Telematics/black box van insurance

With the cost of premiums mounting year on year, many van drivers are finding it difficult to get a good deal on their insurance – thanks mainly to an increase in claims pushing prices up, as this article on the rising cost of van insurance highlights. Younger drivers are especially disadvantaged, as their age and inexperience invariably count against them when it comes to calculating risk.

One solution that’s proving popular is the telematics or ‘black box’ insurance option. Because it monitors the way you drive, and uses that to inform your insurance company of your driving capabilities, premiums for younger drivers can often drop if they demonstrate that they are responsible, careful road users.

At its simplest, telematics involves fitting a small black box, about the size of a standard smartphone, to your car. The box then monitors your speed, the distance you drive and what times of day you’re most active. It also registers your braking and accelerating habits, and feeds all this information back to your insurers, who use it to determine whether you’re a safe driver. If they conclude that you are, your premiums will drop. (For more information about black box cover, this article from Which magazine gives you all the facts, including a short easy-to-understand video and an overview of insurers who offer it.)

Some people are concerned that telematics disadvantage certain groups, such as those who work shifts or night duties – and it’s true that night time driving is considered more risky, for obvious reasons. But that’s why the box also monitors your reactions – because if you’re able to spot hazards and react appropriately even at night, you’ll be deemed a safer driver than someone who slams on all the time in full daylight.

Of course, no one can have a smooth ride all the time, as you’re reliant on other road users also driving sensibly – and this is far more noticeable when it’s dark. If you’re thinking of installing a black box but you’re not as confident driving after sunset, it’s worth checking out these top tips from the RAC on safe driving at night, so your box is registering your best driving habits no matter the hour.

Of course, telematics policies aren’t just limited to younger drivers – any van driver who finds their premium prices are higher than they’d like could get a better deal by installing a black box. However, as experienced drivers are more likely to undertake more risky manoeuvres due to increased confidence, they do run the risk of inflating their premium if their driving is considered too erratic. Before investing in telematics, it’s best to run a simple price comparison through a dedicated van insurance site such as Compare Van Insurance to see if they can offer you a better deal.

For younger van drivers, though – especially those setting up their own business or undertaking contracts – black box insurance can be a great way to reduce their monthly or annual outgoings