It’s sadly no secret that younger drivers face much higher car insurance premiums than those who have had years behind the wheel.
That added experience is part of the reason why drivers over 25 enjoy smaller car insurance costs; from an insurance perspective, their road experience means they are less likely to be involved in accidents and therefore present less risk as an insured driver.
But new technology is offering responsible younger drivers the chance to prove that they are no riskier than drivers over 25 and enjoy smaller premiums to boot.
A little black box
Telematics car insurance policies generally see a small black box fitted to your car. This device then monitors the way that you drive, covering things like typical speeds, when you are most likely to be on the road, your braking and cornering and even the types of road on which you normally drive.
You’ll have access to this information, so you can get a profile of your own driving habits and areas where perhaps you need to improve.
This may vary between insurers though. Some don’t bother with a black box, instead relying on you to turn on an app on your mobile phone, tracking your driving that way.
Will it cut the cost of my insurance?
The idea with telematics is that the insurer can use all of this data to build up a better image of you as an individual driver, and therefore what sort of risk you present, rather than the typical level of risk associated with a driver of your age and profile.
From here, the insurer can then offer you a more personalised insurance quote. For many young drivers, that means a significantly cheaper premium - according to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), discounts of as much as 25% are achievable via telematics policies.
However, a saving is certainly not guaranteed.
If you demonstrate poor driving skills and fail to correct them based on the analysis provided by the black box, then telematics may not prove a cheaper option. Similarly, if you can’t avoid travelling during busy times for long periods then you may be better off going with a standard car insurance policy.
Is telematics only for younger drivers?
Telematics car insurance has been heavily associated with younger drivers, primarily because they are the ones most likely to see the biggest impact on their car insurance premiums and driving safety.
However, it would be a mistake to assume that they are only for inexperienced drivers - an increasing number of older drivers are making use of telematics policies too, confident that their responsible driving habits will result in lower car insurance costs.
How many motorists have telematics car insurance policies?
BIBA tracks the number of telematics policies in the UK, and it found that in 2016 the number of active telematics policies passed 750,000 for the first time.
That’s an annual increase of nearly 25 per cent, so it’s clear that the potential benefits of telematics policies are becoming more widely understood by motorists.
Graeme Trudgill, executive director at BIBA, said the jump in take up of telematics policies was encouraging, adding: “Motor insurance premiums for young drivers are higher than for other drivers because statistically they have more accidents, but the safety advantages of telematics help to reduce users’ premiums.”