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Motorists pushed into black box insurance by rising premiums

Black box insurance has never been popular among British motorists who value their privacy, but it seems rising premiums are forcing their hand.

New research from comparison website uSwitch found that 60 per cent would now consider telematics insurance to reduce the cost of their insurance premium, which rose an average of 20 per cent in 2015, according to AA figures.

Meanwhile 56 per cent were taking the plunge into a black box policy, which allows insurers to track your driving habits, to avoid the hikes to Insurance Premium Tax increased by the government from 6 to 9 per cent.

Overall, uSwitch has seen a 66 per cent increase in sales of telematics policies over the last year.

The research shows young drivers aged between 18 and 21 – the bracket of motorists most likely to have a road accident – can save an average of £1,347 with a black box policy (even without a no claims bonus).

That’s more than thirteen times the £89.10 Brits said they would need to save as an incentive to ditch the traditional unmonitored insurance approach.

Even so, 21 per cent of motorists are still against the idea, with 46 per cent saying they would never consider it because it’s too ‘big brother’. 12.7 per cent simply said they didn’t want to be monitored by their insurance provider.

Insurance expert at uSwitch, Rod Jones, said: “More motorists are getting up to speed with black box insurance in a drive to manage rising costs.

“Younger drivers in particular can now prove their worth on the roads, having been penalised by their boy racer peers for years. The little black box can make all the difference. As the technology bases premiums on actual driving habits, not generalised data, careful motorists can enjoy a substantial saving.

“For black boxes to appeal to all, the industry needs to convince motorists about how their personal data is used. Once drivers feel fully assured they aren’t trading their privacy for cost savings, black boxes will be well and truly here to stay.”

The uSwitch report was based on a sample of 4,832 adults from Britain and carried out by a Consumer Opinion Panel.

It’s easy to see why motorists want to save money on the cost of motoring, but there have been reports of insurers slapping black box policy users with fines, negating some or all of the savings.

Best to shop around, check the terms and conditions and drive like a saint, then.

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