With car insurance costs rising all the time, and motorists taking the brunt of uninsured drivers, it makes sense to use every possible means you can to reduce your premiums. Many insurance companies are now utilising black box technology to monitor driving behaviour and then price cover accordingly, the AA being one of the latest. AA Drivesafe is a new scheme in which drivers can have a black box installed in their car.
The box then uses satellite technology to monitor behaviour such as braking and acceleration, cornering, speed, and at what time of day the car is driven. This data is then fed back to the AA who will use it to set premiums. The better the driving, the lower the premium. The great thing about Drivesafe is that once the system is up and running, you can actually log on to a secure website, as a user and find out exactly how you are preforming under four separate categories: speed, anticipate traffic (i.e. smooth deceleration/braking), follow landscape (cornering), and where and when (types of road and times of day).
You can get separate reports which give you overall scores such as monthly mileages, daily mileages, journey lengths and road type usage. And you can add useful alerts such as service intervals, MoT test dates etc for your own personal use. The website also gives you advice and techniques on driving styles and how you can improve yours. And of course, once your driving starts to improve, your premiums may go down.
The AA says that compared with standard inexperienced driver policies, premium savings of up to £850 could be achieved. It works by you being quoted on an average annual premium, as you would be normally for any motor insurance, which includes the cost of installing the box.
But then what happens is as the driving box records your driving, after 60 days this is taken into account, and providing you drive well, your payments, which are made by direct debit, will reduce. However, the reverse is also true in that drivers who exceed speed limits, corner sharply, brake heavily, take frequent risks or drive at night a lot will see their premiums go up. It is thought that by having this black box technology, younger and more inexperienced drivers stand to benefit from it the most, as it is like having Big Brother watching over you as you drive.
These type of black box policies have been around for a few years but were not so successful and many companies withdrew them. They are only making a comeback as premiums have sky rocketed, particlularly for younger drivers, and people are prepared now to go tot hose extra lengths in order to get their premiums down.
And the AA is not the only insurer that offers this type of insurance; other similar policies include Insure The Box and Fair Pay Insurance from Motaquote in conjunction with sat-nav specialists Tom Tom. For more information about the AA’s Drivesafe, you can visit their dedicated website on . Installation of the Drivesafe box, the cost of which is included in the annual premium, can be carried out at the driver’s home or workplace and the system ‘goes live’ within 24 hours. You need a computer if you wish to check on your own progress although if you have a smartphone there is an AA app you can download.