Last updated: 23/07/2020
Black box van insurance
Van insurance can be costly and owners are constantly looking for ways to lower premiums. One of the ways you can save money on your premium is by purchasing a black box, or telematics, policy. Essentially, it monitors your driving and rewards you if you drive safely. This kind of policy can be useful if you are a young driver, owner of a fleet of vans, or simply you believe your driving is safe enough to be rewarded. This guide will take you through the finer details of black box insurance to help you figure out if it’s right for you.
In This Guide:
- What is a black box?
- Is it different to normal van insurance?
- Does a black box insurance plan suit me?
- Levels of black box insurance
- Common misconceptions
What is a black box?
A black box is known officially as a telematics device but looks like, you guessed it, a little black box. The device monitors your driving and the information is used to calculate adjustments to your insurance premium. The insurer will send you the device which will either hook up directly to the technology already in your van or connect to a mobile phone app. These days you can even just use your phones GPS as opposed to installing a specific black box, but it will still be the same process.
Is it different to normal van insurance?
The purpose of a black box is to reward you based on your driving habits. It factors in a lot of variables such as braking safely, keeping to the speed limit, or even just mileage and driving on certain roads. It’s important to note that black box categories vary from plan to plan. Some plans for instance will have a curfew where you are punished for driving late at night. It is important therefore to compare insurance plans to find out which one is best suited to your needs.
Does a black box insurance plan suit me?
There are a few categories of driver where a black box insurance policy could be a good idea:
- If you feel that you are broadly a safe driver who drives on main roads and keeps under the speed limit, then black box insurance could be a great way to save money.
- Typically younger van drivers make more claims than older ones. This means that insurance companies will usually charge a higher price the younger you are. A black box will reassure the insurance company that you are a safe driver and drive down the cost of your premiums.
- Commercial drivers and fleet owners will often turn to black box insurance in order to regulate their insurance policy. These improve efficiency through planning the best routes and avoiding traffic. If you have multiple vans the savings you can make from a black box can therefore be quite substantial.
- A key benefit to black box insurance is that it can also act as a GPS tracking device should your van ever get stolen.
Levels of black box insurance
As with any other insurance policy, there are different levels to Black Box insurance.
Comprehensive Black Box Insurance
This is the highest level and will most likely be the most expensive. This will protect not only you, but your van and the other vehicles should you be involved in an accident.
Third Party, Fire and Theft Black Box Insurance
Should you get in an accident, this will only cover the third party and their vehicle/property. However if you are a victim of theft or if your van sets on fire, you will be covered.
Third Party Only Black Box Insurance
This only covers the third party if you get into an accident, certain plans will also cover your passengers, so it’s important to read the fine print in this instance.
Because this is not a traditional insurance policy, there are often a lot of myths surrounding it that need to be dispelled:
- No one is surveilling you. Your driving is indeed monitored but only for insurance reasons, and it won’t be conveyed to the insurance company in real time.
- Insurance companies still have to abide by the Data Protection Act and are not allowed to access information that you have not consented to give them.
- The technology won’t in anyway harm the operation of your vehicle.
- The main purpose of black box technology is to reward you, not punish you.