestly we should have just done that from the outset.

    One issue with this is that it didnt matter who was driving the flag counted against you, so if it went into the garage and they took it up the road speeding then the policy owner got done for it.

    The second problem with black boxes is if you try and stay within the limit you are literally holding everyone else up. She said she had people overtaking her in 30 zones, or sitting completely on her backside and just felt unsafe and intimidated most of the time. I am not convinced that these black boxes are really doing a job, and force the driver to drive in a way that is more likely to cause accidents due to the impatience of others.

    That is my thoughts on them anyway. Think about it very carefully before choosing to go down that route for you or your child just to save a few quid. Personally, I'm not convinced.
    Ron240 likes this.
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  3. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

    Great post. I was always suspicious that they would share findings with anyone who would buy the data and for that reason alone I'd never use a black box even for my son at 17, I'd rather just pay the extra in the short term until ncb goes up.


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