One of the UK’s leading insurance experts has launched a new telematics van policy to help ‘drive down’ costs for customers and reduce the number of vans that are stolen every year. Admiral is first major insurer to introduce telematics for van drivers with the launch of Littlebox for Van.
It aims to meet the growing demand for ‘black box’ insurance policies and help to dispel the myths about ‘white van drivers’. Last year just 1% of all Admiral van related claims involved the vehicle changing lanes into another driver.
Around 7% were for vans crashing into parked vehicles and 8% involved vans hitting the rear of another motorist.
Telematics policies allow drivers to influence their own premium by rewarding good driving behaviour throughout the year and at renewal. The small telematics device is fitted by a professional engineer behind the van’s dashboard to monitor how the vehicle is driven.
This includes the location, speed of the vehicle, braking and miles covered – something to consider for van drivers who spend a lot of time out on the road every day. A driving score is then calculated for the customer, which determines the discount they can get on their insurance premium at renewal.
Admiral’s Littlebox device also includes a built-in theft tracker to help Admiral locate any stolen vehicles.
Telematics are particularly popular with younger, less experienced drivers looking for ways to reduce their insurance costs but they can help any good driver get cheaper insurance.
Gunnar Peters, Admiral’s Head of Telematics, said, “Telematics motor insurance policies work differently to traditional insurance policies where we look at a range of factors such as age, occupation, location and vehicle type to calculate a premium based on claims data. While these factors do play a part in telematics we also use electronically-gathered data to calculate, and recalculate, your quote based on how good a driver you are. This helps motorists to get a price for their insurance based on how they drive, and 80% of Littlebox customers get a discounted price at renewal.
“In the past van drivers have had a bad reputation for their driving behaviour, but our data shows that a very small number are actually involved in accidents compared to all vehicles on the road. Littlebox for Van will help us dispel this myth even further, and make van insurance more affordable for drivers of all ages.”
This is a tough sell for any broker or motor insurance company. Owners of small delivery vans generally earn per drop, sometimes as little as 60p per item. That means the pressure is on to make 50 plus stops per day and deliver over 100 parcels of varying sizes and value. At present there is no legal requirement for internet package delivery drivers to have a working hours tracking device fitted to the cab, as HGV drivers have been using for decades.
If that law changes, and there are mandatory rest periods for small goods drivers, the whole sector will be disrupted. Internet shopping will continue to grow, but how can independent drivers deliver the goods, on time, every time?
The big draw with this product is the location tracker, which offers a deterrent against vehicle theft. But there are many other gadgets which track a vehicle’s location, without recording ever aspect of the driver’s on-the-road behaviour. It will be interesting to see if owner/drivers can see a real benefit in trading their data.