Black box insurance vs Smart Pricing: The new, easier way

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What is telematics?
How Smart Pricing works
How black boxes work
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Car insurance in the UK is broken. Good drivers can pay the same insurance costs as bad ones, while things like your job or postcode may also impact your rates. It can seem very unfair.

What is telematics?

For years, a black box was the only way to try and fix this. A black box is a physical piece of hardware, sometimes called a ‘telematic device’, that is installed in your car to monitor how you drive. Drivers may get discounts on their car insurance - but must put up with pesky restrictions and fees.

Cuvva’s Smart Pricing rewards good drivers without hitting them with rules and costs. Instead of a box, your phone’s location and sensor data lets us know how well you drive, with insurance discounts of up to a third on offer. Put simply: the better you drive, the less you pay.

Black boxes and Smart Pricing could both save you money but they are very different. Here is our complete guide to how they work and which one is better.

How Smart Pricing works

Once you sign up to our monthly car insurance and opt-in to Smart Pricing, the Cuvva app starts learning about five main aspects of your driving ability in real time:

  • Speed: How fast you drive, and whether you stick to the speed limit.
  • Braking: How quickly you stop, and if you give yourself enough time to slow down safely.
  • Cornering: How smoothly you turn, and whether you give other drivers enough indication.
  • Focus: Whether or not you use your phone while driving.
  • Accelerating: How quickly and smoothly you set off.

Smart Pricing pulls this all together to give you a driving score out of 100. We need you to drive 125 miles to make sure your score is reliable - but to tide you over, we'll give you 10% off as soon as you sign up. Even better, there are no joining fees or deposits, either.

Just keep in mind, if your score is low, your insurance price could go up or stop you from using Cuvva and our temporary insurance. However, the good thing is we offer super flexible cover which means you can cancel your subscription for free.

What is black box insurance?

Traditional black boxes are clunky pieces of hardware that often must be fitted to your car by an engineer. It tracks you on the road to see how safely you’re driving. They are often popular with young drivers hoping to reduce pricey car bills.

Unfortunately, driving with a black box comes with lots of restrictions and unexpected costs. Getting them set up takes time and can be expensive. Some insurance providers penalise drivers by reducing their discounts if they exceed a driving mileage limit or hit the road late at night.

There can also be fees for installing and removing the boxes, and for signing up to or cancelling the policies. Some insurers require engineers to install their black boxes - with penalty charges if you decide to change or cancel your appointment.

Black boxes are often literal boxes fitted behind the dashboard. However, some black box car insurance providers use a ‘plug-and-drive’ device, which fits into your car’s lighter socket, or an on-board device, which goes in the OBD port. These usually don’t require an engineer to install them.

Excess
Compulsory excess is decided by your insurer. All those things that can affect your insurance price can affect your excess, too.

Sign up to Cuvva’s Smart Pricing

Want to know more about Smart Pricing? We’ve got everything covered, from how we keep your data safe to battery usage, right here.

Want radically better car insurance that rewards good drivers? Sign up for Smart Pricing on the Cuvva app. Simply click the Insights button and follow the simple instructions.

Updated on 25th August 2021