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TomTom To Help Lower Your Insurance

David Gilbert


TomTom To Help Lower Your Insurance

Tired of having to pay the same insurance premium as those crazy drivers you find yourself silently shaking your fist at while driving home every evening? Well TomTom may have just the answer for you.

The SatNav manufacturer has teamed up with insurance broker Montague for the launch of Fair Pay Insurance, a product designed to reward good drivers with lower premiums.

The concept is based around using the data from your SatNav to monitor your driving ability and behaviour and in turn this will be reflected in the level of your insurance premium. This will replace the so-called risk factors traditionally used to determine your premium such as age, gender, postcode and vehicle type.

Fair Pay Insurance TomTom

"We've dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you're a good driver, we'll believe you and we'll even give you the benefit up front," said Nigel Lombard, Managing Director of Fair Pay Insurance.

When you sign up for Fair Pay, you’ll be given a specially developed TomTom PRO 3100 which includes Active Driver Feedback and LIVE services. You will then be alerted when you have carried out risky “driving events” such as harsh cornering or sharp braking.

Drivers will also have a LINK tracking unit fitted to their cars allowing your driving behaviour and habits to be monitored remotely. The LINK unit will communicate via Bluetooth with the TomTom SatNav. This information can then be viewed by the policy-holder in their “Driver Dashboard”, an online tool that details journey and driver behaviour data – as well as getting regular emails.

Will you be signing up for this scheme? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Fair Pay Insurance


February 8, 2012, 11:34 pm

A GPS 'black box' won't tell the insurance company if the driver has just cut someone up, if they've changed lanes without bothering to check what's coming up behind them or if they make a habit of driving with one wheel over the white line. In other words, recording 'dangerous' manoeuvres like 'harsh cornering' and 'sharp braking' tell you nothing about the driver's attitude, ability or decision-making processes.

I'm afraid that Fair Play insurance haven't 'dispensed with generalisations' at all, they've just taken them to a new, high-tech level.


February 9, 2012, 10:45 am

A nice idea in theory, but in reality it will only be able to detect very crude measures of "good driving", such as whether the driver sticks to the speed limit and accelerates and brakes (NB not "breaks" as per article) smoothly. While these are factors in safe driving, there is no way the TomTom can pick up on the far more dangerous behaviours like driving too close to the car in front, harassing other drivers by beeping and flashing lights, driving too fast/close for the conditions (foggy, wet, icy etc.), manoeuvreing without indicating, pulling out in front of another driver...

In short, my 85 old grandfather, who drives slowly and smoothly but with basically no awareness of or regard for other road users, would be regarded by this system as a "safer" driver than me, and that's patently absurd.


February 9, 2012, 3:03 pm

So basically, if I break hard or swerve to avoid a child who's run out into the road, im a bad driver, whereas if I plough them down without changing my speed, I pay less insurance?!
Sometimes, "aggressive" or positive driving is the best way to handle a situation. I dont mean doing something that negatively affects everybody around you but, but accelerating hard to merge into busy traffic from a motorway sliproad could be considered aggressive but necessary.
This system could penalise you for that.


February 9, 2012, 4:10 pm

Frankly, this is daft. If you have a powerful car, driving "aggressively" can be a lot of fun, but doesn't necessarily make you the slightest bit dangerous. Ever gone from 0-30mph off the lights in a sports car?

How about the fact that cars which are designed to go faster tend to have more powerful brakes which means they can also stop faster?

I sure as hell won't be getting one of these in my car!


February 9, 2012, 8:59 pm

I imagine, like the 'black box' system operated by Norwich Union/Aviva a few years back, it will also tell them more tangible stuff, like whether you drive mainly on M-ways (=safe =cheap) or on fast single-carriageway A- or B-roads (=dangerous =expensive).

I think, under that system, you paid between 5 and 10 times as much per mile for fast single carriageway roads as for a M-way.


February 9, 2012, 11:20 pm

The young driver policies also ensured that you were sticking below the speed limit (they'd charge you more if you were a regular speeder) and imposed a curfew between 12AM and 6AM.

It sounds draconian, but I suppose if I were 17, and it's a choice between that or £2k a year, I'd choose that.

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