Is there any way to wrest control back from insurers?

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDED 27 FEB 2013:

It can be like pulling teeth to get a cheap car insurance quote nowadays, what with rampant costs coming in from seemingly every corner – what can be done?

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick of watching your motor car insurance premiums going up every year. Even going to a car insurance comparison site to shop around for the best deals might not be very productive, especially if you’re a young driver – car insurance companies seem to enjoy charging an arm and a leg for even pared-down cover, to say nothing about the cost of comprehensive cover, so it’s not exactly a shock to see the local news outlets are positively glutted with stories about how to get the cost of your insurance down in any way you legally can.

A new report I recently came across found that the average comprehensive cover is somewhere around £700 to £800 a year, but this doesn’t take into account the costs someone between the ages of 17 and 24 routinely face if they want their own set of wheels. Young drivers are routinely charged as much as twice that – sometimes even more, depending on their postcode – and sometimes it’s enough to price younger Brits right out of car ownership; in an economy where it’s harder and harder to find a well-paying job, the young need a vehicle to sometimes get to a place where there are still jobs to be had, yet without the ability to pay their insurance they can’t make the money to keep any job far from home or in a place where public transport doesn’t reach – it’s a terrible Catch-22.

However, there are some things that might help, and the rise of telematics-based insurance comer may be one of them. There’s a slew of news items talking about the satnav-based technology and how it can help you save money, and in theory it could help immensely.

Telematics is a technology that keeps tabs on how well – or how poorly – you drive, as it monitors your motoring behaviour and then uploads the data to your insurance provider. For motorists who take corners safely, keep to the speed limit, and don’t brake or accelerate n an unsafe manner, insurers say the cost of their cover can be slashed by a significant margin.

In a way, this can be a godsend for any parent that feels their child may not quite be ready for driving about unupervised. If you’ve got your own computerised Mum or Dad watching over your child’s driving behaviour – and offering rewards or punishments for their performance – there’s much to be gained by making the roads safer for everyone and not just someone with a car fitted with the technology.

Hopefully telematics will take off, and you and I can all benefit from safer roads and lowered insurance premiums. Otherwise I don’t know what I’m going to do short of selling my car and getting a bicycle!

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