The Smartphone App That Slashed Van Driver Insurance By 15%

Direct Line, a car and van insurance company has unveiled a new free-to-use smartphone app that will help business owners save money on van driver insurance. It’s called DrivePlus Van, and here’s how it works.

DrivePlus Van uses the GPS function on smartphones to record driving behaviour, and this could mean discounts of up to 15 per cent on insurance for van drivers.

Now, the underlying telematic technology being employed by the app is not new. In fact, black box-type devices that monitor a driver’s behaviour on the road (such as speed, cornering or braking) and record it for insurance purposes - rewarding better behaviour with lower insurance premiums - have been around for several years. These are popular with private car users in high-risk categories, such as younger drivers or those who drive low mileages.

They are also popular with van drivers and van fleet managers, as they help to promote responsible driving - and therefore cheaper, lower-risk van insurance premiums. In fact, it is estimated by US-based market research company ABI Research that there will be more than 107million insurance policies using telematics-based monitoring systems by 2018.

But here’s how DrivePlus Van differs from conventional black box monitoring insurance policies.

It doesn’t require any ‘black box’ GPS tracking hardware to be installed in your vehicle - it simply uses your phone to monitor your driving. It’s also more convenient, as it isn’t a permanent fixture.

Once a user has logged 300 miles of travel in their van, they are scored out of 100 (100 being a perfect score) and are then shown a promotional discount code that they can redeem via the Direct Line for Business website or on the telephone.

Jasvinder Gakhal at Direct Line for Business said: “We’re bringing telematics technology to owners of single vans in an easy-to-use app. With capital still stretched for many small businesses, owners of commercial vans are understandably concerned about the costs and risks of operating their vehicle. Telematics encourages responsible driving and through our app this can earn drivers a significant discount on their insurance.”

The free DrivePlus Van app is available for both iPhone (iOS 6 and above) and Android (2.2 Froyo or newer) operating systems.

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