There was a very interesting article on lovemoney.com this morning, in which Mike Kielty discussed how drivers might counter the inevitable rise of motor insurance premiums, a phenomenon that has been particularly marked in the last twelve months as prices have risen by an incredible 40%.
As I have discussed several times before, drivers could concentrate on lowering their own premiums and avoiding being tarred with the same brush as everyone else of their sex in their age group, if only there was some way to do it.
I hypothetically mentioned some kind of ‘black box’ recorder, admittedly not the most original suggestion, that could keep an eye on where and when a car is being driven, and how fast. Now, it seems, that has happened.
GPS Telematics technology enables insurers to monitor the positioning of a vehicle for which they provide cover and at which hours it is driven on the road. If, for example, it is used between the hours of 11pm and 5am, when drivers are most likely to have an accident, there will be an impact on the cost of the premium.
Or, to put it another way, if they stay off the roads at night, they’ll get a discount.
Keep mileage, and insurance costs down
Another scheme that exists, says Kielty’s article, is Insurethebox, which offers customers a policy based on a maximum of 6000 miles, to keep costs down. However, they can earn free ‘bonus miles’ on top of this limit if they drive in a manner the insurer considers to be safe and responsible. They calculate this on the basis of what roads the driver uses and how much they use their accelerator and brake pedals.
The only question here is one of liberty. Some drivers may feel that there is enough Orwellian surveillance in society and they don’t want to participate in yet another privacy-invading scheme just to save a few quid.
On the other hand, there will be those drivers, especially those who are currently paying huge premiums, that feel they have nothing to hide, and therefore nothing to lose.
Such schemes are in their early days, but there is no reason why they shouldn’t become more prevalent. Currently, insurers are capable of charging whatever they feel on the basis of speculation. In fact, it could also be argued that the differentiation between male and female, young and old, is sexist or ageist. If each driver is individually penalised or rewarded on the basis of their driving record, that would be a fairer system all round.
Source: Love Money
Date Published: November 16, 2010
Author: David Brown