How we can help if you have a complaint about telematics (black box) vehicle insurance.
What is black box vehicle insurance?
Many insurers now offer telematics insurance policies. These use technology to measure when and how you drive. Often this involves a small box – sometimes referred to as a ‘black box’ – being fitted to the vehicle. Alternatively, your driving might be measured by a smartphone app.
Insurers use the information for different purposes – for example, to:
- decide whether to carry on providing insurance to the policyholder.
- adjust monthly premiums
- decide a renewal premium
These policies are popular with young and new drivers. They are often marketed on the basis that you can save money by driving safely.
Types of complaint we see
You might complain to us because:
- you think that incorrect driving scores have resulted in your policy being cancelled
- you think that incorrect driving scores have increased the cost of your policy
- you weren’t told important information about the telematics system when buying the policy – for example, the impact of driving at night on your score
How to complain
Talk to your insurer first so that they have the chance to put things right. They need to give you their final response within eight weeks. If you’re unhappy with their response, or if they don’t respond, let us know.
Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and won’t cost you anything. We’ll check your complaint is something we can deal with, and if it is, we’ll investigate.
Find out more about how to complain.
What we look at
To help us consider a complaint fairly, we’ll ask you to provide some information. We’ll make our decision about what happened using evidence provided by you, your insurer and any relevant third parties. We may ask for:
- policy documents
- sales documentation
- recordings of phone calls
- screenshots from online sales
- contact notes
- telematics driving data
- your explanation of what happened
- the business’ explanation of what happened
You can read more about what we look at for specific types of complaint:
You might think that there’s a problem with the telematics system because your driving score is unfair or the data is inaccurate. For example, you might have a low score for braking but feel you brake safely or smoothly. Or you might have a low score for speed, but feel you’ve been unfairly accused of breaking speed limits.
These scores might have resulted in:
- the policy being cancelled
- a warning that the policy might be cancelled
- an increase in the cost of the policy
In cases like this, we usually ask the insurer to explain how it has checked the data’s accuracy. We’ll listen to yours and the insurer’s explanation of what has happened. We’ll check to see if we can spot any problems with the telematics data.
For example, if you’re disputing a particular speeding event, we’ll look at the data for it. We’ll ask the insurer to explain what checks for accuracy have been made. This might include checking the system has applied the correct speed limit for the road. We might also ask the insurer to check you weren’t really driving on a nearby road with a higher speed limit.
If you’re unhappy about your braking score, we’ll ask what checks the insurer has made on their system. We’ll look at the data behind the scores over time to see if we think the system is working correctly.
If we don’t think there’s a problem with the telematics system
In cases of cancellation, we’ll check that the insurer has given you opportunities and advice to improve your score. We’ll also check that it has any warnings required by the policy terms.
You may feel that:
- you weren’t given enough information about a telematics policy when it was sold to you
- if you had been given enough information, you wouldn’t have agreed to the cover
For this type of complaint, we ask the insurer to show what information was provided during the sale.
We’ll check that that you had enough information to make an informed decision about buying the policy. We’ll make sure you were in a position to decide if the policy was suitable for you.
We’d want to see that you were told about:
- which driving behaviours (for example – braking, speed or time of day) would be measured
- the possible consequences of low scores
Putting things right
If we find you’ve been treated unfairly, we'll ask the insurer to put things right. This usually involves putting you back in the position you’d be in if things hadn’t gone wrong.
We’ll also consider whether you’ve experienced any distress or inconvenience as a result of what the insurer did wrong and whether we think it’s appropriate to award compensation.
The following examples gives an idea of our approach:
If your policy has been unfairly cancelled, we might ask the insurer to:
- wipe any record of cancellation
- refund any cancellation fees or charges
- reimburse any extra you’ve had to pay for new insurance
If your premium has gone up, we might ask the insurer to refund any you’ve paid.
We might ask the insurer to:
- refund any set up or cancellation fees
- provide a pro-rata refund of the policy premium
- paying any extra costs incurred when arranging new cover
Consumer has policy cancelled after being recorded driving at 125mph
Motor Insurance Telematics Insurance
Consumer feels he wasn’t given enough information when buying his telematics policy
Motor Insurance Telematics Insurance
Information for financial businesses
You can read more information about telematics (black box) insurance in the business section of our website. This includes technical details and information to help you resolve complaints.