Black box insurance rules: Myth buster

If you hear someone talking about black box car insurance in a negative way, dig a little deeper and you may find that this opinion is based on what they’ve heard, rather than personal experience. Black box driving sometimes has a negative reputation purely because of myths that have developed over time. These myths can make the question ‘black box or no black box?’ difficult to answer if you’re fairly new to the world of black box insurance (AKA telematics insurance).

Here we’re going to take a look at a few of those myths and set the record straight.

Myth 1: Insurers will report speeding to the police

Verdict: FALSE

Although speeding is monitored as part of your black box experience, black boxes are in no way associated with speed cameras! Black boxes simply monitor your speeding to let you know whether you’re doing a good job and help you improve along the way. In extreme cases of speeding with black box insurance, where your speed is considered to be dangerous, insurers will usually get in touch to let you know that your speed is unacceptable – but they will not send your information to the police*.

*Data will only be shared with the Police in the event that they specifically request it.


Myth 2: You have to abide by a curfew

Verdict: FALSE

There are quite a few rumours out there about black box restrictions. Whilst we can’t speak for all insurers, we can assure you that there are no limits to the times you can drive with Endsleigh’s black box insurance. After all, we’re here to monitor how you drive, not when you drive.

So if you need to do some night time driving for whatever reason, feel free! Just be safe.

Myth 3: You won’t be able to drive until your black box arrives

Verdict: FALSE

You’ll be able to drive from the moment you take out your insurance. You just need to make sure that your black box is fitted as soon as it can be. This is one of the important black box insurance rules to follow, otherwise, your policy may be cancelled.

Myth 4: Your mileage is limited by the insurer

Verdict: FALSE

Your total mileage is set by you at the start of your policy. All insurance policies will ask for an estimated yearly mileage when you take out insurance (black box or not) - it’s important to make this estimation as accurate as possible.

If you’ve done a bit more travelling than intended, it’s easy to top up your policy with more miles when you run out. The more accurate you are with your initial estimation, the less chance of having to add additional miles on.


Myth 5: One mistake will have a big impact on your driving score

Verdict: FALSE

Mistakes happen – we know that. And your black box’s purpose is to help you, not scrutinise you. A slight mistake here or there won’t undo any good you’ve done, or make your discounts disappear. It’ll only affect your score if you start making a habit of driving poorly, which, of course, we’re sure you won’t!


Myth 6: You’re being watched

Verdict: FALSE

One of the most common myths about black boxes is that your insurer is watching your every move, big brother style. This is simply untrue. We don’t collect information on the amount of times you’ve driven to the takeaway this month, and we certainly don’t check to see where you’re heading at 11pm on Friday night. We care about how you’re driving, not where you’re driving and what you’re up to.

We’ll usually only contact you about your specific journeys if your black box flags to us that you’re driving unsafely...

Myth 7: Insurers will always raise your premium at renewal

Verdict: FALSE

One of the most common questions asked around black boxes is ‘Can a black box increase your insurance?’

The very concept of a black box is to offer affordable insurance to young/new drivers, helping them prove they’re safe drivers and reduce their insurance cost. So whilst your premium could increase if you drive poorly, as long as you drive well and work to improve your driving score, you should hopefully earn yourself some rewards and discount off your next renewal.

Myth 8: Black boxes are extremely noticeable and embarrassing

Verdict: FALSE

Black boxes are small devices and are usually around the same size as a smart phone. Most insurers offer two types of black box depending on your car:

-A self-fit black box which you can plug into your car yourself
-A professionally fitted black box which we’ll organise fitting for

Both of these black box styles are designed to blend in and sit unnoticed within your car.


Myth 9: Black boxes affect other accessories in your car

Verdict: FALSE

This is another popular myth about black box driving. Someone once decided that because a black box runs using a small amount of your car’s electricity, that it must affect other functions in your car (such as your radio) too. This isn’t the case and we’ve not come across evidence to suggest otherwise.

Myth 10: Insurers will pass your details onto other companies

Verdict: FALSE

Your data is super important and it’s the job of your insurer to protect it. That means only using your details for the purposes you agree to. At Endsleigh, we promise not to share your data with companies not directly involved in providing your insurance – so your late night trip for some fast food can stay between you and your car! We only use your data in relation to your black box policy.

Overall, black box insurance isn’t a way of your insurer spying on you or trying to punish you for poor driving by increasing the cost of your car insurance.

It’s actually your insurer’s way of saying, “Hey, you may be inexperienced, but we’ll give you a chance to prove your driving skills and earn yourself some great discounts.”

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