Are you willing to trade privacy for cheap car insurance?

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 DAYS ENDING 24 SEPT 2014:

Telematics-based cover, one of the newest ways to secure motor car insurance for cheap, may become the industry standard in the future; are you prepared for it?

Since telematics insurance provides drivers with discount car insurance in exchange for providing real-time proof to an insurer that you’re a safe driver, it’s become quite a popular choice. It’s especially helpful for younger Brits, as cheap car insurance for younger drivers is almost impossible to find without resorting to telematics, and younger Brits feel that having a satnav-like device fitted to their vehicles keeping track of their motoring behaviour – or an app on their mobile phone – is a worthy trade-off if it means getting behind the wheel.

Meanwhile I don’t know if this is going to be a good idea going forward. It looks like industry experts are predicting that as technology advances, telematics devices are going to become increasingly powerful. Soon you’ll be answering to your insurer as to why your telematics device detected you texting whilst driving or talking without a hands-free device – or even listening to a radio that was turned up too loud. In some cases, technology might advance to the point where your telematics device or smartphone app will shut off your phone and radio altogether!

Now I’m sure some people will see this as just another safety feature, and I can see where you’re coming from. The safer you’re considered behind the wheel, the less expensive your cover will be, and that’s a positive thing – but is it really worth giving up your ability to listen to your favourite song on the radio? Not only that, but what if there’s an emergency with your family? You can no longer be reached by mobile if your car decides it’s too dangerous for you to be on the phone whilst behind the wheel.

I’m sorry, but I’d prefer to make those kinds of decisions myself and not relinquish my personal privacy rights to some misguided insurance claims adjuster or programmer. If this is what the future holds for insurance in the UK, I am definitely not going to have any part of this so-called telematics revolution. Need I remind you people that Orwell’s ‘1984’ was a warning, not a how-to manual?

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