Transport Secretary urges drivers to fit ‘black box’ to reduce sky-high car insurance premiums
Sky high premiums
The Transport Secretary will today urge young drivers and women motorists to have ‘black boxes’ fitted in their cars to reduce sky-high insurance premiums by as much as half. Justine Greening will say that insurance costs increasingly bear ‘little relationship to the real world’, revealing figures showing that young male drivers now pay an average of almost £3,000 a year.
The technology, similar to the recording devices used in aircraft, can measure speed, braking, acceleration, cornering and the time of day of a motorist’s journey.
Miss Greening will suggest wider use of the technology which she says allows drivers to reduce their bills by up to 50 per cent by limiting night-time driving and demonstrating safe driving behaviour.
Insurers argue that young motorists should be subjected to a strict curfew on late night driving to cut road deaths and serious injuries. Under-25s are more prone to accidents while driving late at night and early in the morning.
But Miss Greening will rule out a blanket curfew, preferring the use of black boxes which could help reduce accidents as well as insurance costs.
Ministers believe women drivers, who are statistically safer than men, could also benefit.
Miss Greening said: ‘The Government has already taken tough action to ban referral fees, reform no-win no-fee rules and crack down on fraudulent whiplash claims. But I think we can go further.
‘Why is it, when the overwhelming majority of UK young drivers are amongst the safest in the world and we are seeing faster reductions in casualties for this age group than for all drivers as a whole, that premiums are still sky high?
‘There is no getting away from it: the cost of car insurance is bearing increasingly little relationship to the real world.’
The average motor insurance bill today is £410 – a 17 per cent rise on last year. The average premiums for young drivers are £2,977 for a young male driver and £1,682 for a female.
Trials of ‘telematic’ monitoring of drivers by the Co-operative Insurance suggests costs can be ‘nearly halved’.
Drivers are scored between one and five on a range of behaviours, and receive money back on their insurance if they drive safely.
Estimates suggest that young drivers should see their annual premiums fall by 20 per cent.
An analysis of 10,000 young driver claims by the Co-op suggests that those with telematics or ‘black box’ insurance are 20 per cent less likely to have a car crash than those with standard insurance.
They also tend to be involved in less serious road accidents, as the cost of a typical insurance claim from a customer with the box is 30 per cent less than from a customer without.
Amy Kilmartin, of the Co-op, said: ‘We can see that motorists with this type of insurance are genuinely driving better than those without it.’
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