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Telematics already in thousands of UK cars

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Technology which measures how a person drives so that insurers can more accurately price premium is already fitted in thousands of British cars.

The devices, known as telematics devices, track “every single movement” of the car, measure things such as speed, distance, acceleration and deceleration. The information is then used by insurers to adjust the price of insurance accordingly.

Johan van de Merwe, Managing Director of telematics-based car insurer Coverbox, says the technology can also help tackle the recent influx in fraudulent whip-lash injury claims.

“When a driver takes out an insurance policy with a telematics insurer, we install a small box which records the distance the vehicle covers, and charge accordingly.

“But the equipment also records many more parameters – including acceleration, deceleration, speed, and so on – which helps us determine driving standards. But telematic insurers can also use the equipment to measure the magnitude of an impact which can serve as a very useful guide in distinguishing claims needing investigation from those where a high probability of whiplash exists.”

The technology has seen a recent rise in demand with insurers looking for ways to avoid price increases when complying with the new EU gender laws. The effect of the laws will be minimised, with telematics technology giving unique prices for each customer.

Van de Merwe continued, “One of the reasons telematics insurance is always going to be more accurately priced – obviously to the benefit of careful drivers – is because we have that absolutely accurate information about driving behaviour, which allows us to be far more discerning in terms of who we insure.”