Telematics-based system rewards good teen drivers with savings on insurance


September 20, 2011

The insurethebox system uses telematics to monitor teens' driving habits, and rewards good drivers with savings on their car insurance

The insurethebox system uses telematics to monitor teens' driving habits, and rewards good drivers with savings on their car insurance

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It's no secret that teen drivers have to pay higher automobile insurance rates than most people - after all, they're less experienced, and some of them can be pretty reckless. If you're a good teen driver or one that doesn't drive much, however, it might seem rather unfair that you have to pay rates that are based on the worst driving habits of your peers. Well, Gibraltar-based insurethebox has what it claims is a better alternative - teens' cars are fitted with a telematics box that records the way and amount that they drive, and they end up paying less for their insurance if they drive well.

Because teens may not drive as much as most adults, the insurance is purchased in packages of miles. Each annual policy comes with a base 6,000 miles (9,656 km), to which separately-purchased top-up bundles can be added as needed.

The Clear Box, as it's called, is about the size of a smartphone, and incorporates features such as GPS, logging units, an accelerometer and antennas, all of which are managed by a microprocessor. It is installed behind the dashboard, and records data such as distance traveled, number of trips made, speeds maintained on different types of roads, smoothness of driving, and time of day that trips are made. This information is regularly sent via satellite to a remote server, where it is uploaded onto each user's web portal. There, clients can see for themselves how their profile is progressing.

While poor drivers aren't penalized per se, good drivers receive bonus miles, which can be rolled over to their next year if not used right away. Shopping at participating UK retailers will also earn clients reward miles, that will be credited to their policy.

In the event of an accident, the Clear Box will act more like a black box, recording the time and location of the event, the force of impact, the direction of travel, and the speed of the vehicle prior to and after the incident. Not only will this information have an affect on the user's profile, but it could also be useful in court, or if the driver needs assistance at the time of the accident. The box can also be used to track the car if it's stolen.

Prices of policies are based on factors such as age and location. Quotes can be obtained via the insurethebox website.

While it doesn't include an insurance policy, the tiwi is similar to the Clear Box, in that it monitors young drivers and provides them with an online progress report on their skill behind the wheel.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
1 Comment

Good post. More of this application is happening in other areas, this is one effect of it… The installation of these back box recorders have been proven to prevent car accidents and assist in lowering car insurance premiums for car drivers. This type of analytical data is referred to as Usage Based Insurance (UBI) the insurance rate premium is based on a specific driver behaviour, a very personalized approach as opposed to general statistics of a given group or demographic. This system allows for good driver behaviours to be rewarded, usually by reduced car insurance rate premiums. For example, if you are a safe, careful and defensive driver, then a GPS black box, telematics device could save you money on your Ontario auto insurance. The idea of tracking allows Ontario car insurance companies to use your driving data to assess how much you should be charged for car insurance depending on how you drive. This could significantly lower your insurance premiums (or get you refunds) if you "tick all their boxes". More….

Jon D

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