Having nightmare with black box Watch

Phagocyte
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Hi all

I'm currently being driven to distraction by my HastingsDirect black box (no pun intended). I've had it for about two months since I got a car. A few days ago I received an email and text saying that unless my score improved, my policy would be cancelled on Wednesday. I am stressing like crazy over this.

Currently my rankings are:

Average: 17/100 (and refusing to budge, no matter how much good driving I do)

Time of day: 1/100 despite the fact that according to their own stats, 87% of my driving is done between 5 AM - 10 PM. How does that equate to a score of 1?!?!

Braking: 12/100 - this is insane, I am NOT braking harshly 88% of the time. My little car wouldn't physically be able to handle it.

Speed: 18/100 - this is the one factor I could possibly accept, but not to this low level! I have (especially when I first got my car) driven fast. But nothing crazy, and certainly not enough to justify these kind of scores.

Acceleration: 58/100 - seems reasonable.

Could someone advise what my options are please? I'm having an absolute stress. I called them up the day after I got the email and the guy on the phone was all "oh don't worry, just drive more carefully over the next few days and the average will start going up, five days is enough time" - but it isn't! I've been doing loads of extra driving, respecting all the speed limits, not going out after 10 PM, etc but my score still won't budge.

What can I do?
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dan1221
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Exactly, it's ridiculous. Do you pay in monthly payments or in full? My score has been below 25 for around a month now and I've heard nothing from them regarding cancellation.

Average: 22/100

Time of day: 0/100 (even though 93% day time driving in August)

Braking: 35/100

Acceleration: 22/100

I can't believe they get away with this. I physically drove like a nun around my block to get perfect scores and it dropped from 24 to 23. There's no way to improve.

I'm going to spend this week driving anally within the speed limits etc. being tail gated by others that want to do 50 in a 30 and I'll see what happens with my score.

Idgaf about a discount after first term I just want to keep my policy. I'm never having a black box again. I'd rather pay more and not have to live worrying about a letter coming through the post.
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Katie_p
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Check your Ts and Cs about cancellation - I didn't think insurers can cancel a policy unless you lied, and you've not told them you're a good driver! Challenge the accuracy of the box and ask them to fit another one for you.
See if there's anywhere that will fit a black box so you can get feedback without having an insurance policy attached to it - so you can compare these "unbiased" readings to the ones your insurer's box is giving you.
Ask them to reset your statistics and agree with you a new "target" for your driving score so that your previous "bad" driving doesn't drag your average down so much. And definitely question the timing score and get them to explain exactly why your score is so low.
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EverybodyHz
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The whole thing is just condescending nonsense. Tell your insurer to shove it where the sun don't shine and get a real insurance policy - remember it is them that are losing YOUR money. The practice should be illegal in my opinion as it's a breach of your civil liberties.
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dan1221
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I've just checked that I could have gone with Privilege (NO BLACK BOX) for only £300 more.. How can I go about cancelling and keeping the majority of my yearly payment?
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Katie_p
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(Original post by dan1221)
I've just checked that I could have gone with Privilege (NO BLACK BOX) for only £300 more.. How can I go about cancelling and keeping the majority of my yearly payment?
According to the policy wording I found online, you can cancel with 7 days notice and you will be liable for a £45 cancellation fee and the premium due for your time on cover. If you paid in full, they have to refund the premium for the remaining time of the policy, minus the £45 charge. If you paid in instalments, you may have to pay another one to cover the admin fee, but you won't keep paying after that.
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Phagocyte
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(Original post by Katie_p)
According to the policy wording I found online, you can cancel with 7 days notice and you will be liable for a £45 cancellation fee and the premium due for your time on cover. If you paid in full, they have to refund the premium for the remaining time of the policy, minus the £45 charge. If you paid in instalments, you may have to pay another one to cover the admin fee, but you won't keep paying after that.
The guy on the phone a few days ago said if I cancelled prematurely, £210 would also be taken for the box fitting fee! It's crippling!
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LeaX
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I almost went with Hastings Direct and after reading this I'm so glad I didn't. I'm with Bell insurance and you only need the black box on for the first three months. I got my first review today after a month and I am gold standard and that was all the info I received. I don't use the car after 9 and because I'm a provisional license holder my parents use the car sometimes and they always make sure they're within speed limits.


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Katie_p
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(Original post by Phagocyte)
The guy on the phone a few days ago said if I cancelled prematurely, £210 would also be taken for the box fitting fee! It's crippling!
You'd have to check how exactly the breakdown of payments was worked out, but I read the instalment as being payable anyway, so you either paid it up front, or it's included in the premium?
I'd ask them to advise you, if you cancelled today, exactly how much premium would be returned to you.
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Phagocyte
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I've just rang them up and they're refusing to budge, even though I pointed out that nowhere does it say that the time of day makes such a heavy difference to the overall score - the guy on the phone was nice enough but he said he thought it was highly likely I would be getting my policy cancelled. They'd take money for the number of policy days I'd used so far, £210 for the box fitting fee and a £45 admin fee before returning the rest to me in 7-14 days.

Would getting my policy cancelled affect being able to get a policy elsewhere? Would I have to pay much higher premiums?

One thing's for sure, I will never ever go near HastingsDirect or any other black box policy again. Appalling company.
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dan1221
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(Original post by Phagocyte)
I've just rang them up and they're refusing to budge, even though I pointed out that nowhere does it say that the time of day makes such a heavy difference to the overall score - the guy on the phone was nice enough but he said he thought it was highly likely I would be getting my policy cancelled. They'd take money for the number of policy days I'd used so far, £210 for the box fitting fee and a £45 admin fee before returning the rest to me in 7-14 days.

