First of all, the principle of the new car insurance seems to be reasonable as well as simple. Those who excel in safe driving should pay less for their car insurance. Since the 15. November 2013, Sparkassen Direktversicherung's "S-Drive" tariff offers drivers a car insurance policy that monitors their driving with the help of a black box. Insured who are observed driving, at the end of the year five percent discount or even a free insurance coverage for three months beckon. But the new car insurance has not yet been properly thought through.
How does the car insurance with the black box work??
Drivers have to install a data monitoring box in their car for the new car insurance policy. This works in a similar way to the GPS in a cell phone. The black box records five values: Excessive speed, city driving, hasty braking or acceleration, night driving, and driving style. Depending on the driving style, points are deducted from the driver, of which 100 are on an account. For example, anyone who drives ten km/h too fast loses 20 points. Drivers get the discount if they have at least 80 counters left. But when it comes to evaluating the features, one problem with monitoring is already becoming apparent: nighttime and city driving are viewed negatively. This means that insured persons who live in large cities or drive at night have no chance at all to get a lower insurance premium due to the conditions.
New car insurance: Five percent discount fizzle out
In the USA and other EU countries, so-called telematics rates have long been part of everyday life. Sparkassen Direktversicherung is the first auto insurer in Germany to dare to introduce such a rate. The provider seems to hit the nerve of the time with his black box car insurance. According to a survey, two-thirds of all car owners can imagine being monitored while driving if the premium is lowered in return. But the new telematics tariff has a weak point: a discount of five percent on the next premium calculation initially sounds promising. But insured persons have to pay rent for the black box – 5.95 euros per month. The discount is thus eaten up by the rental price.
Telematics technology: privacy at risk
Even though the provider emphasizes that "accident prevention, rapid accident assistance and data protection" were the top priorities in product development, data protectionists take a critical view of vehicle monitoring. From the data, for example, some conclusions can be drawn. Be transferred to the insured. Dealing with privacy is quite negative due to the movement profile. Also the consumer center Baden-Wuerttemberg sees disadvantages. Among other things, it would have to be scientifically determined what characterizes a good and a bad driving style.
Drivers can track account balances by cell phone
By the way, the data is not evaluated by the insurer. This is done by the mobile phone provider Telefonica (O2). Only the values that are important for assessing the riding style are transmitted to the provider. Drivers with this car insurance can check their account balance at any time via cell phone using an app. If the driver has an accident, the monitoring box should also serve as an emergency alarm. If the black box registers a crash, it tries to reach the driver by phone. If the driver does not react, the emergency services are automatically informed and the location of the car is transmitted.
Bottom line: new car insurance has many disadvantages
This seems to be the only advantage of the new vehicle monitoring tariff. Although, as the auto insurer makes clear, no insured person is penalized for their negative driving behavior. But few customers will feel the discount in their wallet. If you really want to save money, you should make the effort of a car insurance comparison. Studies show that drivers can save several hundred euros by changing their car insurance this year.
Recently, the Stiftung Warentest has shown with its car insurance test (Finanztest issue 11/2013) that the price comparison is really worthwhile. Here you can directly compare over 100 rates for car insurance and see your personal savings potential.