Crispin Moger comments on the news that around half of all parents of novice drivers in the EU support black box technology, and is pleased that the technology has finally started receiving some well-deserved recognition.
“We’ve always promoted the benefits of telematics as a great way to help our drivers stay safe on the roads and Marmalade is seeing increasing demand for insurance products that use black box technology.
“The survey by Goodyear points to the fact that young drivers perform better knowing that their parents are watching them, but in our experience that’s not strictly true. There are a variety of reasons why young people and their parents opt for telematics. Our customers love the fact that we don’t have curfews but some also use our telematics technology as a means to avoid peer pressure. Blaming the black box for not going fast, rather than having to say they don’t want to, is a big bonus for many of our customers who take passengers in their cars. It is a scary fact that the more passengers a young driver has in their car, the more likely they are to have an accident.
“Whatever the reason, it’s a fact that telematics equals safer driving. Only one in twenty of drivers covered by our telematics-based insurance policies have an accident, compared to the national average of one in five.
“The advanced telematics system we use is clever, but it’s not just that which has enabled us to achieve such a great safety record. We only insure new cars, less than nine years old, which have better safety features and offer better protection in the case of accidents. We also only insure cars with engine sizes up to 1.4. Anything more offers too much temptation to put your foot down, but without experience sudden acceleration can lead to major problems, which is why it is one of the things we monitor so closely.
“The real value for our customers is not so much the fact that parents can monitor the young drivers’ journey, although of course they have access to the system. Any journey that we flag as dangerous is followed by a call from one of our dedicated team members to the driver to discuss the issues, reason for poor driving and ways to avoid it in the future. This holistic approach has enabled us to achieve this fantastic safety record and we’re determined to improve it even further.”
Marmalade customers say:
17 year old Paige said: “Young drivers are really influenced by peer pressure while driving with friends in the car. I have the black box to use as an excuse when friends start pressurising me to drive faster. I simply tell them that if I speed, particularly when cornering, I will have to pay a surcharge and may eventually lose my insurance altogether. Most of my friends are pretty apprehensive when I tell them about the black box in my car but when they find out that there is no curfew and how much it lowers the cost of my insurance, they soon come round to the idea. It really doesn’t act as much of a restriction.”
Danielle, who is 18, said: “It’s great using telematics. I track my progress daily through my phone. I was worried about having the box fitted to my car at first because I wasn’t sure how strict or sensitive it was but it's definitely helping me become a better driver – better than I expected. On the website it tracks my speed, acceleration, how I turn corners and also it has a tracking device so if I ever lose my car, this will come in handy!”
Student Alex Cook, also 18, said: “My parents and grandparents were really supportive as they liked the fact that black box technology is fitted in the vehicle to encourage safe driving and I’m just happy that it isn’t a telematics device that imposes driving curfews!”
Suzanne Rudge, mum of Marmalade customer James: “The biggest concern we have about James learning to drive is making sure he gets the experience he needs to become confident about his skills, and the only way to do that is to get out there and practice as much as possible. Knowing you have good insurance cover just in case something goes wrong is vital.”