If you have started learning how to drive or are a new driver, you’ve probably heard about  Black Box  Insurance. This might be confusing to get your head around, so Get Licensed Driving School will break it down for you, so you can decide if you need a Black Box Insurance and most importantly know exactly what it is.

What is Black Box Insurance

Black Box Insurance also known as ‘telematics’ or ‘pay as you go car insurance’ is a type of car insurance policy that measures driving behaviour to help insurers give an accurate premium.  By fitting a small box into your car, your insurer can track your driving habits and find out how well you drive. Insurers can then offer premiums based on your driving habits, giving you a personalised price.

How does Black Box Insurance work

Black box car insurance uses a type of technology known as telematics. The device is the size of a smartphone and is usually installed behind the dashboard. Most of the time, you won’t be able to see the black box or even know it’s there.

The black box device uses GPS to send information about your acceleration, cornering, speed and braking to your insurer, who uses it to asses how safely they think you are driving and provide you with a regular Driver Score.

Every time you drive, your Driver Score information will change. As a driver, you can monitor the journeys you make via a mobile app or portal and you can see where you have not driven particularly safely. This information can help you know what you need to do to be a better driver and not only achieve a better Driver Score but also save on your insurance premium.

An important factor to consider is that the black box monitors how the car is driven at all times, so even if it’s not you who is driving the car, it will count towards your Driver Score. So either inform other drivers of the car about this or make sure you are the only one driving the car.

How does Black Box insurance save you money?

When an insurer calculates how much you have to pay for your car insurance, they take into account many different factors about you and your car. So the price you pay for insurance could be based on the factors of your age, occupation and driving history and in terms of your car; its desirability, price and modifications. Because of the factors that insurers use to calculate your insurance, this could mean younger and less experienced drivers being deemed more of a risk and having to pay more for car insurance.

This is where black box car insurance comes in. A black box gives an insurer the opportunity to asses your actual driving skill instead of basing it on factors beyond your control. If you prove you are a sensible and safe driver to insurers then you can save money on your insurance.

Who can benefit from Black Box Insurance

Inexperienced and young drivers: Young and inexperienced drivers are deemed more of a risk on the roads and are hit with higher premiums. Black box car insurance might appeal to them as they can save money and get a premium that matches their safety as a driver as opposed to their demographic.

Elderly:  Older people may not need to drive during rush hour conditions, or at night, and usually have to pay higher premiums due to their age.

Homeworkers: Those who work from home can benefit from a black box policy as they are not driving during rush-hour and might drive less as there is no need to commute.

Infrequent drivers: If you don’t drive very much then getting a black box fitted can be ideal for you. Black box insurance policies usually have a mileage limit attached to them, so if you can adhere to this as an infrequent driver then you can benefit from black box insurance.

Safe drivers: The idea of black box insurance is that it rewards safe driving, so if you’re a safe driver then you can definitely benefit from a black box policy.

Who won’t benefit from Black Box insurance

People who drive at night:

If you need to drive at night-time, then you should consider if you are suited to a black box policy. Some insurers have a curfew with their black box policy which can carry financial penalties and also impact your Driver Score. If you have a job which requires night-time driving or need to drive at night for whatever reason then you should think about this before getting black box insurance. The reason why some insurers have curfews with their black box insurance is become statistics show that more accidents happen at night and therefore a detriment to safe driving.

Drivers with high mileage:

If you are a driver with high mileage, you could end up paying more for your premium.

What are the benefits of getting Black Box  Insurance

An incentive to drive less:

Black box cover might encourage less driving due to the curfew restrictions. The incentive to drive less can help you lower petrol and associated usage costs, such as garage bills.

Find stolen vehicles:

In the unfortunate event, your car is stolen, black box technology will make it easier to track your vehicle as it uses GPS systems.

Encourages safe driving:

Having black box car insurance will encourage you to be a safe driver, as safe driving results in lower premiums.

What are the cons of getting Black Box car  Insurance

Hidden costs:

Drivers mostly opt for black box insurance to save money but there are many hidden costs with black box cover. Installing the black box can cost up to £50 and you can be fined up to a £100 for missing an installation appointment.  you damage the box, you can also be charged up to £150 and your policy could even be cancelled. Black box removal also isn’t free and can cost up to £80.

Curfew restrictions:

As mentioned earlier, those who need to drive at night-time might need to reconsider getting black box car insurance. If your insurer imposes curfew restrictions with your black box, you can be fined up to £100 for breaking it. Apart from financial penalties, a black box that has a curfew puts limitations on when you can drive which can be frustrating.

As mentioned earlier, some insurers who provide black box car insurance also impose curfew restrictions and you can be hit with a fine for breaking this. Penalties for breaking a black box curfew can be up to £100. The black box curfew not only puts limitations on when you can drive but also has financial consequences for not following it. Some insurers might not have a curfew with their black box policy, but driving late at night can impact your Driver Score so make sure to check the terms and conditions of your policy thoroughly.

Check out our video about whether or not Black Box Insurance is worth it below: