From July 2022, new cars built in Europe will have to be fitted with a box that will provide information on the driving mode at the time of a possible accident. If a few years will pass before they invade the streets, the question of their impact on the level of auto insurance premiums arises. MoneyVox answers it.
Real revolution or simple technological addition? From July 6, new cars manufactured in the European Union (2019 directive) must be equipped with an anti-drowsiness and anti-distraction alarm, an emergency brake assist and… a black box, similar to recorders placed in aircraft cockpits. These vehicles will not be marketed for at least a year, but several questions are already being asked.
Why a black box?
To justify this system, road safety is put forward. It allows to record the driving parameters 30 seconds before and 10 seconds after an accident such as the speed, the acceleration or braking phase, the wearing of the seat belt, the use of the indicator, the force of the collision or the engine speed.
The data will only be used in the context of an investigation and consulted by law enforcement. These recorders will be impossible to deactivate and inaccessible to the driver. On the other hand, contrary to the black boxes of the planes, sounds will not be recorded and no images will exist.
The example of the United States is also advanced. On the other side of the Atlantic, the recorders have existed since 2006, and the public authorities have measured a 20% drop in accidents over the past five years, according to the comparator Assurland.com. Knowing that they are being watched by their car, motorists would indeed tend to be more vigilant.
What about used vehicles?
Second-hand vehicles will eventually be affected, but these new obligations will only be imposed… later. The first chance of 2024 has not been confirmed at this stage. It remains to be seen whether the addition will be compulsory or only in the event of a change of ownership when the two wheels are not concerned.
A black box deems it insufficient and intrusive
We will only have a few data, in particular on the speed of the vehicle, which will not provide all the details of the accident, since we are ignoring everything else, in particular the refusal of priorities, the use of the telephone while driving, finally brings absolutely nothing if not an additional cost on the vehicles, regretted on Franceinfo Pierre Chasseray, general delegate of the association 40million motorists.
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From the moment you record data, what guarantee do we have that the state or private organizations will not use it against the driver? The typical example is the insurance premium which could vary tomorrow because you had an accident with a driver while taking your vehicle out of your garage, for example. For the moment, we do not have these guarantees, so it is on this that we are alerting, underlines Nathalie Troussard, secretary general of the League of motorists on RMC.
What effect on the auto insurance premium?
The data will only be used in the event of an accident or for statistical purposes for anonymous road safety studies guarantee the promoters of this change. this stage, the information will in no case be transmitted to the insurance companies. And even if that were the case, that would not constitute a brake on compensation, assures Olivier Moustacakis, co-founder of Assurland.com. Indeed, the only situations where the insurer can refuse compensation are in the event of drunk driving or consumption of illicit substances.
Nevertheless, the expert fears a rise in car prices, also mentioned by 40 million motorists, linked to the installation of the box. However, a more expensive vehicle is a vehicle that costs more to insure, he insists. Good news all the same: if the objective of reducing claims on the roads by 20% as in the United States is achieved, we could see a drop in premiums, with fewer claims to be compensated for insurance companies.
A drop which will not be immediate, whatever happens and which will not immediately compensate for the observed 16% increase in the average premium over the past 10 years.
Car insurance: change contract
The car insurance box does not make money
Car insurance by the kilometer (pay as you drive) or based on the behavior of the driver (pay how you drive) have two points in common: none really works in France and all had the particularity of asking the origin (Boursorama with Carapass or Leocare have chosen to work on trust with the customer), the installation of a control box. Alas, motorists have largely rejected this model deemed too intrusive in France.
The advantage of a determined premium thanks to a mobile application that the driver must always have with him on his smartphone did not convince despite promises of gains of between 12 and 40% according to the comparator LeLynx.fr and a real interest from consumers.
Among 25-34 year olds: 73% prefer on-demand insurance but few take the plunge… mainly because insurers offer few such contracts.