This is a relatively new method of calculating car insurance premiums and could be a great way to shave a substantial amount of money off your annual insurance cost. Black box private hire insurance used across a fleet may save an operator thousands of pounds per annum so read on if you want to find out more.
How It Works
It involves an insurer placing a box beneath the bonnet of your car; this box contains a GPS which relays information to the company via a satellite. This enables insurers to monitor your driving and come up with a premium based on the level of risk they think should be associated with you as a driver.
There is typically a web-based portal where you can discover this information and view your ‘driver score’. This score is influenced by the following factors:
- Your average speed on different types of road.
- The distance you cover.
- When you brake, accelerate and take corners.
- The time of day when you drive.
If you can prove you’re a safe driver, black box private hire insurance could reward you with monthly or quarterly discounts. The flipside is a likely increase in your premiums if the insurer decides you are a poor driver. Companies involved in the scheme claim your information will be protected from third parties. Having this black box is also handy if your car is stolen since it acts as a tracking device.
How it’s Installed
The aforementioned GPS is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and gets placed behind your car’s dashboard. In most cases, insurers do not charge for installation and you should be allowed to switch black box providers without incurring any further fees. If you want to have the GPS completely removed expect to pay a removal fee.
If you are interested in black box private hire insurance, be prepared with the following information which must be shown to the provider:
- The logbook (V5C) which shows ownership history and proof you own the car. If you are still waiting for your logbook you need to show proof you purchased the car from a dealership.
- Both parts of your driving license. If you have recently passed your test and are waiting for the license, a certificate to prove you have passed will suffice.
- If you have a No Claims Discount from a previous insurer you may also be asked to provide proof.
Beware the curfew! Many providers of black box private hire insurance restrict the times of day when you can drive your vehicle. This can be a real problem if you’re trying to operate a private hire business. In most cases, you will not be allowed to drive between 11pm and 6am which are the most dangerous times to drive statistically. Do not sign any contract with a black box provider if these restrictions apply or else you will lose out on a large percentage of your target market.
Your driver score will be lowered should you drive during these times so the end result will be higher premiums. There are also black box providers that charge you £100 to drive at these times. As providers view curfews on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, be sure to use the PrivateHireInsurance.net database to find your ideal black box provider.
Who Should Use Black Box Private Hire Insurance?
When it was first introduced, black box insurance was mainly offered to young male drivers as they paid the highest premiums. The new gender discrimination laws now in place means young female drivers will become interested in this method of bringing insurance costs down. Over half of providers don’t offer the black box to drivers over 25 years of age though there are several companies with no age limit.
Benefits Of Black Box Private Hire Insurance
You will derive the most benefit from black box insurance if your premiums are sky high. This means young drivers who have just passed their driving test or those with convictions. Since premiums are based on current behaviour, it’s an opportunity to begin with a clean slate. Show you’re responsible and capable behind the wheel and you should receive an insurance quote to reflect your abilities.
As ‘safe’ driving is rewarded, those with spotless records who believe their insurance should be even cheaper have a golden chance to secure rock bottom rates. There are also incentives such as ‘bonus miles’ which means you can drive more often without being penalised with a higher premium.
Black box insurance is also good news for those who don’t drive at night and steer clear of hazardous roads.
Downsides Of Black Box Private Hire Insurance
Although it appears to be a fair system, there are some issues. For example, you may be forced to pay for installation; even though this cost will be far less than the possible savings, we feel it is a bit much for providers to expect people to pay for monitoring. If you have misjudged your driving ability, you could be in for a nasty shock. On the plus side, you have the chance to put things right due to how the system works.
Above all else, private hire drivers will be punished for driving long distances and it’s likely they will also have to drive through hazardous roads to pick up and drop off customers. The curfew system is also a big problem since a private hire company’s best money making opportunities come at night.
Overall, black box private hire insurance is probably not the best option due to the restrictions it imposes. However, you may find providers willing to overlook certain things and give you a fair chance to show your driving skills and the skills of any drivers you have on your payroll. While it can feel a bit strange having a satellite watching each move, you soon learn to forget about it and as an added bonus, it will track your car if it gets stolen!
Get a quote from PrivateHireInsurance.net to determine if black box private hire insurance is the right move for you.