What is black box insurance?

Young drivers are being urged to consider installing a ‘black box’ in their car in order to potentially qualify for cheaper insurance rates.

As reported earlier this year, figures show over 20,000 younger drivers between the ages of 17 and 25 have already installed the device in their cars in order to lower insurance premiums.

But what is black box insurance and how can it help younger drivers?

We all know insurance for young drivers can be extortionate. There are plenty of tales of drivers of a small Vauxhall Corsa being offered a quote of £10,000 or more to insure it and this is often several times the car’s value.

This is because younger drivers, particularly those between the ages of 17 and 25, are seen by insurance companies as more dangerous on the road than any other age group.

According to MoneySupermarket.com, insurance prices for younger drivers have fallen by the least out of all age groups in recent months.

While an overall drop in prices is good news, this is expected to change when new EU regulations prevent insurers offering beneficial rates for women drivers, leading to an overall increase.

Enter the black box. Typically, a black box is associated with aeroplanes; they’re the gadget that records everything and is made from almost indestructible material so that, in the event of a crash, investigators can find out what went wrong.

In a car, the black box is much simpler. It monitors driving including speeding, acceleration, braking and corner speeds in order to rate the driver.

A black box will then send a report to the insurance company showing how safe a driver is. If the driving is particularly safe, the insurer could then offer lower insurance premiums.

However, poorer drivers could see their insurance premiums pushed up because they are more likely to crash.

How does this help younger drivers? Research shows drivers could save an average of £100 on their insurance premiums by using a black box.

In fact, people who use a black box are 20 per cent less likely to crash than those who do not use one because people are more focused on safer driving in order to keep their next insurance premium down.

The report that is sent to the insurance company can also be accessed by the driver and this means he or she can see exactly what is wrong with their driving and take measures to correct this. Not only will it help keep premiums down it will also help to encourage eco-driving.

The average UK insurance rate is now £3,478 according to the AA and anything that can help to get that rate down is a good thing.