VAN INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 DAYS ENDING 14 NOV 2014:
With the new revelation that police can seize telematics records car insurance and van insurance companies, drivers are abandoning the black box in droves.
It’s just one more example of this whole Big Brother mentality that’s been gripping the UK for decades now, if you ask me: news broke this week how at least three separate insurance providers in the UK have made black box records available to the police after a court order. In other words, insurers can and will toss you to the wolves if the police need some information on your driving patterns for whatever reason – and anyone that uses telematics insurance is more or less just asking for the authorities to be able to track your every bloody move.
Now, I know what you’re going to say: if you’re not up to no good, what do you have to hide? Well bollocks to that – my private life is private, and I don’t need anyone knowing what I’m doing and where I’m going if I don’t want them to. Believe it or not but being in charge of who knows where you’ve been and what you’ve done isn’t a privilege, it’s a bloody right; I don’t want anyone knowing what I’m doing unless I’m comfortable with it.
Meanwhile, most insurers have finally admitted that telematics customers are likely to end up getting ugly surprises in the post when it comes to renewal time, thanks to the very detailed records these little black boxes keep track of. Every time you go over the speed limit – even by just a few mph – gets recorded, and if you do that consistently enough your insurer will raise your rates because you’re an “unsafe” driver. Insurers say some ten million motorists routinely break the 30mph speed limit in fact, and while I’m not advocating that you travel 50mph in a 30mph zone, even if you’re cruising by at a still relatively safe 35mph you’re still technically breaking the law – and guess who has a big fat premium payment they would like you to pay for your sins?
Honestly though, who thought telematics was a good idea? I can understand that it has a role in commercial fleets; it’s easy to keep your commercial van insurance down if you tell your drivers that they’ll get binned if they’re caught driving like pillocks I suppose, but what’s the benefit to everyone else, eh?