How Telematics Could Save Your Life
How Telematics Could Save Your Life
Telematics are an interesting thing. Over the past few years they have been known as everything from a money saving aid to spyware. This is partially down to how telematics boxes were first sold and partially due to a misunderstanding of what telematics boxes can do.
How Telematics Boxes Have Been Mis-sold in the Past
Telematics boxes are not spyware but instead a method of accurately measuring how well a person drives. There was a common misconception that telematics boxes would automatically reduce insurance rates for young drivers. This is not necessarily true. They are used instead to grade how the well the driver drives and to encourage young drivers to drive well. Good driving is then potentially rewarded by reduced rates of insurance. For bad drivers the insurance could go up. This is something often glossed over by marketeers.
This judging and reporting back to a central system was also seen as spying on the driver and this is another misconception. Telematics boxes do not spy but knowingly monitor the driver. They do not report bad driving or errors, but instead it is reflected in the price of the insurance. This means it can go up or down.
How A Telematics Box Could Save Your Life
Several telematics boxes have two added features. These are GPS locating, and emergency responses to abrupt system failures. What this means is that in the case of an accident where the telematics box is suddenly terminated, the box alerts the insurer of the location of the car so that they can then decide to contact the driver or call the Emergency Services. The insurer is shown the force of impact, the speed the car was travelling at, the location of the crash, and various other statistics about the car before making a decision. This was exactly the case for Max in March of 2015.
Max, according to the Mail Online (source: dailym.ai/22MDWJq), had been driving on country roads around Leatherhead in Surrey when his car spun out of control and crashed.
Due to the information his insurance company had received, from the telematics box he had installed in his car, they decided to call the Emergency Services. Max was reached within 10 minutes of his crash, found unconscious in his car with a swelling in his brain. He was quickly taken to hospital in a critical condition, eventually making a good recovery.
On average, according to the same source, the Emergency Services are alerted 18 times a month by telematics insurers doing their jobs well.
At present three big telematics companies offer this service. These are Insure the Box, Drive Like A Girl, and Tesco Bank's Box Insurance (source: bit.ly/1ISrzVT).
So What Does Having Telematics Mean?
The truth is simple: If you are a safe driver then telematics is a wise investment. It rewards drivers for careful driving and it provides a safety net for drivers where previously there was only roadside assistance and not much else to help drivers who got into trouble. Telematics allows drivers to feel secure and safe within the confines of their car, knowing they will be economically rewarded for their effort...
...assuming they drive well. Dangerous drivers will not get into trouble but they may have their insurance rates raised. Information is shared with the insurance provider but no one else.
When it comes down to deciding whether to have telematics for young drivers or not, the decision seems clear. The negatives of having someone know how you drive are easily outweighed by the bonuses of potentially having reduced insurance premiums and that extra security net should the worst happen. For parents it is a no-brainer.