New obligation for manufacturers and drivers: installation of a black box in vehicles from next year. This recorder should improve road safety, but it also incurs additional costs. We can therefore fear that this will also increase insurance premiums. Explanations.
An opportunity for road safety?
Will car accidents soon be as well documented as plane crashes? The answer is yes: from May 2022All new vehicles must be equipped with a box before and after a crash that records a large amount of data (speed, brakes, buckle seat belts, turn on headlights and indicators, etc.).
This new obligation, which the European Parliament voted on, will also apply to used vehicles from 2024. Nothing like the imposing black boxes (in reality orange) in the planes: it will be for them Cars, commercial vehicles, trucks and buses an electronic chip enclosed in a small box (which on the other hand will be very black) and placed in a sheltered place in the vehicle.
The box cannot be removed and is powered independently. The recorded data can only be used by the police to determine the causes of a traffic accident. The main goal of this new device is to strengthen vehicle safety.
A device for blind spots
In this regard, the countries where these boxes already exist are showing encouraging results. For example, in the United States, the government measured a 20% fewer accidents for five years (across the Atlantic, these recorders have been around since 2006). The reasoning should be clear: knowing that their driving behavior has been recorded, drivers need to be more careful.
However, there are two blind spots that the accident data recorder misses: the latter cannot determine whether the driver was on the phone or was drunk. However, these two aspects are crucial in a large number of accidents.
Ultimately, installing a breathalyzer to prevent the vehicle from starting could partially alleviate this scourge (provided a third party does not blow instead of the driver …). To reduce the danger of telephones, it is switched on DashcamsThese cameras film the interior of the passenger compartment, which has to be counted (30,000 vehicles are already equipped in France).
On the other hand, it is certain that the automotive black boxes will shorten the length of court proceedings by making it possible to determine the responsibilities of a disaster more quickly. An opportunity for the victims and their relatives, but not for the work of the insurers, as this data is not passed on to them.
Increase or decrease in insurance premiums?
On the insurance side, too, the question of increasing or decreasing car insurance premiums after this new obligation arises. On the one hand, the installation of this new equipment will incur additional costs that will add value to the vehicles.
For example, to equip a used vehicle, the price should revolve around a hundred euronot to mention the work it takes to get the box into position. However, as we have known for a number of yearsA vehicle fleet that is upscale in terms of equipment is more expensive in terms of insurance because repairs are more expensive and auto insurance premiums automatically increase:
“The manufacturers have already announced that the purchase price would be higher. The logic is relentless, if the vehicle is worth more it could be more expensive to insure. “, recalls Olivier Moustacakis, co-founder of Assurland.
On the other hand, one can also hope for a decrease in car contributions in the longer term due to the decrease in the accident rate, if this actually exists. If, thanks to this new device, insurers have fewer accidents to compensate, they will save money and use it to lower the price of their insurance.
A principle that is already applied when paying for how you drive
An insurance formula based on this principle already exists: it is that Pay as you drive : Data on the driving of the insured person is recorded even when a box is used. The more carefully and respectfully he deals with the road traffic regulations, the more his insurer grants him a reduction in the insurance premium.
To give you an idea, at Direct Assurances we have simulated an insurance tariff using this formula for a 35-year-old Paris-based driver who has a 4-year-old driver’s license and drives a Fiat 500.
For this profile, the price for fully comprehensive insurance is 521 euros per year. With a formula “Pay How You Drive”the premium becomes variable: in the case of dangerous driving it can be up to 557 euros, but if the driver is careful, the annual contribution can Decline to 279 euros.
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