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Car insurance scheme piloted in NI


A car insurance scheme is to be piloted in Northern Ireland which bases policy prices on motorists' driving skills.

The scheme will see a data recorder fitted to volunteer participants' vehicles that will assess drivers' behaviour at the wheel.

Autoline, who are behind the device, will then base the driver's car insurance premium on the device's findings.

Premiums are on the rise and a recent European Court of Justice ruling means from December 2012 gender will no longer be a consideration when assessing risk for insurance.

This will add to the already rapidly increasing cost of motor insurance in Northern Ireland, the company said.

Caroline Currie, sales director said: "This is an entirely voluntary type of insurance package which could have huge repercussions for the insurance industry.

"With this scheme, drivers will no longer have to endure the current broad brush approach to insurance rating, as premiums will be based on individual driving skills."

The data recorder is capable of recognising and recording the driving habits of drivers and can also pinpoint the location of the vehicle.

The scheme is similar to a project which has been successfully running in the US for several years and more recently has been tested in other parts of Europe and the UK.

For the first time in Northern Ireland, drivers could have the opportunity to have their insurance premiums rated on their driving performance, rather than current underwriting categories, such as gender and postcode.

Drivers who choose to install this device in their car will be able to go online to monitor their driving score and learn how to improve their own performance.

Autoline is in consultation with local government departments to brief them on the impact the scheme could have for Northern Ireland drivers.

It has also been negotiating with a number of insurers and is aiming to launch the scheme later this year.

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