Telematics-based ‘black box’ technology could be the key to bringing back discount car insurance in Northern Ireland, according to the words of one DoE minister.
Alex Attwood met with car insurance companies recently in order to discuss how telematics could be used to record and analyse motorist behaviour in order to provide less expensive car insurance rates to NI motorists. It is hoped that such an option is but one of many that can be employed to reduce the disparity between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK when it comes to the costs of motoring.
Great Britain’s premiums are 11 per cent less expensive than they are in Northern Ireland on average. However, in some rural areas of NI, the disparity can be as high as an eye-watering 70 per cent.
Younger drivers are in even worse shape than the average motorist in Northern Ireland, as almost 20 per cent of motorists who who have just passed their driving test are involved in some sort of road traffic accident within their first six months behind the wheel. According to the DoE, the likelihood of a younger driver to be the cause of a fatal or serious accident is double that of an older driver.
Officials from the DoE have been looking for ways to ally themselves with local insurance providers in order to make telematics-based technology available to younger drivers in Northern Ireland, Mr Attwood said.
Great Britain’s insurers have been piloting the scheme for some months, and will most likely not need legislation. Aimed at drivers under the age of 25, the scheme could lead to lowered premiums as a result of responsible driving.