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Is Driverly black box insurance?


Owe Carter



Is Driverly black box insurance?

At Driverly, we offer our customers a telematics insurance policy, which prices your insurance based on your driving ability.

So a black box policy, then? Well no, not quite. Driverly Insurance uses telematics technology to assess how safe a driver is, and prices the policy accordingly. The phrases ‘black box’ and ‘telematics’ are often used interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same. Black box policies are actually a subset of telematics policies, and Driverly Insurance is in a different circle on the Venn diagram.

Ok, so what is telematics?

For a full run-down, you can read our ‘What is telematics?’ guide here. But in short, telematics is technology which assesses your driving ability based on GPS.

By accessing your location, it’s possible to tell a surprising amount about your driving behaviour. For instance, it’s possible to determine whether you accelerate and brake smoothly… Or if you rip away, then hammer on the anchors. It can determine how fast you’re going, whether you corner smoothly, if you manoeuvre the car steadily, and so on.

The data gathered can then be used to build a profile of you as a driver, work out how safe you are, and your insurance can be priced on that basis.

For many people’s money (including ours), this is a much fairer system than costing your insurance based on your demographic.

There are certain factors which will also affect the cost, such as the car you drive, and your postcode. These are also indicators of how likely you are to be involved in a collision.

But most importantly – if you’re a young driver – pricing insurance based on your driving ability gives you a better chance of saving money than pricing it based on your age.

In fact, according to research by MoneySupermarket, between January and March 2022, the average driver aged between 17 and 19 paid £145(1) less with a telematics policy than a regular one. It was also around £132 cheaper for those aged between 20 and 24(2).

Right. So what’s black box insurance?

The black box in question is a GPS-enabled telematics device, which is installed into your car. The name is fairly literal, given that they’re box-shaped, and usually black in colour. Unlike the black boxes (AKA data recorders) on planes, which are actually bright orange and cylindrical.

To begin with, all black boxes had to be installed by a mechanic sent by the insurance provider in question. And while many didn’t mind, some found the installation process quite intrusive. There were also numerous complaints regarding the accuracy of the data.

As the technology has developed, black boxes have become smaller, and easier to install. And while some policies still require a mechanic to pop by, others allow customers to install the box themselves. What could go wrong?

How does Driverly Insurance work?

Thanks for asking. If you use Driverly Insurance, it’s 100% app-based*. You apply for your policy via the app, the app sends us your driving data, our clever machines assess your driving behaviour, and we price your insurance accordingly.

Not only that, but you can earn rewards by collecting acorns, join the Driverly Club and compete in a leaderboard against your friends and family, and there’s lots more to come.

Anyway, the big difference between Driverly and a black box policy is you don’t need a device fitted to your car. All you need is a smartphone – which we’re guessing you already have – and the Driverly app.

We think this is much more efficient, as you don’t need any extra kit, and don’t need a mechanic to come round. You also don’t have the faff of getting rid of a device if you want to sell your car to someone who doesn’t want it.

Also, you can use Driverly without actually taking out an insurance policy. If you want to try before you buy, download our Test Drive app and take it for a spin.

*If you have to make a claim, this might involve talking to someone over the phone. But – touch wood – this hopefully won’t happen to you.

(1) Average price was £1,711.57 with a telematics policy, and £1,856.64 without a telematics policy.

(2) Average price was £1,247.86 with a telematics policy, and £1,115.23 without a telematics policy.

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