Insurers are using new calculations to decide if young drivers are safe even if they’re driving within the laws
Joe Finnerty, Digital Motors Editor
INSURERS are using black box data to penalise teens even if they’re driving BELOW the speed limit.
Some telematics firms are using sneaky calculations to measure young drivers against experienced motorists rather than legal limits.
Young drivers are being targeted by new black box data
Average road speeds are being recorded and if new drivers are found to be over it, they’ll be given a bad score on their black box history.
It means a teen could be driving below the limit by as much as 15mph but still be given a poor rating if it’s above the norm.
These bad ratings tally up and can lead to increased premiums – despite the fact drivers haven’t broken the law.
Insurers are mainly targeting speeds on rural A and B roads due to the high number of road deaths.
Department for Transport figures show 82 per cent of all young driver deaths occur on B-roads yet account for just 42 per cent of journeys.
Telematics experts Quartix told the Daily Mail national speed limits on these roads give drivers a “false sense of security”.
Andy Walters, managing director at Quatrix, said: “Speed limits are a terrible indicator of accident risk on rural roads.
“Rural roads are in reality riddled with sudden, sharp bends, poor road surfaces, narrow lanes, blind bends and farm vehicles. At night, these risks become more pronounced still.
What is a black box?
Telematics insurance policies – also known as black boxes – are a great way for young drivers to cut premiums.
- They use GPS tracking data to know where, when and how fast you’re driving.
- For 17 to 20 year olds, fitting a black box can save an average of £202 a year on car insurance premiums.
- The policies are often tied up with an app that provides a feedback score at the end of a journey.
- Drive safely and score well and you can be rewarded by even cheaper premiums in the future or other rewards.
“Alerting young drivers, insurers and parents that, though legal, the speeds they are doing are deemed dangerous by other drivers given the road conditions is a terrific way to combat the accident rate and is already saving lives.
“It’s the virtual parent we’ve all always wanted to be able to place in the car next to our children as they build up enough hours’ experience behind the wheel.”
Premiums have already surged over the last year by £90 for UK motorists with drivers hit hardest in the North East thanks to increases of Insurance Premium Tax and law changes on personal injury payouts.
Reporting a minor crash to your insurer even when you don’t claim can cause your premium to soar, too.