Mythbuster: 14 'Black box' insurance & Telematics myths debunked

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Admiral takes a look at the 14 most common myths surrounding Telematics and black box insurance rules. Find out more.

Many people think black box insurance has a bad rep, not least because of the misconceptions people have about the products.

Fears of 'Big Brother is watching' and scams to hike up premiums are often mentioned in connection to Telematics, but our products are made to reward good drivers, not penalise them.

Black box insurance is a type of car insurance where a small device is fitted in your car to measure how well you drive. If you drive safely, you're more likely to get a discount when it's time to renew.

Read on for the truth about a telematics box.

Myth 1: Admiral will use the data to fine people who have underestimated their mileage

We don’t use Telematics data to fine drivers who wrongly estimate their mileage. At the start of your cover we'll ask you to estimate your annual mileage and we'll periodically check how many miles you’ve covered.

If, after two months, it looks like you’ll go over your estimate by 25% or more, we'll adjust your mileage and your premium will go up. We’ll contact you before making any changes. If you think you've covered fewer miles than you've been charged for, simply contact us and we'll reimburse the difference according to the pricing structure at the time.

Myth 2: Companies use Telematics data to hike up insurance premiums for drivers who brake heavily

We're looking to reward good drivers, not penalise them. Your driving score's based on your overall standard of driving over an extended period of time or miles; your score won't be affected if you brake heavily once or twice during these periods, only if you're repeatedly braking heavily. Regardless of your driving score, we won't put up your price during your policy, but we can cancel the worst drivers.

Myth 3: Admiral will pass the data onto other insurance companies to penalise drivers at renewal

We don't pass on your details or data to rival insurance companies for pricing purposes.

Myth 4: Admiral uses Telematics to track where you drive in real time

While LittleBox does collect your location information, the emphasis is not on where you drive but how you drive. But the really clever bit is that our black box is now fitted with a tracker, so if your car is stolen, we'll be able to help track its location.

Myth 5: We monitor your driving habits to increase your premium

Looking at your driving habits allows us to get a better understanding of how the vehicle is driven.

Our products are designed to enable us to reward good drivers and only a minority of drivers who get consistently low driving scores will see their premiums rise at renewal, the very worst can have their policies cancelled. We send you regular feedback on how you're driving, with tips to help you drive safely and get the best discount.

When it's time to renew, we'll look at all the data we've gained to offer you a price based on how well you have driven over the previous months.

Myth 6: It will soon be compulsory to have a black box in your car if you want an Admiral policy

We have no plans to make LittleBox compulsory. Insurance is a competitive business and we strive to offer our customers a choice of innovative products and the best prices. We do not know what will happen with Telematics in the future but we have no intentions of making ours compulsory.

Myth 7: Insurance companies monitor your driving and then inform the police if you were committing a speeding offence

Admiral doesn’t tell the police if the data collected suggests you were only committing a speeding offence. We’ll only share data if a police inquiry is made or a serious incident occurs.

Myth 8: You're subject to a curfew and penalised if you drive at certain times

There are certain times of the day when accidents are more likely to occur, like at night. While you won't be charged a fee for night time driving but you may not get as big a discount if you always drive at night. If you need to do a lot of evening drives, this may not be the best policy for you.

Myth 9: Telematics interfere with your car and will turn down your radio

LittleBox is completely safe and doesn't interfere with your car. We're not interested in how loud you like to listen to your music while driving; we just want to reward good drivers. 

Myth 10: Having a black box fitted will void your car's warranty

LittleBox won't affect your car's warranty as it's not plugged into the diagnostics port like they are in America.

Myth 11: The black box is big and everyone will know I have one

Not the case with Admiral’s LittleBox. Our units are about the same size as a modern smartphone and are fitted out of sight in your car.

Myth 12: You have no idea how well you’re driving

LittleBox is all about rewarding safe drivers with lower premiums so of course we want you to be able to see how well you’re driving! You’ll get regular updates with tips on how to improve your driving so you can get the best score and discount at renewal.

Myth 13: A black box will be distracting when you’re driving

LittleBox isn’t like some apps that you need to switch on and off for each journey. Once LittleBox is in you don’t need to touch it; simply forget it’s there and drive as you normally would.

Myth 14: You can’t drive until the black box is in your car 

When you take out a LittleBox policy you're insured to drive immediately and don’t need to wait until the box is activated.

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