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Black box insurance could help avoid new driver crashes

17 November 2014

RoadSafe partner ingenie's Young Driver Report presents compelling evidence that telematics insurance policies that measure how young people drive and provide feedback to help them become safer, can significantly reduce crash frequency among this high-risk group.

Based on this evidence, ingenie has joined forces with its insurance partner Ageas UK to call for an Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) exemption on telematics polices taken out by young drivers. This would allow insurers to reduce premiums and stimulate demand while the market matures.

The ingenie report also presents telematics data gathered over 200,000,000 miles to paint a clear picture of how, when and where young people drive; the risk they pose to themselves and other road users; and their receptiveness to behaviour change.

• Road crashes are still the biggest accidental killer of young people
• Young drivers are involved in 20% of Killed and Seriously Injured crashes
• Five 17 to 24-year-olds lose their lives on British roads every week

The data suggests that lives could be saved through wider adoption of black box insurance. Indeed, ingenie’s data reveals that compared with the national average of 1 in 5 young drivers crashing in the first six months after passing their test, just 1 in 8 of those taking out a telematics insurance policy will have a crash during that period – that’s a 40% reduction in risk. While ingenie wants government to encourage the adoption of telematics insurance among young people, crucially the company wants it to remain an opt-in product, as young drivers must choose to take responsibility for being safer drivers.

Richard King, ingenie’s founder and CEO, said, “Every year, more than 490,000 newly qualified drivers take to the road on their own for the first time, and it’s a sobering thought that without telematics one in five of them will go on to have a crash within just six months of passing their test.

“Despite much debate over many years, a solution to this economic and social problem has proved elusive for successive governments. We’re able to provide a private sector solution through technology, and our data shows conclusively that telematics has the potential to save more lives.

“There is a moral obligation – as well as a very clear economic responsibility – for government to get behind telematics for young drivers, to publicly acknowledge the very real and significant safety benefits it offers, and provide the financial incentive needed to encourage wide-scale take-up.”

Adrian Walsh, director of RoadSafe, said, “Young drivers are keen to drive well and are quick to learn. However, much of their training focuses on the skills associated with controlling a vehicle rather than their attitude to assessing and managing risk. RoadSafe is urging a fresh approach: educate potential drivers to cope with the risks they face, rather than simply to enable them to pilot a vehicle. Telematics can achieve much of this.”

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