Telematics tariffs

For many drivers, the opportunity to easily change their car insurance ends on November 30th

Those who drive carefully will be rewarded, this is the principle behind the increasingly popular telematics tariffs. That sounds fair at first, but it also has disadvantages and is not worthwhile for everyone.

So far, drivers have only had limited influence on the level of their vehicle insurance tariffs. Type and regional class, for example, are included in the calculation; the first reflects the damage and accident balance of the selected car model, the second expresses the damage balance of the region in which the vehicle owner lives. However, everyone can adapt their own driving style. With the help of mobile communications technology, this can also be traced back to the insurance company. For some years now, there have been tariffs that promise a discount for adapted driving styles. Initially offered for novice drivers, telematics tariffs are now also available for long-term drivers.

A black box permanently installed in the vehicle (e.g. Huk-Coburg) or the smartphone (e.g. Allianz, DEVK) records driving data: location, time, speed, acceleration, braking and steering. The driving style is evaluated by an algorithm: moderate acceleration, no abrupt braking maneuvers, speed adjusted to speed limits and slow cornering are rated positively. This evaluation, the “score”, is sent to the motorist and insurance company, from which the discount is calculated. Up to 30 percent discount on the insurance tariff is at least theoretically possible.

Consumer advocates consider the maximum value to be difficult to achieve. Especially when there are factors that can hardly be influenced: trips through the city during rush hour or regularly at night are statistically associated with a higher accident risk and lower the score.

Younger people in particular benefit from the fact that safe driving has a direct impact on their tariff and not only after years in the form of a no-claims class. For drivers who have been accident-free for a long time and have achieved a high no-claims rating, it is probably not worth taking out a new telematics tariff. Various insurance companies also offer the option for existing contracts.

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