The Money Shot - telematics comes of age?

Citroen C1
A Citroën C1 and a young driver, yesterday
"Citroen's adoption of black box inurance might well be the moment it's dragged from being a niche practice to widespread use"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Regular readers of the Money Shot may have noticed that we’re occasionally prone to banging on about telematics car insurance.

Since the sinister spectre of the  EU gender ruling descended on the world of the European insurance scene, it’s become such a hot topic that experts have likened its conversational temperature to that of a scalding, fresh-from-the-toaster molten filling of a Pop Tart which has been in too long.

There was another milestone for telematics this week when Citroën trumpeted that a new version of the C1 – the dinky city car which has been a hit with new drivers thanks to its low running costs and compact dimensions – will be coming with black box car insurance as standard.

Indeed, it would certainly appear that the C1 Connexion is being aimed squarely and firmly at that young driver demographic – Citroën is giving away a whopping two years’ worth of car insurance with the car, providing the driver in question is 19 and has a No Claims record as pure as the driven snow.

And, in a move which was probably conceived to ‘chime’ with the social meeja-mad generation, the car has been designed in conjunction with Facebook. Which doesn’t really do the ‘Big Brother is watching you’ rep that telematics has in some quarters any favours. It leads the Money Shot to wonder whether the car will not only be monitored by insurance types at Ctiroën UK, but also have its exact location automatically trumpeted across Facebook for the world to see along with some nauseating, boastful update.

The success or otherwise of the C1 should provide some barometer of whether or not this sort of thing will become more commonplace. But, for better or worse, telematics looks like it might be the best way of reconciling the bad reputation of young drivers with the need to get on the road at a sensible price. Citroën's adoption of black box insurance might well be the moment it's dragged from being a niche practice to widespread use.

While we’re on a ‘Big Brother’ insurance tip - over in Russia, there’s a rather more novel solution to the problem – the dashboard camera.

Fitted to the dashboards of cars for insurance purposes, they record hours of occasionally absurd footage to on-board hard drives. They've been big in the viral video game for some time now, but came to the attention of people who don't spend all day watching Youtube last week when footage of that meteor business was caught by a Russian driver.

Anyway, shall we have a look at some of their best bits?

SHORT CHANGE – THE WEEK’S MONEY NEWS IN BRIEF

Commuters are carrying gadgets up to a value of over £4,000 on their daily trips to work, according to a bit of research from Esure.

That’s not a cold wind blowing from the east – well, it is actually, but bear with us – it’s the news that energy is going to become more expensive. Ofgem supremo Alistair Buchanan has brought ill tidings of higher bills because of the need to buy in gas from elsewhere.

Something to do with a bank and a fine from the FSA about something to do with mis-selling of PPI, which will in all likelihood be paid for by consumers. Same as last week, and the week before, and…well, you know the score.

A quintet of top suits at Barclays are currently squeezing themselves into some figure-hugging Speedos and preparing to dive headfirst into an Olympic-sized swimming pool of money– they are in line to receive £17m worth of juicy deferred share bonuses.

It’s equine of the times! Tesco has been voted as Britain’s worst supermarket by Which?

ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK

Dave Jenkins spent a day cleaning out litter trays and making friends with kittens at his local Cats Protection branch.

Covered mag debutant Martyn John lays it down on the subject of 'fronting'.

Social media – it’s not just for passive aggressive barbs and amusing videos of cats. It can save you money, too, as Rachel England explains.

Maxine Frances uncorks a bottle of the finest Château Lambrini 1999, sticks on Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and gives it to you straight on the subject of  Hen Nights on a Budget.

Thinking of getting in on the new 13 registration plate LOLs? Well, read these insider tips from reformed car dealer Chris Pollitt first.

AND FINALLY

Is there anything that magnificently ponytailed Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic can't do? Well, aside from pull a performance out of the bag during the 'business end' of the Champions League, but that's another story.

The famously modest Paris Saint Germain goal machine was watching a hotly contested game between A.C Milan and Barcelona on digital TV in a French restaraunt with teammates on Wednesday night, before the picture conked out. Nobody in attendance was able to rectify the problem...until the 6ft 5in Taekwondo expert stepped up to the plate.

"There was a concern during the match," Google translated proprietor, Carlos. "At one point, the Freebox did not send the right signal. Zlatan took the remote control and showed how he had to do to see the game properly. It is handy!"

Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.