Black Box Bonanza

Vehicle technology has become more sophisticated over the last few years—and also more popular with both telematics and cameras acting as the equivalent of an aeroplanes ‘black box’ recorder. Telematics systems are more than just devices that can locate vehicles. They provide valuable data to managers about their drivers. Many systems track how vehicles are being driven, how many hours are spent on the road and even what routes are taken. Managers can now obtain more accurate reports about vehicle conditions, fuel consumption and who their best drivers are.

Cost Versus Benefit

Of course, most telematics systems are expensive. But the benefits can far outweigh the costs. For instance, fuel costs can be reduced up to 30 per cent, and motor fleet insurance premiums could drop up to 25 per cent. According to the 2011 Ctrack Vehicle Tracking Survey, fleet operators have also seen 15 per cent reductions in overtime claims.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), ‘telematics devices’ or ‘black boxes’ could measure an individual’s driving behaviour such as sudden braking or acceleration, speeding and rapid cornering. This data would then allow insurers to tailor the premium to the individual, with safer drivers likely to pay lower premiums. A simpler telematics solution only looks at the number of miles you drive, and when you drive them, as opposed to taking into account how you drive.

The installation of cameras is also something that many of our haulage clients are undertaking. Depending on fleet-size, it could be a significant exercise to install a number of cameras on your vehicles but in the long-run, this should be seen as a wise investment.

At Willis Insurance and Risk Management, we are seeing the benefit of doing so, with a number of client claims in 2014 resulting in non-prosecution, backed up by our unique Accident Investigation Division. The cost reduction at the next renewal has more than paid for the device in year one.

As vehicle tracking and cameras become more prevalent, more fleet managers and operators are seeing positive return on investment from using these systems.

If you are planning to install this technology in the coming year and wish to discuss your current insurance arrangements with us, we would be happy to offer impartial advice on all aspects of your fleet. Call Robert Caldwell 028 9032 9042 or email


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