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What happens if you go over the speed limit with a black box?

So you have chosen to install a black box. Now, a telematics device is your passenger on every drive, recording your driving behaviour and passing the information on to your insurer. While staying under the speed limit and taking turns smoothly can help reduce your premiums, the reverse is also true. Speeding—and other dangerous driving behaviour—can push up your insurance costs.

Notice your speedometer inch above 30mph? Don’t despair: occasionally exceeding the speed limit by a small amount generally won’t affect your black box insurance policy. Your black box considers a whole host of factors, including your acceleration, braking, and turning. A small lapse into speeding is unlikely to affect its overhaul assessment of your driving performance. At the most, you’ll earn a warning from your insurer, encouraging you to pay more attention to posted speed limits.

But if you regularly blow past the speed limit or drive at a particularly unsafe speed, your insurer will sit up and take notice. You won’t qualify for the good behaviour discounts that make telematics policies so attractive, particularly for new and young drivers. Your premiums can also increase at your next renewal.

If your speeding and general driving are particularly egregious, your insurer can even cancel your policy, which will impact your ability to get car insurance in the future. Different insurers have different policies regarding cancellation, but typically they’ll give you a few warnings about your speed first. If your driving doesn’t improve, they can then pull the plug on your policy.

One thing your insurer will never do is report your speeding to the police. Your insurer may contact you about a pattern of speeding or a particularly slick-wheeled journey their black box recorded. But they won’t pass that information on to the police unless they specifically request it. Of course, a speed camera or police officer with a radar speed gun may also log your speeding and hand you a fine or penalty notice.

Remember too that posted speed limits aren’t targets. Rather, they’re the maximum speed the road can accommodate. If the weather or visibility is poor, you should slow down. Savvier black boxes record the weather when you’re driving and may cross-reference road conditions with your speed to ensure you’re not just sticking to the legal speed limit but are actually using the road safely. 

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