How do you influence young adults to drive safely, as well as maintain a diligent attitude once they have passed their test, rather than become ‘boy-racers’? As with many things in life, the answer is to start young. In response to this need, a unique partnership is being developed between a radically new car insurance company and local government authorities.

Insurethebox (ITB) is a motor insurer which has been launched with young people in mind. The business model is based on the concept of rewarding good driving skills. Rather than assume that all young drivers are a high risk, insurethebox has taken the radical view that young drivers, when supported and incentivised, can be as good a risk as someone with a few more years’ experience.

However, the cost of young driver car insurance has to be within reach of young people, who are either on a limited income or are still reliant on the ‘bank of mum and dad’. Nowadays, it is not unusual for some mainstream motor insurers to charge more for the insurance than it cost to purchase the car. So insurethebox has reduced the average premium for young drivers, as well as offer monthly instalments to make this distressed product (one you have to buy because of law, rather than out of choice) more palatable.

The next ingredient to make this a success is to provide young people with the opportunity to develop their driving skills, thereby becoming more confident and safe. Two local authorities, Suffolk and Buckinghamshire County Councils, have facilitated this demand by offering their own courses to young people who have passed their driving test. These educational courses are designed to give young inexperienced drivers the additional skills and support to drive safely, helping them to understand the consequences of driving inconsiderately and the benefits of careful driving.


Suffolk Council and young driver training courses

The courses are being promoted through schools and colleges throughout Suffolk by running advertising campaigns and talking to the young drivers directly. Posters and leaflets supplied by ITB support these activities.

The second phase of the other approach involves engaging with the parents / family members of young drivers in order to educate them about the benefits of telematics and the Road safety workshops.

Based on current research, skill-based training alone appears to have a limited effect on drivers. In some cases (e.g. skid training research in Norway) there is evidence to suggest that skills-based training alone can in fact lead to over-confidence and an increase in crash rates.

Research suggests that a more beneficial approach would be to address the attitudes and beliefs that affect risk perception and the quality of decision making through raising self-awareness and insight training.

The delivery plan for Suffolk is to present a two and a half hour theory session based on the modules listed below.

Impairment Content
Peer pressure Effects and ways to deal with it
Drinking and Drugs Legal limits – Effects of alcohol / length of time it remains in the system

Drugs – effects and penalties of illegal and prescribed / over the counter drugs

Stress and Fatigue Causal factors and effect on behaviour
Identification of triggers and Coping strategies
Driver Safety
Seatbelts Barriers to use and the benefits of wearing a seatbelt
Mobile phone use Areas of the brain affected and specific risks associated with driving

Differences between mobile and passenger conversation

Speed Awareness Speed limits and where they change

Appropriate use of speed

Enhanced Skills
Positioning and cornering Optimum view and limit points

Vehicle braking for balance and increased safety

Skid avoidance Causal factors (driver, vehicle, environment)

How to AVOID skids

Hazard perception and planning Different types of hazard

Visual search patterns and effective scanning techniques

Developing a driving plan

Discussion session
Attitudes and beliefs Discussion around risk perception and decision making
Insight and self-awareness Triggers and coping strategies


The Road Safety Team will arrange and deliver the workshops and regularly liaise with ITB to discuss what, if any, difference there has been to the drivers’ data pre and post workshop. The Pilot Scheme in Suffolk will run from November 2010 to April 2011 (6 months duration) with a view to extending the project if agreeable.


So where does insurethebox young driver car insurance fit in?

Once a young driver completes the course, ITB will give each person £50 cashback when they take out young driver insurance from ITB. But it doesn’t stop there.

Because the ITB insurance policy includes the fitting of a black box to the insured car, we are able to monitor and provide feedback to the driver about their driving styles. Additionally, we encourage and reward safe driving. Basically, it works on the premise of ‘if you drive safely and considerately, we will give you up to 100 Bonus Miles every month’. How many other insurers do you know that give you up to 1200 miles of insurance cover each year for driving sensibly?