Direct Line throws young drivers a lifeline


Insurance company Direct Line has become the latest insurer to trial black box technology designed to cut motor insurance costs.

It is particularly pertinent for young drivers who are battling rising premiums. The idea behind the technology is simply to reward drivers for safe and careful driving.

The insurer is launching a pilot scheme with fleet telematics expert Tracker to trial black box technology. They aim to offer help to those young drivers who have been priced off the road by spiralling insurance costs.
This technology, also known as telematics insurance, monitors a driver's behaviour by using data transmitted from a Smartbox, which is fitted to the policyholder's car, via satellite. It measures motorists' mileage, the time they drive, and how they drive.

It encourages careful driving and penalises those who don't drive as safely. Motorists who are careful will see their premiums fall while sudden braking or cornering for example will be penalised and less safe drivers will see costs increase.

Research estimates that more than two thirds of young drivers should see their annual premiums fall by as much as 22 percent after driving with a black box installed for over a year – a potential saving of hundreds of pounds.
Andy Goldby Director of Motor Underwriting and Pricing at Direct Line said: "Direct Line is committed to supporting young drivers and this analysis of driver behaviours and attitudes will provide us with in-depth information enabling us to put together a robust and long term consumer offering. It is essential to get this right and not base it on a knee-jerk reaction to a changing market place."
The black box technology does not just cut costs for younger drivers however. Older drivers can benefit through other specialist providers such as Insurethebox, The Co-operative and Coverbox who also use the technology. Because this type of insurance takes into account the distance drivers travel, it is particularly good for low mileage drivers of all ages.

Of course if you drive for a living, or rely on your car more frequently - because you live in the country for instance - then telelmatics might not be or you. Because of the way premiums are calculated - by being charged per mile - you may find traditional providers offer better value.
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