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Telematics insurance ‘likely to remain a low priority’ for drivers

British drivers are “still in the dark” about telematics insurance as only 3% have a telematics policy, according to a study by uSwitch.com.


21 APRIL 2015 | BY CINTIA CHEONG

Traffic jam, cars on a busy motorway © iStock
Those who would consider telematics would like to know more about their driving and a minority wanted to monitor driving patterns of family members. © iStock

A survey of 1,446 UK adults found that despite the “black box” being introduced more than 10 years ago, a quarter (25%) of drivers had never heard of the technology.

Telematics, known as a “black box”, is a device to record and monitor driving data such as speed. The data is used by insurers to access driving patterns and calculate premiums.

The study also reported 26% of respondents would not consider having a telematics policy because of concerns over their privacy. Of those, 62% said it was “too Big Brother” and 37% did not wish their driving to be monitored by insurers. Nearly half (49%) were worried their data could be sold to other companies and a third (33%) worried their car would be tampered with when fitting the black box.

However, nearly half (45%) of drivers would consider telematics. Of those, 33% said they wanted to learn more about their own driving, 23% felt it would improve their driving and a minority (5%) wanted to learn how others such as family members drive their car. 

The firm said in order to consider a telematics policy, drivers would want to see savings of at least £98 a year on their premium. Younger drivers (aged 18-34) would need to save £173 to consider the technology, while older drivers (those over 65) would consider using telematics if they could save £72 on their premium.

uSwitch.com concluded drivers were confused with their data and its ownership, with 58% believing telematics data would be shared between insurers. More than a third (35%) thought they could use their data when applying for insurance and 14% thought they owned their data.

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, said concerns around personal data were the “major barrier” to the use of telematics and called on the government and the insurance industry to address these concerns.

He added: “Until this happens, telematics insurance policies are likely to remain a low priority for drivers.”