Would getting my policy cancelled affect being able to get a policy elsewhere? Would I have to pay much higher premiums?

One thing's for sure, I will never ever go near HastingsDirect or any other black box policy again. Appalling company.
Sad to hear that they get away with this. I think that they will send you a 7 day notice of cancellation from which YOU can end the policy so you don't have to pay higher premiums elsewhere as-long as you agree to cancel. I think it would be worth complaining to them after you change to a better company, take the complaint as far as you can. I will do the same if they decide to cancel my policy. At least in the end you won't have to worry about what the dumb box reports to them.
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CurlyBen
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I'd be tempted to get the Financial Ombudsman involved. I'd at least give them a ring and ask if they have any guidelines on how insurance companies use black box data. I'd also be inclined to cancel the insurance before they get the chance to, as getting insurance after yours has been cancelled by the insurer will probably be significantly more expensive.
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Phagocyte
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(Original post by dan1221)
Sad to hear that they get away with this. I think that they will send you a 7 day notice of cancellation from which YOU can end the policy so you don't have to pay higher premiums elsewhere as-long as you agree to cancel. I think it would be worth complaining to them after you change to a better company, take the complaint as far as you can. I will do the same if they decide to cancel my policy. At least in the end you won't have to worry about what the dumb box reports to them.
I've just cancelled it myself and bought a new policy which does NOT have a black box.

brb living on soup til my refund comes through

I would suggest you get out while you still can - they're just a bunch of ****ing scammers.

Thanks for the advice and support everyone.
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mcgreevy1993
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This makes me so happy i didn't touch a black box.
I went with Churchill and was offered a black box, with the joy of havin my insurance reduced if I behaved. I refused.

I got a quote of ingenie, who said if the black box tracked that my car was not kept at my registered address 4 nights a week they'd cancel it. If i went on holiday ect, i'd have to alert them and I could be charged more

I swear black boxes only work for people who install them in their car and then never actually drive them.
.
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Robson689
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(Original post by mcgreevy1993)
This makes me so happy i didn't touch a black box.
I went with Churchill and was offered a black box, with the joy of havin my insurance reduced if I behaved. I refused.

I got a quote of ingenie, who said if the black box tracked that my car was not kept at my registered address 4 nights a week they'd cancel it. If i went on holiday ect, i'd have to alert them and I could be charged more

I swear black boxes only work for people who install them in their car and then never actually drive them.
.
ingenie are **** but i've never had any problem keeping car nearly 200 miles from registered address for a few weeks have done it a few times nothing said

stuck it out with them cancel in november when it renews very happy to be getting rid of the box!
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CAElite
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Yeah black box policies are aids. Im so happy I never got suckered into one (normal policy was only ~£80 or so more for me when i first passed).

My friend had one and complained to them about it, the clerk who dealt with his insurance told him in reality they are more influenced by the type of roads you drive on rather than your actual driving style. A lot of NSL b-roads will automaticly give you a bad score but slugging up and down the middle lane of a motorway at 65mph will give you a near perfect score even though its terrible driving. They also lower your score considerably if you drive early in the morning or late at night. Ive heard start/stop traffic also screws up the ratings no matter how gentle you are.

Basicly dont beat yourself up OP it probably has very little to do with your actual driving and more to do with you being miss-sold ****ty technology. My only real advice for cancelation is to seek proper legal advise as they seem to have you over the barrel of the gun with there policy wording. Any attempt to take an insurance company to a small claims court WILL end badly unless you have concrete evidence of improper policies. You can also attempt to contact the Financial Ombudsmen seeking advice there aswell.

EDIT: Oh and if all else fails. Try have an experienced driver jump in and drive your car for a bit as smoothly as possible (Mum/Dad, Uncle etc). This may give you an idea if you are doing something wrong what it is and could also raise your score sufficiently to get them off your back (although DO NOT tell the insurance company someone else has been altering your score for obvious reasons). A shame though I just noticed your with HastingDirect, had my bike policy out with them for the last 2 years and they have been great lol.
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amoham
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I have a Black box and am currently with woop. As far as I'm concerned there policy is amazing. No curfews. I can do 40 on 30 roads and my bb don't pick it up. I have breaking and cornering warnings but its doesn't affect my policy, only speeding does which only gets clocked when above 40 on 30 roads

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shaymarriott
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(Original post by amoham)
I have a Black box and am currently with woop. As far as I'm concerned there policy is amazing. No curfews. I can do 40 on 30 roads and my bb don't pick it up. I have breaking and cornering warnings but its doesn't affect my policy, only speeding does which only gets clocked when above 40 on 30 roads

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Clearly you're a **** driver then.
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amoham
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So speeding makes you a **** driver ?
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JordE
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I always wondered about insurance companies making black boxes give crazy data in order to extort customers. Wouldn't touch one with a 10 foot barge pole. I'd be willing to bet they couldn't explain why the time of driving bit was giving you a bad score because they don't "disclose that information with the public" or some other tripe.

Out of interest, what would have happened if you left your in your drive for a week? Would have been interesting to see if they created some reason for that to drop your score too.

The whole premise of them is absolute nonsense. Sometimes things like braking harshly or acceleration are out of your control. For example if on the motorway some idiot cut in front of you leaving a tiny gap and you had to brake harshly. Or what if you had to accelerate up a particularly short on ramp onto a motorway? The time of day one stinks too, you could be driving on a busy motorway at 70mph in a huge rain storm at midday and get a better score than driving down an empty motorway in perfect weather conditions at 3am, it doesn't mean you are a safer or better driver.
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