How does black box insurance work?

Will I be safer on the roads with black box insurance? How does it work and will black box insurance save me money? As a new driver, of course, you’ll have lots of questions. Buying car insurance for any driver can be overwhelming, let alone if they haven’t been on the roads before. From how black boxes work, to what they record, we’ve got the lowdown on telematics to help you drive safely and hopefully save you money at the same time.

What is black box car insurance?

Black box is a type of insurance that is aimed at new drivers. It uses advanced telematics technology to monitor how well you drive by giving us an overall picture of your driving style. It then scores you against certain factors and rewards you for driving safely by lowering your insurance premium. The safer you drive, the cheaper your insurance may become.

What does a black box do in a car?

A black box is fitted to your car. It will be placed out of sight, so it doesn’t distract you when you’re on the move. It collects data using smart technologies such as motion sensors and GPS to work out how safely you’re driving. It looks at the roads you’re using, their speed limits and your general driving behaviour.
The GPS system does not track where you are in real time (unless you ask us if your car has been stolen) and we would never sell your data to third parties or tell your parents of your driving patterns. The only time we would use your data is if we were legally required to do so, such as if requested by the police after an accident.

How does black box insurance keep you safe?

Black box insurance builds up a general picture of your driving style over time. With this, it’ll give you a clear picture on where you need to improve. We use the measurements collected to give you feedback, such as hints and tips on how you can improve your driving style, which could ultimately save you money.
One of the main safety benefits of having a black box installed in your car is that it has an accident alert fitted. As the system tracks motion, if your vehicle experiences a certain high-level of G force. If your device detects you’ve been in an accident, we’ll attempt to contact you.

What does black box insurance measure?

Telematics devices are pretty clever as they record how safely you’re driving. Telematics looks at four core things and rates you on your performance. These are:

Your top speed
Breaking the speed limit by driving too fast is not a safe way to drive. We’ll let you know if you’ve gone over the limit to help you be more careful next time. However, if we detect an extreme speeding violation, your policy may be cancelled straightaway.
The time of day that you’re out driving
Although it won’t have a huge effect on your score if you’re driving safely, regularly driving at night makes you more likely to have an accident so this may affect your overall score.
The sharpness of your braking
If you’re braking harshly more often than not, it could mean you’re not paying as much attention as you should to the roads.
How quickly you accelerate
If you’re going from 0 to 60 in seconds and constantly speeding off at junctions it could mean you’re not driving as safely as you should be.
From calculating how well you perform in these core aspects, the telematics device gives you a Driving Behaviour Score. You can keep tabs on how well you’re driving using your online WiseDriving account. Only you, us and your insurer will be able to see your score. The higher your score, the better you are at driving, which we think deserves a reward. If your score increases over time, you could receive money back from your insurance, but, if it decreases, you may have to pay more. Sounds fair, right?
Plus, we have some great hints and tips that can help you improve your driving score - check these out here.

What does black box not measure?

Your black box will only take into account certain elements to keep you safe on the road. Here are some of the things that a black box does not measure:
How much petrol you’re using
Black boxes use telematics to help you drive safely. It’s unable to tell how much petrol you have in the tank and how much it’s costing you.
If your car is faulty
We build up a general picture of your driving style so black box technology is unable to tell if your car needs a trip to the mechanic. Do keep on top of the maintenance of your vehicle on things such as tyre pressure, as this affects your driving and eats up your petrol too!
Where you are right now
Black box technology uses GPS tracking to monitor the roads you use and the speed limits, but we would never monitor your location in real time unless you ask us to. However, GPS can be beneficial in rare circumstances - if your car is stolen, for example. Once activated, we can pass on the GPS details about your car’s location to the police who can attempt to recover the vehicle for you.
How loud your music is
Black box technology is not watching you! It won’t record your conversations, pick up on the volume of your music, or record how loudly you’re singing along to the radio. All it looks for is the safety of your driving which only you, us and your insurer can monitor using the WiseDriving portal.
If black box insurance sounds good to you, get a quote today and see how much you can save on your car insurance.

Posted on April 6, 2018

Back to blog