UK +44 (0) 1799 588588 / US Tollfree +1-866-711-4880
Reading Time: 4 minutes
  1. What’s the difference between black box and App based insurance policies?
    • With black box insurance you need to get a black box installed in your vehicle – whether by self-install or by having a professional fitter install it for you.  The device then automatically records your driving behaviour and sends the data over the mobile network using a SIM that is fitted to the device.
    • For app-based insurance you need to download an app on your phone and give the app the relevant permissions to have access to features on your phone such as GPS.  The app then records your driving behaviour using your phone’s inbuilt GPS and sends the data over your mobile network using your mobile data.  Some apps also require you to go into the app and start a journey in order for the app to start recording your driving data.
  2. Why do you only do black box, why not an app alone for UBI?
    • Well we offer both solutions, box and app as sensor.  You could opt to take out telematics insurance that uses a driving App instead of a black box, but we wouldn’t advise it.  Black Box data is significantly more reliable and accurate than data recorded by Driver Scoring Apps.

Advantages of using a black box:

  • Black boxes record speed, accelerometer and gyro so they have a huge amount of richness and quality that can be used to assist with claims handling
  • Black boxes get fitted into your vehicle (whether by self- or professional install), so they always remain secured in the same place.  This means that, unless you drastically change your driving style, your driving data should always be roughly the same
  • You never have to turn anything on to record your journey, and in turn it will not run your phone battery down
  • The boxes communicate via their own comms (they have a SIM fitted) so they can talk to the mobile network without needing your mobile data (yay)!
  • The box can work as a stolen vehicle tracker if your vehicle gets stolen
  • The quality of the data recorded by black boxes is always going to be better than an app because that’s what they’ve been built for

Advantages of using an app:

  • “Gamification”
  • More/easier opportunity for consumer engagement
  • Easier to encourage good driving incentives
  • Cheaper (i.e. don’t need to pay for a professional installer or for extra hardware)
  • “Instant access” to the data for consumers and insurers (i.e. journeys start getting recorded as soon as the app is installed or switched on instead of having to wait for a device to be received)
  • More convenient (i.e. consumers just have to download an app and they’re ready to go instead of having to wait to receive a device)

So, I suppose the answer really is that it depends on what you’re more concerned about as to which is the better option.

For example, if you’re more interested in quality data that could help reduce claims costs or resolution time then going with a black box option is definitely the best, if not only, option.  However, if you’re just interested in improved consumer engagement and attracting “better” drivers (since those who are safer drivers are more likely to opt for an app-based policy anyway), then perhaps going with the app option is your best bet.

Whatever your reasons for wanting a UBI option, we’d still definitely say that a black box approach is always the best way to go, but that’s our ‘bread and butter’ so we would say that wouldn’t we?