Feeds

Norwich Union trials PAYG car insurance

Can anyone say 'surveillance'?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Norwich Union has begun trials of a new pay-as-you-go car insurance policy. Drivers will be tracked by a 'black box' which will record data about their journeys, and charge them according to how risky any particular journey is.

The idea is that premiums will be matched precisely to the individual: those who use their cars infrequently will pay far less for their insurance, but those who make frequent night time journeys, or who drive a lot, will pay more.

"Most drivers are not going to like the idea of their insurance company knowing their whereabouts 24 hours a day," AA spokeswoman Rebecca Rees told The BBC. She argued that switching to a pay-as-you-go charging structure would be unpopular with drivers concerned about "the big brother element".

Despite these concerns, Norwich Union says applications to take part in the trial flooded in - the scheme could have been filled twice over.

Volunteers have a black box device, about the size of a DVD box, fitted to their cars. It tracks vehicle usage in real time and works out the insurance premium on a per mile basis. The calculation involves the black box data, along with standard insurance criteria such as sex, age and insurance history.

In the US, Progressive Insurance, has already piloted a similar scheme. It is offering customers up to a 25 per cent discount on their insurance, with an automatic reduction of five per cent in exchange for their driving data.

Other reductions depend on the driver modifying his or her behaviour: for example, a further discount is available if drivers stay off the road between midnight and 4am. ®

Related stories

Alzheimer's patients to trial MS labs life-blog gadget
Airbag grasses up killer driver
Doh! Man steals GPS tracking device

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.