The black box in the car: Does it affect the price of insurance?

starting next July 6th, all passenger cars in Spain they have to include a black box in a mandatory way. An “event data recorder” or EDR that, like the black boxes on airplanes, will record the most relevant information in the event of an accident.

The device will be mandatory in all new cars and, according to the insurance comparator, it could directly affect the price of car premiums if insurers finally have access to this data.

How will the black box work?

Specifically, the black box will save the data generated from the 30 seconds before and the five after the incident. This information may be analyzed later. Yes indeed, the information collected will be anonymous a priorias personal data such as the driver’s name, age or gender will not be recorded.

Among the information that will be recorded are the speed of the vehicle, the braking, the engine revolutions, the force of the frontal and lateral impact, the steering movements, the position of the accelerator… It will also record the operation of security systems such as airbags, seat belts and driving assistants, and will take into account time and chronological parameters, such as the time and date of the accident.

In addition to for establish the causes of accidents, EDRs will serve to establish injury thresholds, reconstruct accidents, create road safety programs, etc. According to the European Parliament, they will prevent up to 25,000 deaths and more than 140,000 injuries.

Will it alter the prices of car insurance?

At this point, it is worth asking if the implementation of these black boxes will alter the prices of car insurance. Although we are only proposing a possible scenario, answering this question is not easy, since it must be taken into account that insurers set the prices of policies, among other things, based on statistical data. For example, younger drivers are considered to have more serious accidents and therefore their insurance is often expensive.

Nor should we lose sight of who will be able to access the data that is generated, that is, if the insurers will be able to do so or not. In fact, the European Union bets that the authorities are the only ones who can know them. Nevertheless, a recent judgment in Germany has allowed insurers to have this record, as they are a main part of traffic accidents.

The sentence indicates that “Insured parties are obliged to contribute everything that serves to clarify the causes of a claim, by virtue of their obligation to inform” and opens the door to the rest of Europe’s insurers. “Although, probably, it will end up depending on each particular case”, they predict from

That said, and only if access to this data is finally available, those people who stick to the statistics would not experience any rise or fall in their insurance, at least a priori. But the policyholders who did not drive like motorists with a profile similar to theirs would do so.

Even though data on the sex or age of the driver is not recordedif the insurer ends up having access to the information and there is only one regular driver who is the policyholder, they will not have to investigate much more to make a composition of place.

In any case, this is not new, since some forms of contracting already exist, such as Pay As You Drivewhich allow the insured to pay according to the way he drives.

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