Black Box Car Insurance: The Pros and Cons

Car telematics image

Finding affordable car insurance is no mean feat – particularly if you’re a new driver.

There are numerous ways in which you can start to nudge that pricey car insurance premium down to a more reasonable price, but taking out a black box – or telematics – car insurance policy is one of the most effective.

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What is black box insurance and how does it work?

Black box insurance works by having a black box fitted to your vehicle that monitors various aspects of your driving in order to provide you with a car insurance premium that is better suited to the level of risk when you’re behind the wheel.

These metrics include:

  • Speed
  • Distance and mileage
  • Braking
  • Time of travel
  • Corners
  • Steering

By allowing your insurer access to this information, you are giving them the opportunity to provide you with a price on your quality of driving, rather than one based on a stereotype.

But while telematics insurance can bring your costs down, it also has some limitations.

Let’s take a look at some of the black box car insurance pros and cons..

Telematics insurance PROS:

Some black box insurance providers offer a smartphone app that lets you can track your driving statistics yourself, making it easy to see where you’re going wrong and how you can adjust your driving habits to both cut costs on your car insurance and make you a better driver.  

Insurers offering black box car insurance will often ask you how many miles you expect to be driving. If this is low then your car insurance premium could be even further reduced – the less you drive, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident!

If the worst were to happen and you were involved in an accident, having black box insurance can be your saving grace when trying to prove your innocence. If your insurer can prove that you were driving sensibly at the time of the accident, they can help you to prove your innocence.

The black box fitted in your car also measures G-force, so it can recognise if you have been involved in an accident. Some insurers will alert authorities within your location if they feel you have been involved in an accident, resulting in a quicker recovery.

If your car was to be stolen, the GPS signal given off from the black box can assist in the recovery of your vehicle. The black box is often hidden and very hard to remove, so you don’t need to worry about thieves ripping it out.

The CONS of black box insurance:

One of the commonly asked questions about telematics insurance is: does a black box track your mileage? The truth is that, while all car insurance policies require you to inform your insurer of your estimated mileage, with a black box your insurer will find out in the instance that you exceed your mileage quota. This could lead to potential extra costs.

If your job requires you to travel through the night, you may find that your telematics insurance quote is more expensive than you expected. Statistics show that more accidents happen at night than throughout the day, so insurers are keen to limit your late-night travelling.

Black box car insurance is a great way of reducing costs, however, there are circumstances which can cause it to be more expensive than standard insurance. If your driving is erratic or you are persistently exceeding speed limits, it will certainly have an effect on the price of your car insurance.

Black box insurance tracks the activity of your vehicle, but doesn’t consider who is driving. If you are not the only person whom drives the vehicle then you could be penalised for somebody else’s poor habits.

You may find yourself obsessed with becoming a ‘better’ driver in the eyes of your insurer, but this can sometimes be to the detriment of your safety. If you need to slam on your brakes to avoid a cyclist, you should not worry too much about what your insurer will have to say about it! However most insurers will insist that, as long as it doesn’t become a frequent occurrence, you will not be penalised for these situations.

So, is black box insurance good?

If you consider yourself a dab hand behind the wheel, black box insurance could make your insurance cheaper. The pros and cons of having a black box (or telematics) in your car can vary depending on your lifestyle, but for most drivers it is certainly something worth considering.

If you want to read up a bit more on black box insurance and whether it could make your insurance cheaper, take a look at our guide to black box car insurance, or get a free, bespoke quote from the form at the top!