Black Box Van Insurance

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By Crispin Bateman
Updated on Monday 4 November 2019

Close up of van and wing mirror

What is black box insurance?

Black box insurance, more formally called telematics insurance, involves having a device fitted to your van that sends data regarding your driving back to your insurance company. By providing them with positive proof of your good driving, your insurance costs go down!

What’s special about black box van insurance?

There’s no real difference between black box insurance for cars and black box insurance for vans, except that everyone knows about the option for cars and the thought that you can get black box in a van passes so many people by.

In reality though, there are many thousands of young drivers out there whose first vehicle is a van, and just like new drivers getting their first car, they deserve all the advantages a black box insurance policy can bring.

How does telematics insurance work?

Insurance is all about risk. When you get the insurance company to cover you as you drive around, they are essentially gambling every time you get in the van. If you manage to get to your destination without an incident then they win, but if something happens and there’s a road traffic accident then they lose, and they have to pay out.

With black box insurance, their systems get an update of your driving habits and through that data, they can form a much more accurate idea of your risk factor. Do you speed a lot, even by a couple of miles an hour? Do you brake suddenly? Do you go in areas known for their vandalism or theft? Do you drive a lot at night, or in poor driving conditions?

All this information comes together to form a picture of you as a driver. Drive well and sensibly and the black box will drive the cost of your insurance right down.

What are the black box insurance pros and cons?

One of the primary disadvantages of black box insurance is the idea that you are being watched – and worse, that the data will be shared with the police or other authorities, meaning you can get a speeding ticket in unpoliced areas or are otherwise monitored.

The truth is that none of the data is passed on – in fact, as the data is purely used to calculate an overall profile, it is rare that any of the specific data is even seen by human eyes. It is a computer that builds your profile up and reports your overall risk factor to the insurance company.

There are many advantages that come with black box cover. Aside from the fact that the best black box insurance is going to be a huge amount cheaper than the non-telematics alternatives for your van, there are a few subtle extras.

Automatic assistance

While not every insurer offers this service, many do – and that’s automatic assistance in the case of a crash. Your black box knows something bad has happened and it’s sending that data to the insurer, often meaning that they know you’ve crashed before you have had time to process the situation. Should that crash be serious, and you are unable to respond to communication, they can get medical help to you as a matter of urgency.

Better driving

There’s nothing like a financial motivation to improve someone’s driving skill. The fact is, driving a van as your first vehicle can be difficult. Though many modern vans drive as smoothly as cars, they are bigger and can be a little scarier to take on the road – concentration in the early days is key. Black box insurance provides an extra layer of motivation for you to keep an eye on your driving and make the sensible choice every time.

Before too long, good driving becomes natural and you’re a more skilled and more responsible driver who doesn’t think twice about the monitoring.

Black box insurance can save lives

There’s no doubt about it – statistically, black box insurance helps lower the number of accidents on the road and, by extension, saves lives. If there’s ever any reason to get something, the idea that it’ll help prevent someone from getting hurt, or worse, should be more than enough.

And that person could be you.

Do new drivers have to have a black box insurance policy?

At the moment, it’s not a legal requirement to have black box insurance cover with your first vehicle, but that doesn’t stop it being the most sensible option!

Van insurance for your first van can rise steadily into thousands of pounds per year – a sizeable discount gained from the black box can shave hundreds of pounds off that. Who wouldn’t want to do it?

Are there any other ways to save money on van insurance premiums?

Van insurance is just like other car insurance policies – with a little extra for the work aspect. Consequently, the standard ways to save on car insurance also work well to lower your van insurance: keeping your van in a secure location, making sure it is alarmed, building up a no-claims discount, keeping your mileage low and considering a larger voluntary excess are all key ways to save on your vehicle insurance.

If you do not have a proven history of good driving, however, black box insurance is going to be the best way for you to save money on your van insurance.

Any more van insurance tips?

Make sure you get the right insurance for your van use. Often, your van will be used for business purposes, and that means being covered for its precise use. Standard fully comprehensive insurance isn’t going to cover you if you’re planning on being a courier or an ice cream man. Speak to your insurance company about your usage and make sure you get the right insurance for your needs – the last thing you want is to have a road traffic accident, only to find you exceeded your agreed cover.

Also, make sure you get breakdown insurance, whether that’s through your insurance company (which may be cheaper, but will probably only include roadside assistance) or through a major, reputable organisation such as the AA or RAC. See our article on breakdown cover to learn more.

How can Compare UK Quotes help?

Getting the right black box van insurance for you will mean you need to shop around and find the right policy to fit - don’t just accept the first quote offered! At Compare UK Quotes we have a library of articles available to help you make sure you are well-informed.

Check out our other articles on van insurance or black box insurance for more information on each topic - you're bound to learn something new!


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