While telematics have already been doing the world a service by cutting back on fuel usage, improving business efficiency and helping young drivers get themselves behind a wheel without needing to sell a kidney or two, The Road Safety Foundation believes offering tax breaks on telematics backed insurance policies, would lead to even more people taking them out, cutting back on accidents on the roads, reducing injuries and getting more young people into cars, making them more mobile and more employable.
This argument comes off of the back of a study which the RSF has yet to publish, but through which it claims that if a zero-tax rating was implemented on premium tax policies, that up too 2,500 injury claims a year would be cut out – by bringing telematics to over a quarter of a million more people in the UK – as well as saving the government over £500 million in NHS bills for long term care patients after serious accidents.
According to RSF council member John Dawson, it would also prevent parents and insurers from instigating draconian measures on young drivers, who already find it hard enough to get their own car and insurance, without feeling like they’re being over-policed. With telematics he said, the help can be more targeted.
“Telematics insurance is relatively new but already a quarter of all under-25’s are insured in this way and it means we can make young driver insurance cheaper.
“There are now more than a dozen products on the market and all major insurers provide some form of offering. We can now accelerate the take-up in a competitive market and save thousands of deaths or injuries annually,” Dawson added.
Other agencies and groups have backed the idea, suggesting that it would indeed save lives, save money and be a boon to several important industries, whilst taking the strain off of others. Telematics providers, as you might expect are some of the most keen, with Ingenie’s CEO Richard King throwing his two cents into the debate:
“Through our telematics proposition, we have found an effective way of engaging with young drivers based on popular communications channels, which has had a significant impact on driver behaviour,” he said. “Further encouraging the take up of telematics based insurance will no doubt make a real difference to road safety.”
Telematics has helped many young drivers already, who were seeing their chances of getting hold of a car they could legally drive disappear as premiums rocketed for those ages under 21. While 10 years ago it might have been possible to get a premium under a thousand pounds, today you’d be lucky to get one that was under two. However with telematics, insurers are able to offer carrot and stick incentives to young drivers, threatening to take away their policy if excessive speeding occurs, or if they drive dangerously. Conversely, they can also offer further premium reductions if the the driver is safe behind the wheel.
Image Sources: Ingenie, Leanid Mamchenkov