What is telematics insurance?

As we now live in the ‘age of technology’, it is no surprise that insurers and motorists alike are also turning to technology to assess driving and insurance needs. Better known as ‘telematics’ an in-car device can now be used to identify safe driving and possibly reward drivers with lower premiums based on their driving.

According to a report published by IOTUK ‘the global automotive telematics market is set to experience rapid growth in the coming years, with approximately 104m, or 88%, of new cars expected to have some form of connectivity by 2025*’.

To find out more about telematics, continue reading our guide today!

What is telematics insurance and how does it work?

According to TechRadar ‘telematics is a method of monitoring a vehicle. By combining a GPS system with on-board diagnostics it’s possible to record and map exactly where a car is and how fast it is travelling’. This information is then fed back to the insurer who will monitor your driving style in order to obtain a view on how safe your driving is and thus base your premium price based on this. They go on to say ‘add communication over a 3G network and telematics can be used to send both data and communications back and forth between a vehicle and a central management system.

By tracking your vehicles movements through a GPS system enabled by 3G, insurance providers can assess your driving style and ability to be ‘a safe driver’. The following elements may be recorded and taken into consideration:

  • Your location
  • The period of time that you have been driving for
  • How rapid or controlled your acceleration is
  • How sharp or smooth your breaking is
  • How you tackle corners
  • The speed you travel at
  • What road type you are driving on
  • G-force
  • Your maximum/ average speed
  • Elevation (speed bumps etc.)

Some more advanced devices also provide video capability so that the external road and or traffic environment can be recorded in order to provide contextual details about the journey and driver. In most cases this is referred to as a ‘dashcam’.

Is telematics insurance the same as black box insurance?

Yes, when people refer to ‘black box’ insurance they are referring to the device itself which is, in fact, a black box!

How/ where is a telematics box installed in my vehicle?

When you purchase car insurance through a telematics provider, as part of their terms and conditions, you will have to agree to have a telematics device installed in your vehicle. The device will be installed at a location and date that suits you, within a specific period of time specified by the insurer, by a professional. The installation itself usually takes around an hour.

Most telematics devices are no bigger than the size of a standard deck of cards and are usually installed beneath the dash or the bonnet. Where the device is installed will be wholly dependent upon the insurer’s requirements and the make and model of your car but you can rest assure that the device will be placed out of sight and will not be in plain view.

Can I access the data recorded by my telematics box?

Most telematics insurers will provide you with a personalised login or app where you can access and view your telematics data.

Will my insurer track my whereabouts?

Your insurer will not be interested in tracking your whereabouts; that said the whereabouts of your vehicle will be used to paint a more accurate picture of your driving in order to provide you with a fair price for your insurance premium.

Please be advised that some insurers impose a curfew which outlines what times you are allowed to drive between. You may have opted for this based on the policy being cheaper due to you agreeing not to drive at times that are perceived to hold a higher risk of an accident occurring.

To find out how your data is analysed, please review the Terms and Conditions or FAQ’s of your proposed provider.

Will having a telematics insurance help to keep my premium down?

If you perceive yourself as a ‘safe driver’ then telematics may benefit you and could possibly save you money. Additionally, if you are a new or young driver, driving within the parameters set out by your telematics insurer could save you money. That said, your premium is calculated based on your driving ability, therefore, there are no guarantees. If you do not drive safely or learn from the analysis then telematics could prove expensive for you.

What are the safety benefits of having a telematics device?

The World Health Organisation estimates that ‘more than 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes’.  The WHO also predicts that without immediate action, traffic accidents could become the 7th leading cause of death globally by 2030.

Based on the above, surely telematics can go some way to providing a safer driving environment on the road? Surely more people being aware of the hazards of driving and their own driving style might save some lives? We can hope so!

We hope that this guide has been helpful. If you have any suggestions or would like us to cover any specific topic, please email us at feedback@dialdirect.co.uk with your request.

*Report- The Structure if the UK Automotive telematics Market