Are there different types of telematics insurance
Yes. While a telematics box is the most popular type of telematics insurance, there are other ways insurance companies can monitor your driving.
Some insurance companies also offer:
- Plug-and-drive insurance
- Pay per mile insurance
- Telematics app
Plug-and-drive is similar to a telematics box policy but you can install the device in your car yourself. Your insurer will mail you a device that you plug into your 12v power socket, also known as the cigarette lighter. The device will record things like your speed, braking and cornering.
Pay per mile policies mean your insurer will adjust the price of your insurance based on how far you drive. The less miles you do, the cheaper your insurance. You’re charged a set amount to cover your car while it’s parked, and then a small monthly cost for every mile driven. A small device or mobile app is used to measure your distance.
Telematics app policies mean your insurer can record how you drive using an app on your phone. The app uses GPS to monitor various things like your speed, acceleration and distance.
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Some insurers operate a curfew system, but these tend to be on an opt-in basis. You might choose a curfew policy because you can get cheaper cover. However, you then run the risk of a penalty if you have to drive at a time you’ve agreed not to.
Even when there is no curfew on your policy, your driving score could still go down if you drive late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Your insurance company may view driving between the hours of 11pm and 5am as higher risk, so you could see the impact on your driving score.
When you have a box installed, you usually agree to limit yourself to a set number of annual miles. You should think carefully about the number of miles you expect to do before you take out a policy. Most insurers will allow you to add more miles later, though there will be an added cost to do this.
The better you drive, the higher your driving score and the cheaper your insurance. Most telematics setups will provide you with personalised tips to improve your driving score.
Typical top tips for improving your driving score are:
- Accelerate smoothly
- Break in plenty of time
- Keep to the speed limit
Depending on your insurer, it might also help your score if you can avoid driving at certain times of the day – driving between 11pm and 5am might be viewed as higher risk by some insurers.
Occasionally breaking the speed limit by a small amount might not affect your insurance policy very much. However, continually breaking speed limits, especially by significant amounts, is likely to seriously impact your driving score. And it could even lead to your insurer cancelling the policy.
Insurers don’t use telematics data to pass on evidence of motoring offences to the police, but there may still be repercussions from speeding. If you wish to lower the cost of your insurance by being considered a good driver, it’s best to stick to the speed limit.
Yes, your insurer should still be able to fit a telematics box in an older car. However, the age of the car can affect the kind of box that can be put in. Some vehicles may need a modification before a box can be installed.
You can cancel your policy at any time but you may be subject to cancellation charges and admin fees as outlined in the terms and conditions of your policy. Speak to your insurer for more information.
Check out our guide on making changes to your policy.
If you’re cancelling the policy or not renewing, you shouldn’t need to have the box removed – it will just stop gathering data.
Should you still want to have it removed, you may need to pay for a professional to take it out. You’ll need to get the box removed if you’re selling your car mid-policy – again, there may be a charge
Yes, you can normally drive abroad with telematics box insurance. Up to 90 days cover to drive in the EU and certain other European countries is included with many policies, though you should check the terms and conditions in your policy.
Telematics box insurance policies last for 12-months, just like a standard car insurance policy. When your policy is due to renew, you can decide if you want to continue with a black box insurance policy for another 12-months or switch to standard car cover.