Drivers still unconvinced by telematics

Nearly 70% of drivers don’t believe black box technology could lower their insurance premiums.

Telematics-based insurance policies monitor driving standards and adjust premiums accordingly, but the vast majority of drivers simply don’t believe it would prove they are better drivers. The policies are increasingly being aimed at young, new drivers, with insurance firms rewarding good driving with policy discounts.

Improving safety on the roads is the main function of telematics. However, research from Whatcar.com found that 89% of drivers said they would only use the technology to save cash – 39% said they wouldn’t use it at all.

The Big Brother element was one off-putting aspect of it, while 67% said they didn’t expect the technology to prove they were good drivers.

Paul O’Dowd, head of sales for telematics provider In-Car Cleverness, said mistrust in telematics-based insurance policies may be justified because insurance companies predominantly use telematics systems that rely solely on GPS-based data, as opposed to on-board diagnostics (OBD).

He said: “The GPS-based systems that many insurance companies currently use are flawed. The scoring mechanisms do not take into account scenarios that keep a driver safe in the event of a near miss, or advanced driving methods. If all insurers used OBD telematics devices, which capture data readings directly from the vehicle, false data would be significantly reduced.’

Tthe study also found that some drivers – such as more experienced drivers with a full no-claims bonus – will almost certainly be better off with a conventional insurance policy.