I renewed my car insurance this week.

  Forum Editor 18:16 07 Mar 2013

When discussing the premium with the insurance company I asked if there was any way it might be reduced. 'Well', said the person at the other end 'you might be interested in our Telematics pilot scheme'.

Intrigued, I asked for more information, and she went on to explain that this was a scheme whereby a monitoring device is placed in the car, and data is sent back to the company, telling them about my driving patterns. The idea is to gather information about how people drive, and at the end of the 12 month insurance period I could be offered a further reduction in my premium, if my driving has been such that it lowered my risk of an accident. I am guaranteed that the premium will not be increased as a result of any data recorded. No data will be passed to a third party without my consent, and then it would be anonymous and aggregated.

If I have an accident the device will detect the impact and send an immediate alert to the insurers, who will contact me by phone within an hour to ask if I need any assistance. If my car is stolen the Telematic device's data will be released to Police to tell them where the vehicle is.

For participating I was offered a 10% reduction on the premium, and as I was interested I agreed.

The device is fitted at home, and I have an undertaking that it will cause no damage or loss of performance to my vehicle. It's about the size of a mobile phone, and will tuck away somewhere under the dashboard. Within a few months I'll be offered access to the data that comes from my car via a special website.

Has anyone heard of this scheme, or is anyone currently participating? I haven't had the device installed yet - that will happen shortly.

  Belatucadrus 18:34 07 Mar 2013

Generally offered to younger drivers, I had a few policies offered with them when I insured my new car, however I didn't like the idea and managed to get better quotes on a multicar policy. I'm also sceptical about the no increase guarantee, if they don't like the data they'll get you some way, they always do.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:45 07 Mar 2013

Sure there was something on this forum a while ago about this with the usual replies of

"I don't want some one watch how I drive I know I a good driver" :0)

I sure those people who crawl away fro traffic lights / junctions have got these things fitted ;0(

  Aitchbee 18:47 07 Mar 2013

It might mean that you are unintentionally 'tied' to that [telematic] car insurance company as there might be a substantial uninstall fee to remove the device, if you were to decide to change your cover [ie. look for a better deal with a different company] after a year or so; read the small print.

  oresome 18:51 07 Mar 2013

I've been asked in several surveys over the last year or so if I would have any objection to having such a device fitted, to which I reply, not if there is a financial advantage.

Regarding ways of reducing premiums on car insurance, re-apply as a new customer.........they always get the best rates for the first year.

  HondaMan 19:01 07 Mar 2013

There are enough devices already fitted in modern cars to track how you drive, so why voluntarily have another fitted..I have no doubt that in the small print somewhere there would be a clause allowing the insurer to use the data to avoid liability or to pass it to the police under some little or even unknown regulatory provision.

  WhiteTruckMan 19:33 07 Mar 2013

They do sound a lot like the devices fitted to trucks that I drive. Every now and then I get a critique of my driving style from monitored information. It's not always fair, but there's little I can do about it.


  Bing.alau 19:47 07 Mar 2013

I think these devices should be fitted to every vehicle in the land. The insurance premiums could then be tailored to suit all drivers. As it is at present, the good drivers are subsidising the bad ones. Who knows we might even find out who the people are who drive away from traffic lights like a bat out of hell. We may even find out those who drive through red traffic lights. Stolen vehicles could be traced perhaps and returned to their rightful owners. I would be more than happy to have one fitted if it reduced my premiums, even if I had to pay for the initial installation of it.

  Woolwell 20:23 07 Mar 2013

I want one but I'm not the only driver of my car and occasionally I drive another car. I can see disputes between partners. "You have been driving my car badly", "I now know the clutch or brakes or tyres or any part needs changing early" and so on. Of course it depends on the data that is supplied.

  bumpkin 20:44 07 Mar 2013

You seem to lack a basic understanding of insurance companies, if it were for your benefit they would not suggest it.

  Belatucadrus 20:54 07 Mar 2013

" Stolen vehicles could be traced perhaps and returned to their rightful owners."

There are a variety of Tracker devices available for just that purpose and many insurance companies offer discounts if you have one fitted. This sort of device makes sense to me so I do.

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