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Telematics discounts tempting young drivers

Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700

INCREASING numbers of young drivers are opting-in to telematics-based car insurance in attempt to reduce their premiums.

Specialist young driver insurer Carrot has reported a 62% rise in the number of its policyholders choosing to have a telematics device, consisting of accelerometers and a GPS tracker, fitted to their car.

The company says that they could save up to 20% on their annual insurance premium, which for the youngest drivers almost always amounts to a discount of hundreds of pounds.

Research from car supermarket Motorpoint cites 71.5% of people as being strongly against new EU legislation that is to make telematics devices compulsory on all new cars from next year, but the financial gains for young drivers are evidently outweighing the Big Brother effect.

Carrot is certain that its ‘i-box’ will have a positive impact on road safety. Ed Rochfort, Product Director for Carrot Car Insurance, said: “We feel confident that this will affect a change in behaviour, encouraging young drivers to take responsibility and drive safely. Drivers will also enjoy the fact they are judged on individual merit that is reported via the i-box.”

Telematics systems simply monitor the smoothness of accelerative, braking and turning inputs as well as tracking a car’s location, mileage covered and speed.

Critics of the system point out that it doesn’t monitor problems like bad lane discipline, indecisiveness, inattentiveness and inappropriately slow driving. Nor can it assess or develop the driver’s crucial observational skills.

Mr Rochfort added: “Although there seems to be a general consensus within the industry that consumers are against the idea of a widespread telematics system, as a company we are observing a positive response towards the i-box.

“Ours is a unique offering in that bad driving will not be penalised through mid-term increases in premium.”

By Press Association reporter