Watchdog: Hi, I was having a look at your smart box thing that's being advertised and I noticed that it would cost me about $110 to install the thing in the first place, so I'm wondering whether a saving on my premium would be enough to offset the cost of the box.
QBE: Well it depends on your premium, and that's determined by other factors such as the type of car you have, whether you've crashed it before, whether it's been broken into before, the postcode where it's located, whether other people are driving it … so it's almost impossible for me to give you a cut and dry answer to that.
Watchdog: So basically if I get this thing installed, will I get, say, a 30% saving?
QBE: Again, that's contingent on a lot of things.
Watchdog: So the things you listed before?
QBE: And, of course, you do need to be a safe driver.
Watchdog: So it could be a 30% saving if all the things line up and I'm a safe driver as well?
QBE: Yes, that's correct.
Watchdog: But I can't actually know whether the saving on my premium would offset the cost of getting the unit until I actually get it?
QBE: If you knew your premium you could probably work it out.
Watchdog: So why would I get the smart box?
QBE: Basically it allows you to get a saving based on your driving and no other insurer can truly do that at the moment. All the other insurers will calculate your premium based on all of those other factors I was saying before, but none can give you a discount based on actual driving data.
THE FINAL RECKONING:
The ad says young drivers could make a saving if they demonstrate they are a safe driver, but it's not clear just how much. However, the long-term aim is to enourage safe driving, bring down premiums and reduce claims. Not a bad idea. Either way, Watchdog prefers driving when he's the passenger and can stick his head out the window and catch the breeze.
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