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New ‘black box’ insurance sending out speeding fines

posted on Mar 05 2014 by Jade Hensby

New ‘black box’ insurance sending out speeding fines

For those drivers who signed up for a black box car cover, they’ve been hit with a £100 fine from their insurance companies if they’ve been speeding with the device fitted. The technology monitors the safety of your driving and is supposed to be the new way to get discounts on your insurance. Drivers are told they will be rewarded with lower premiums if they had good habits.

However, motorists are discovering that reductions are impossible to get, and are being eroded by other fees. With most of the insurers you’ll receive warnings if you break rules, such as regularly driving at 40mph in a 30mph zone. If you ignore these alerts and carry on driving poorly, then the insurer can fine you on a case-by-case basis.

Some of the companies will charge you if you are caught driving outside of the agreed curfew hours, which are usually between 11pm and 5am.

Mike Powell, an insurance analyst at research company Defaqto said “black box insurance carries out so many fees and charges; they need to be made much, much clearer...it’s very easy for drivers to be taken in by the technology, along with the promised drop in premiums, but they can end up paying out a lot more than they thought”.

These devices work in a similar way to the black box flight recorders in planes. A device about the size of a mobile phone is attached to your dashboard or under the steering wheel. A computer then uses satellite signals to monitor your driving. This includes how you brake and accelerate; speed, distance covered, time of day and even the position on the road.

Along with this, not all policies reward a rapid improvement in driving. While some review your habits every month, and update how much you have to pay, others only do it once a year.  

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