Telematics car insurance hasn’t exactly set the world alight since debuting in 2008, but with annual premiums on a seemingly unstoppable upward trajectory and the EU ruling on gender looming on the horizon, it looks like a lot more drivers will be wanting to have their on-road behaviour monitored in exchange for cheaper car insurance.
We quizzed over 2,000 British drivers on their future plans, and over half said they expect that they’ll switch to a telematics-based policy in five years or earlier. In fact, the research also hinted that drivers generally thought that these sorts of policies were much fairer than the way insurers have historically calculated premiums (usually using age, sex and driving and claims history as a basis) and think evidencial-based policies, calculated using behaviour along with where and when journeys take place are much fairer.
Ninety-two per cent of drivers think that their car insurance premiums should be based largely on the way they drive - 60 per cent thought that the time of day and where they were driving should be factored in to the price of their policy, while under half (49 per cent) thought that age and sex were fair game for calculating a premium.
Scott Kelly, head of motoring and general car insurance sage at Gocompare.com mused:, “Given the rising costs of motoring, we think that the new generation of telematics car insurance policies will play a greater role in the car insurance market in the coming months. And, as our survey shows, many drivers, across all age groups, would happily embrace the new in-car technology in a bid to keep their premiums down.”
What is telematics car insurance, anyway?
Telematics technology operates via a small black box, roughly the size of a mobile phone, which is fitted to your car and measures driving behaviours such as time of travel, distance, types of roads used, speed, levels of acceleration and braking and accidents. The insurer uses this information to generate a risk profile for your driving and charge a premium accordingly.
Policyholders also benefit from access to an online portal where they can monitor their driving behaviour, which may help them assess ways to better improve their skills or reduce their mileage, and a tracking facility should the car be stolen. Gocompare.com was the first aggregator site to feature telematics-based policies.