What is Telematics?
So first of all Telematics is not a new invention. Its been used by emergency services, racing drivers and in commercial vehicles for over 10 years, what’s changed is that it is becoming ever more normal in the private auto industry.
Most telematics systems are phone sized boxes that capture GPS and motion information about where and how the car is driven that can then be sent back to a database.
How does Telematics work?
A ‘black box’ is installed in your car that tracks the car’s movement through GPS systems which essentially assesses your driving ability and gives you a driving score. Factors that contribute to your score are:
- Your speed and level of acceleration
- How quickly or slowly you brake
- Your cornering
- Your location and the time you’re driving at
Some policies can advise you not to drive between certain times when accidents are common e.g. late a t night, this can affect your score but you will still be insured.
Some companies that provide telematics boxes even have an app or an online portal where you can view your analysis and give your pointers as to how to improve and potentially lower your premium.
While there are cynics out there who think that ‘Big Brother’ is snooping on them, the benefits of Telematics are strong.
- If you’re unfortunate enough to fall under one of the high-risk insurance groups such as
- Young drivers
- Inexperienced drivers
- Less frequent drivers with low annual mileage
Then Telematics can dramatically reduce your insurance premium.
Anti-theft devices such as:
- ID Keypad
- Wireless Immobilizer System
- Alarm System
Will stop your vehicle being broken in to and/or the driver being able to go anywhere with it. And if they do in fact manage to get through all these systems then the black box will track where they drive.
Perhaps the most important although often overlooked is the issue of safety. In the instance of a car riving off the road and the driver being left unable to contact the emergency services, some black box providers will note the situation and alert the emergency services, just like in the case of18 year old Max Charles.
How much is it?
For a new driver the quotes for the black box can range from £1165 – £3582 which is quite high but the potential savings in premium could outweigh the costs for many drivers.