Trevor Collett | Oct 14, 2013

A new ‘black box’ recorder has been launched in Australia, aimed at improving road trauma and insurance statistics among young drivers.

Called 'Insurance Box', the small plug-in device can record if a vehicle has been speeding or tailgating, aid in the recovery of stolen vehicles, and help to determine if a driver was at fault during a collision.

While the device can be used by any driver, it is hoped that young drivers will be keen to take up the technology, which offers cheaper insurance premiums through insurer QBE as a reward.

As drivers under 25 are generally over-represented in road trauma statistics and insurance claims, it is hoped the device will help to motivate young licence-holders to drive safely.

Insurance Box is offered through a company of the same name founded by Frank Peppard, which has partnered with QBE Insurance and IntelliTrac to make the technology available.

While the technology is already available in some other countries, this is the first time a ‘black box’ style recorder has been made available in Australia on a voluntary basis.

In the UK in particular, similar devices are said to have reduced the rate and severity of insurance claims by 30 percent, and led to 95 percent of stolen vehicles fitted with the device being recovered.

“Insurance Box focuses on how you drive so if you’re a good driver, whether you’re 18 or 80, you should be rewarded for that,” Mr Peppard said. “Why should you subsidise those who aren’t?”

“We expect young drivers and their parents will be particularly interested in Insurance Box. These drivers stand to save significant dollars through this new ‘skills-tested’ approach to car insurance.”

The technology will also prove attractive for business fleets, as Insurance Box can be used to calculate a “DriveScore” (driver safety score) which not only influences the insurance premium, it can also be used to rank drivers based on their driving behaviour.

Drivers who take up the technology may also receive SMS alerts with tips on how to improve their driving habits, potentially lowering their insurance premiums further.

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