What Exactly Is a Telematics Box?
A telematics box is a small device fitted to your car that records how you’re driving.
Sometimes called a Black Box, a telematics box is an electronic device fitted to a vehicle to record and monitor the driver’s performance. It’s usually part of a Young Driver insurance policy, but can be found in other insurance policies as well.
The box is usually quite small and is often fitted out of sight, behind the dashboard. Once installed, it will record how you drive, and produces a score by measuring a number of factors such as your cornering, braking, accelerating and the speed you were driving at. It can also monitor where and when the vehicle is driven, which means it can act as a vehicle location device if your car has been stolen. The black box does not have any control over the car whatsoever, so it won’t affect your braking, accelerating, or anything else to do with your car, including the radio or music player.
You might think that your driving is fine, but the black box might record data that suggests otherwise, so how will you be able to tell for sure? With a Think Insurance Young Driver policy you have access to your own online portal Here you will be able to check your driving score, and will be able to see where you’re performing really well, and what areas of your driving could do with some attention – though hopefully there are no areas of your driving that need to be looked at!
Fine tuning your driving skills isn’t the only benefit of having a telematics box installed in your car. It can also provide you with evidence if you are involved in an accident, and illustrate what happened, meaning it could potentially help you settle a dispute with another driver. For example, in the event of an accident where the third party accuses you of braking in such a manner that it caused a collision, or perhaps they suggest you were speeding and that caused a collision, your insurance company would be able to pull the data from the device to determine exactly how hard you were braking or how fast you were driving before, during and after the crash, and use this as evidence for/against any claim.
Another primary use of a telematics box is to bring down the insurance premium of young drivers, by making sure they are driving in a safe and responsible manner. This can also lead to good driver discounts at renewal time. With some Young Driver insurance policies the insurer may impose curfews and other driving restrictions as part of the telematics box installation, but at Think we have neither of those on our policies. We do however reward those with low mileage, with discounts, and you only pay for the miles you need – but don’t forget to be accurate and realistic about how many miles you will do, and don’t be tempted to lie in in order to get a discount. Your box records your mileage and so we will find out once you come close to the mileage threshold you’ve purchased, and so you will need to purchase additional miles to allow you to continue to drive. These additional miles will be charged in line with your driving score at the point of adding the miles to your mileage, and so could be more expensive than if you’d just gone for higher mileage in the first place!
With a Think Insurance telematics box you are able to legally drive before the black box has been installed, which means you can get on the road as soon as your policy is sorted. If you do drive before installation you may be subject to a higher excess, but once the telematics box is installed that should be lowered. For more details on this, or for any other questions about our Black Box insurance policies, please call our specialist team on 0800 221 8077.