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Insurers slapping black box motorists with fines

Motorists who disobey rules hit with hefty fines, according to Money Mail report.

Those who opt to have a black box telematics device fitted to their cars by insurers are meant to enjoy cheaper insurance premiums at the expense of having their driving habits constantly monitored. The reality, however, could end up more expensive than anticipated.

An investigation by Money Mail discovered drivers who go over the speed limit and ignore warnings can end up with a fine up to £100 from their insurer. Insurer iKube, for instance, slaps policy holders with a £100 fine if they are caught driving between the curfew house between 11pm and 5am. Constant offenders could even have their insurance policy cancelled.

The report also unearthed fines for missing an appointment to have a black box fitted of between £30 and £50. Having incorrect documentation carried a £30 to £45 fine. Want the telematics device removed? Expect to pay up to £120 for the privilege.

Critics have argued insurers need to make black box insurance policies easier to understand. “Black box insurance carries so many fees and charges, they need to be made much, much clearer,” insurance company Defaqto research analyst told the Daily Mail

“It’s very easy for drivers to be taken in by the technology, along with the promised drop in premiums, but they can end up paying out a lot more than they thought,” he added.

Black box insurance has actually been around for a decade, but only recently has the ludicrously high insurance premiums offered to young drivers made it a tempting option. In 2010 12,000 people had a black box policy, compared with the current figure of 290,000.

Research by comparison website MoneySupermarket said black box technology can knock £212 off an insurance quote. Critics argue the saving is void if the policy holder breaks the rules.

Some companies offer an incentive for good driving ethics, as opposed to only punishing the bad. Admiral, for instance, offers an additional discount to drivers it deems better behind the wheel.

An 18-year-old driver is said to be three times more likely to be involved in an accident than a 48-year-old, according to figures from the Association of British insurers.

In 2013 two teenagers died trying to make it home before an insurance policy curfew.


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