Drivers Face Insurance Increases For Driving In Bad Weather

posted on Oct 30 2015 by Kiri Nowak

Drivers Face Insurance Increases For Driving In Bad Weather

Soon drivers could face increased insurance premiums if they drive in poor weather conditions. Black box technology is already being used by some insurance companies to reward good drivers. It works by collecting data and driver statistics and feeding this back to the insurance companies. Speed, acceleration and braking is measured so that drivers can be scored based on their habits.

Now this way of managing car insurance is going one step further, and incorporating weather reports, to pinpoint what conditions people are driving in. According to Auto Express, ‘usage based insurance such as this is expected to be used by 36 per cent of all insurers by 2020.’ Therefore, it’s not surprising that changes like this are being announced by some of the big insurance companies.

It seems odd to think that in future you could be penalised simply for getting in your car when it’s raining. The reason this change is possible is because Octo Telematics, and in-car telematics company, has partnered with The Weather Company. Together they are able to present real time weather updates to insurance companies via black boxes.

Fabio Sbianchi, CEO of Octo Telematics said, ‘By integrating weather data from IBM and The Weather Company with other data streams, we're able to digest real-time information on road conditions and get a better view of driving habits.’

It’s not just rain that could increase your car insurance, but also other adverse weather conditions such as snow and hail. Drivers with insurance companies using this scheme will have to think twice before they get on the road.

This new scheme can be described as usage based insurance analysis. As well as taking into consideration how a driver drives, such as how fast they drive, they will also be judged by when they drive. There will be some sort of scoring algorithm which measures and interprets the conditions for the duration of a car journey. Insurers backing this scheme feel that there is an increased risk of having an accident if you choose to drive in poor conditions.

This way of measuring insurance could make the roads a little safer, and make some drivers think about the way they drive their car, and also lead them to better evaluate driving conditions. However, it’s likely to generate split opinions, as many drivers will feel this is taking things a step too far.

Some of the insurance companies that currently use black boxes include Direct Line, Admiral and AXA. This list is likely to grow in the coming years, as insurance companies see the benefits of these types of schemes. Currently black boxes are used predominantly for drivers under 25 who pose more risk to insurers, but it could be used more generally in the next few years.

The weather updates aren’t even a thing of the future, they are being used by insurance companies now. The telematics systems are already being implemented by a select few insurers. The way insurance works is changing, and drivers may have to adapt to these changes whether they like it or not.