Norwich Union and Trafficmaster sign deal for black boxes

Article date: 3 May 2006

Norwich Union announced today it has signed a contract withTrafficmaster plc, the leading supplier of digital trafficinformation and intelligent in-vehicle services, for the provisionof a further 35,000 telematics “black boxes”.

This extends the contract that Norwich Union signed last year withTrafficmaster to provide additional boxes for its TelematicsProgramme. The “boxes” are at the heart of NorwichUnion’s “Pay As You Drive”TM insuranceprogramme and record the time, distance and location of avehicle’s journeys.

Norwich Union, the UK’s largest general insurer, isconducting a pilot to investigate motorists’ preference for ausage-based motor insurance product. The ongoing “Pay As YouDrive”TM and Fleet Telematics pilots launched in2004 and 2005 have proved extremely successful, enabling NorwichUnion to better understand vehicle usage and driving behaviour– providing a uniquely accurate risk assessment tool.

Simon Machell, chief executive, Norwich Union Insurance, said:“This represents the next measured step of our TelematicsProgramme. By increasing the number of boxes in our pilot, we willhave access to additional data to help ensure that any future 'PayAs You Drive'TM insurance propositions are best suitedto British motorists.

“Our learnings from our pilot are ongoing and substantial,and will shape any future 'Pay As You Drive'TM insuranceproducts by putting road safety and value at theirheart.”

As a result of the pilot, Norwich Union has gathered more than 42million miles of data - the equivalent of driving around theEarth’s circumference 1,680 times. The pilot to date hasrecorded over 10 million journeys from its 5,000 pilot customers,with an average of 8,500 miles driven per customer.

This average figure, based on one year’s worth of driving, iswell below the national average of 11,000 miles per year. Thiscould indicate that many motorists might benefit from a usage-basedinsurance product. The black box may also be helping motorists torely less on their car, opting instead to walk or cycle for shortjourneys to school, shops or work.

Stuart Berman, director of Trafficmaster technologies, commented:“This is a ground breaking initiative and we are, of course,delighted to further develop our relationship with Norwich Union.Trafficmaster leads the way in in-vehicle telematics hardware andinnovative services like Smartnav and Trackstar. The introductionof usage based services will further enhance the attractiveness ofour vehicle platform.”

RAC Auto Windscreens In-Car Services division will fit the blackboxes. Mark Hughes, RAC operations director, commented: “Weare delighted that RAC Auto Windscreens has been able to provide alogistical and technical solution to this project. RAC AutoWindscreens has established a dedicated and experienced team ofin-car installation engineers to provide this service to theautomotive industry.”

“We are proud to be associated with this pioneering project.It is essential that we continue to address the changing needs ofthe consumer and this new insurance system delivers what theywant.”


For further information, please contact:
Erik Nelsonat Norwich Union’s press office on 01603 682264 or 07989427086.

About Norwich Union Insurance

  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14 per cent
  • With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
    - One in five households
    - One in seven motor vehicles
    - Around 800,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Aviva, Norwich Union’s parent company, recentlyannounced its acquisition of the RAC. The acquisition bringstogether the RAC's powerful brand and customer base with theexpertise and leading position in motor insurance of Norwich UnionInsurance.
  • Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images areavailable on the Aviva internet press centre at
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 01603 682264

About “Pay As You Drive”™insurance

  • Norwich Union Insurance Limited is licensed under Europeanpatent application no.s 97904096.1 and 01303501.9. Licensed fromProgressive Casualty Insurance Company, USA and is proprietor ofEuropean patent (UK) no. 0700009.
  • Progressive (NYSE:PGR), with headquarters in Mayfield Village,Ohio, is the fourth largest motor insurance company in the US. Inbusiness since 1937, the company provides all drivers in 48 USstates and the District of Columbia with competitive rates and 24hour, in-person and online services.
  • IBM and Orange have partnered with Norwich Union to deliverthe “Pay As You Drive”™ insurancetechnology.


  • Founded in 1988, Trafficmaster Plc is the UK’s leadingjourney management company providing high quality satellitenavigation, traffic data and vehicle tracking systems.
  • Trafficmaster’s traffic information is derived from itsunique state-of-the-art network of nationwide static roadsidesensors and transmitters that gather and distribute traffic datafrom over 8,000 miles of motorway and trunk routes. Traffic datais then delivered to the customer through a number of screen orspeech-based receivers. These include a variety of in-car productsand services that include its satellite navigation - Smartnav,Trafficmaster Monitor, YQ², Oracle and Freeway units. Trafficinformation can also be obtained by phoning the 1740 service,which is run in partnership with the RAC and the UK’s mainmobile phone operators.
  • The traffic data provided through Trafficmaster RDS TMC isused, in conjunction with third party satellite navigationsystems, to route drivers around congestion. The data is broadcaston licensed radio networks owned by GCap Media Plc and ChrysalisRadio and is provided to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)or direct to automotive manufacturers.
  • For more information please visit or

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