Black box devices could be used to penalise drivers

Weather-based factors like rain, snow and hail could soon be used to adjust insurance premiums for drivers using telematics technology, according to Octo Telematics.

Weather-based factors like rain, snow and hail could soon be used to adjust insurance premiums for drivers using telematics technology, according to Octo Telematics.

The firm has recently announced a partnership with forecaster The Weather Company, which will see weather data added into their driver safety algorithm.

bad weather report

Telematics technology, or ‘black boxes’, are commonly used to reward drivers with lower premiums in return for safe driving. This takes into account factors like not taking corners too sharply, sticking to the speed limit, and braking safely.

This announcement means that for the first time, however, vehicle insurance premiums could be scored on factors outside of drivers’ control.

The company’s Octo U app will take into account weather conditions like ice, rain, hail and snow as they are deemed to be factors that increase the likeliness of drivers having an accident.

With a number of top insurers including AXA, Direct line and Admiral using black boxes to offer lower premiums, usage-based insurance is expected to be used by almost four in five insurers by the end of the decade.

Fabio Sbianchi, CEO of Octo Telematics, told the Daily Telegraph: “Until recently, insurers have had difficulty creating unique profiles on which to offer auto insurance for individuals.

“By integrating weather data from IBM and The Weather Company with other data streams, we’re able to digest real-time information on road conditions and get a better view of driving habits.”