Pay how you drive insurance

AA Drivesafe insurance rewards responsible drivers

10 February 2012

AA Drivesafe insurance rewards responsible drivers

AA Drivesafe insurance rewards responsible drivers

AA Insurance has turned to technology to launch a new ‘pay how you drive’ policy.  Called AA Drivesafe, it provides the tools to help drivers, especially new and inexperienced ones, improve their driving safety.

AA Drivesafe tracks driving behaviour using a small telematic ‘Drivesafe' box about the size of a packet of playing cards and discreetly installed in the car. It measures speed, types of road travelled on, time of day and night, braking and cornering, and transmits data via satellite to the AA.

Data is also presented to users in a way that will help them improve their driving safety and, in so doing, can lead to lower insurance premiums.

AA Drivesafe telematic insurance is likely to appeal to inexperienced drivers as well as parents, whose youngsters have their first car.  Parents know driving behaviour is being tracked by a system that also provides crash, breakdown and theft alerts.

Compared with standard inexperienced driver policies, premium savings of up to £850 could be achieved*.

The system provides a genuine opportunity for users to improve their driving safety and so reduce the cost of their cover by proving themselves to be responsible drivers

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance

Sharp rises in premiums

AA Drivesafe is launched at a time when young drivers have been facing sharp rises in the cost of car cover, according to the AA’s benchmark British Insurance Premium Index, with premiums for those aged 17-22 having increased by an average of 39% since April 2010.**

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“The system provides a genuine opportunity for users to improve their driving safety and so reduce the cost of their cover by proving themselves to be responsible drivers,” says Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance. 

“It’s designed to encourage users to anticipate road conditions and drive in a way that properly reflects a lowered risk of having an accident.

“Safer drivers could see their premiums fall after just 60 days, but those who take frequent risks, typified by exceeding speed limits, cornering sharply or braking heavily and frequent driving late at night, are likely to see their premiums go up.”

In the event of a breakdown or a crash, or if the car is stolen, the AA can also identify exactly where the car is.

Website ‘dashboard’

Users log on to a secure website ‘dashboard’ to find out how they are performing under four separate categories:

  • Speed
  • Anticipate traffic (smooth deceleration / braking)
  • Follow landscape (cornering)
  • Where and When (types of roads and time of day)

Separate reports are provided for overall scores; monthly mileages, daily mileages, journey lengths and road type usage. Useful alerts can be added such as service intervals, MoT test dates and so forth.

In addition, the system offers tips on driving style and alerts to offer advice on improving drivers’ scores.

Drivesafe dashboard

Drivesafe dashboard

Wide appeal

The majority of drivers will find the system helps to highlight driving styles that could be improved, which in turn may influence premium reductions. ***

While AA Drivesafe will be especially attractive to young and newly-qualified drivers, it could benefit anyone who suffers from particularly high insurance premiums. 

“Most people can improve their driving standard and Drivesafe can help them to do that,” Mr Douglas says.  “I believe that in time, systems of this type will become increasingly widely used by drivers of all ages.”

Gender neutral

AA Drivesafe is being launched during the year when a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will outlaw use of gender to calculate insurance premiums after 20th December.

AA Drivesafe will identify the safest drivers and reward them.  Equally those most at risk can be identified and free ‘Drive Smart’ tuition may be offered through the AA’s Charitable Trust.

(22  February 2012)


* “Save up to £850” based on 30% of drivers aged under 30yrs achieving an average saving of £850 compared with conventional insurance, from a sample of 1,000. Source: AA/Premium Research, Dec2011

** Current average Shoparound premiums for drivers aged 17-22, January 2012:

  • Male: £3,163 (April 2010, £1,887)
  • Female: £1,799 (April 2010: £1,054)
  • All: £2,497 (April 2010: £1,540)

***  Premium adjustments are triggered by consistent improvement or deterioration at 20 point intervals.  At inception, users are assumed to be an average driver providing plenty of scope for performance improvement.  Payment is by direct debit and premiums are adjusted up or down.