In an effort to reduce the number of motor accident claims that are being made in the UK, the Government is examining whether encouraging the use of new technology, such as telematics-based insurance, to gather information on motoring habits.
Telematics, or ‘black box’ technology, has been offered by insurers in increasing numbers as of late, as the device, similar to a satnav, keeps track of a motorist’s performance behind the wheel and rewards good drivers with lowered rates – and bad ones with higher ones. As the technology would purportedly lead to drivers behaving themselves behind the wheel in greater numbers in order to earn deep discounts, the Government is banking on it to reduce the number of RTAs that occur on UK roadways, which would in turn reduce the number of personal injury claims as well.
Many industry experts also say that the data gathered by insurers could also play a dual role in reducing the number of massive personal injury compensation payouts. If a claimant can be proven beyond a doubt to have been engaging in motoring behaviour that contributed to their accident, the amount of compensation they are entitled to is reduced – and with insurers keeping records of motorists’ activities behind the wheel, claimants can be called out for exceeding the speed limit or driving recklessly prior to the incident for which they’re making a compensation claim.
The only downside, some detractors say, is that Brits may be trading their privacy for safety. However, proponents of the technology point out that a motorist is in public whilst behind the wheel, and the telematics technology cannot exactly ring your mum to tell them you were out too late at the pub the night before.