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Can you trick a black box?

A black box quietly observes your driving habits and rewards you with lower insurance premiums if you drive safely. It records your speed, acceleration, how quickly and sharply you take turns, and the time of day you’re driving, among other things.

Some motorists may wonder if they can trick their black box, making it overlook things like habitual speeding or regular late-night driving which may drive up their premiums. Some people suggest tampering with the device or temporarily unplugging it in order to maintain their driving records and discounts.

But there’s no way to “trick” a telematics device that doesn’t invalidate your insurance. It’s also insurance fraud, which is a crime.

If you unplug the black box, it will stop sending data to your insurer, alerting them almost instantly that it’s not working as intended.

Because having a functioning black box is a condition of your insurance, you won’t be covered while the box is deliberately switched off. That means if you get into an accident during that time, your claims could be rejected and you’ll be left to shoulder the costs yourself.

If your insurer discovers you’ve tampered with or unplugged the device, they may also cancel your insurance policy entirely. This will make it more difficult and expensive for you to obtain car insurance in the future.

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