Is black box insurance beneficial for young drivers?

Young drivers often face such steep insurance costs that it is impossible for them to get on the road at all. Statistically younger drivers have more accidents that more experienced motorists, and are therefore considered much higher risk by insurers. However, one way young drivers can keep premiums down is to consider ‘black box’ insurance, otherwise known as ‘telematics’ or ‘pay as you go’ insurance. Here, we explain how this type of cover works, so that you can decide whether it could be the right choice for you.

How black box insurance works

The insurer monitors your driving habits using a ‘black box’ so that it can tailor premiums to suit each individual, rather than relying on statistics to determine the cost of cover. The black box monitors things such as acceleration and braking, as well as mileage and what time of day the car is used. The better the driving young motorists can demonstrate, the greater the chance of premium reductions. You can see how you are driving by accessing a secure website which will show you should make any changes to your driving technique. Most of these sites offer advice on how you can improve your driver score and therefore bring down the cost of your insurance. Another advantage of being ‘watched’ in this way is that your car can be tracked if it is ever stolen, and it may help the insurer work out who is to blame in the event that your car is damaged in an accident. Black box insurance premiums usually vary month by month, depending on how you have driven. So, for example, if one month you have driven a lot at night and travelled on some dangerous roads, your premiums are likely to be much higher that month than if you had only driven during the day on safer roads. If you are considering this kind of cover, you should always compare quotes from several insurers, as premiums can vary widely depending on their per-mile and peak-time driving charges.

Drawbacks of black box insurance

While black box insurance can result in much lower premiums for safer drivers, if your driving isn’t quite as safe as it could be, your premiums could end up being higher than they might be with a conventional insurance policy. Another drawback is that the cost of the black box and its installation will usually be added to the price of the policy, although any savings you make from having this kind of cover should outweigh this cost.

Other ways to cut insurance costs

If a telematics policy isn’t the right choice for you, there are still plenty of ways that young drivers can bring the cost of car insurance down. Adding an older, more experienced driver to the policy as a named driver, for example, is a perfectly legitimate way of lowering the cost of cover. However, parents and their children should be warned against ‘fronting’ the policy to lower the cost of car insurance. This is when someone registers themselves as the main driver on a policy to lower premiums, when in fact their son, daughter or other less-experienced driver is the genuine main driver of the vehicle. If the insurance finds out discovers your policy was being fronted while processing your claim, they could reject it because the premium they quoted was not based on correct information. Taking additional motoring qualifications, such as Pass Plus, can also help young drivers can keep down the cost of cover. Pass Plus fees vary, but the cost is usually around £150. If you passed your test more than a year ago, check that you'll be eligible for the discounts on offer from your insurance company before you take the course.

Did you enjoy that? Why not share this article