Find out about telematics van insurance – also known as black box insurance – and why a pay-how-you-drive policy will reduce your van insurance.
A telematics, or black box, van insurance policy calculates your van insurance premium based on your driving.
The insurer sends you a black box device that fits to your van, asks you to install a mobile phone app, or links up to the telematics technology pre-installed in your van.
It’ll then be able to record your speed, mileage and location information.
Once you’re set up, data is automatically sent to a central database and analysed by the insurer.
The results have a direct impact on the price of your premium.
You need to decide how much cover you need.
Don’t assume the highest level of cover will be the most expensive. Always compare, as comprehensive cover often costs less than third-party only:
As well as the level of cover, you need to choose the right type of van insurance.
Your options are social-only cover, carriage of own goods, hire and reward and haulage. You need to choose the right one that describes how you use your van.
If you’re not sure, find out the difference between business and private van insurance and the three types of commercial van insurance.
Although we can’t help you compare telematics van insurance, we think it’s important you understand the level and type of cover you’re buying.
If you have good driving habits, a telematics van insurance policy will reward you with cheaper premiums.
That includes keeping to the speed limit and braking safely. But it'll also monitor your mileage and the kinds of roads you travel on.
Be aware that:
GPS technology used in some telematics hardware also means that if your van’s stolen, it can be tracked by your insurer and the police.
Any van driver can use a telematics policy, but commercial, young and new van drivers usually see the greatest benefits.
If you’re a more experienced van driver, telematics might be a more expensive or restrictive policy for you. Compare telematics with other types of van insurance to make sure you’re getting the right cover for the best price you can.
Telematics is a particularly good option for new drivers because they have little experience on the road and haven’t built up a no-claims bonus.
As an age group, young van drivers make more claims than older drivers because they’re inexperienced on the road. A telematics policy stops the insurer making assumptions about your driving ability, and prevents you paying the price for the bad driving of others.
Commercial van drivers and company owners who have large fleets of vehicles could benefit from telematics policies because it helps improve efficiency – planning the best delivery routes and avoiding traffic trouble spots.
Businesses also benefit from first notification of loss (FNOL) data generated by telematics technology. The centre database recognises an accident, alerting the insurer almost immediately and allowing them to quickly investigate and resolve the situation.
Some benefits of telematics van insurance are:
But telematics policies can have a few drawbacks:
Generally the box is fitted for free by a trained technician, somewhere out of sight – like behind your van’s dashboard. But some insurers do offer devices that attach to your windscreen or sit on your dashboard that you install yourself.
Installing a telematics device shouldn’t affect your van’s warranty.
We’ve busted five myths about telematics insurance: