FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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We hope you'll find the answer to any question you might have below but if not, drop us an email to chat@carrotinsurance.com or message us on Facebook and we’ll get right back to you. Alternatively, just give us a call on 0333 355 1725 and we’ll do our best to help.

Telematics

What is ‘Telematics’?

Put simply, telematics is the transmission of data over long distances using a device similar in size to a mobile phone, and using similar technology to a mobile phone to relay information to a computer. A number of insurance providers, like Carrot, have introduced this technology to help create a new type of low-cost car insurance for young drivers.

Using some smart motion sensors and other clever gizmos, Carrot's telematics device (ours is called an 'i-box') gets installed in your car to collect and send information about your driving style. It measures things like acceleration, braking, swerving, and the number and length of journeys that you make. We then take this information and categorise it into three categories – Speed, Smoothness and Usage – that are then combined to give you an overall Driving Style score. And it's this score that gives you the opportunity to earn cash rewards every quarter for driving safely and responsibly.

What data does the Carrot device record?

The i-box that gets installed in your car transmits data about various aspects of your driving style, such as speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, swerving and usage patterns. We then translate this data into a Driving Style Score measured against Smoothness, Speed and Usage. The i-box also uses 'black box' telematics technology to enable your car's GPS location to be identified in the unfortunate event that your car gets stolen.

Will my insurance be at risk if I break the speed limits?

Minor incidences of excess speed will certainly have a negative effect on your Driving Style score, and mean you fail to earn yourself some serious cash rewards. Persistent and excessive speeding will not only really harm your score and endanger others, but in really extreme cases it might lead to us cancelling your insurance policy.

If I had an accident and the i-box got damaged, would I need to pay for a new device?

Because in the vast majority of cases the 'i-box' is fitted behind the dashboard inside the vehicle cabin, the chances of it getting badly damaged in a crash would be minimal. Even if it did, you wouldn't have to pay for a replacement, as the cost of the new i-box would be classed as a repair cost, which would be covered by your Carrot insurance policy.

Can the i-box be fitted to all cars?

Yes. The installation and activation of your i-box is quick and easy, and usually takes one of our experienced mobile technicians less than an hour, at a location of your choice. It's a small unit that tucks neatly away out of sight and has absolutely no effect on the operation of your car in any way.

When is the i-box installed?

Although you're insured to drive from day one, you need to get your i-box installed and activated within two weeks of your cover start date. As soon as you take out your policy, we'll notify our Installations Team who will then contact you to arrange a convenient time and location for your i-box installation appointment. If you've not heard from them for any reason, you can give them a call on 0121 332 1223 to make sure your i-box is fitted within the two week period.

What do I need to do when the installation technician turns up to fit my device?

First things first - put the kettle on! Seriously though, it's a really simple process. Our installation engineer will request to see your photo card driving licence and if applicable, proof of your no claims bonus so they can take a photograph of it to send to us. If you would prefer, you can send your driving licence and NCD proof sooner by email to us at documents@carrotinsurance.com. Whichever way you choose we do need to receive these documents by day 21 of your policy as any delay may result in the cancellation of the policy.

Then just hand the installation technician your car keys so he can fit the i-box neatly away behind your dashboard – there'll be no need for him to move it anywhere. He'll also take two photographs of your car then have a quick look over it to check its roadworthiness, and ensure that there aren’t any modifications to your car as unfortunately we cannot insure any car that has been modified in anyway.

Pricing

What effect does having more than one driver insured on the car have on the way my policy works?

Whilst it will have an effect on your premium, it is possible to have multiple named drivers on your policy. It's worth bearing in mind though that as clever as it is, our i-box can't distinguish one driver from another, so the driving behaviour of the other named insured drivers will affect your Driving Style score.

How do I get cheaper insurance with Carrot?

Your policy requires you to have one of our i-box telematics devices fitted to your car, supplied to you at no additional cost by Carrot and installed totally free of charge by one of our friendly, professional mobile technicians. Once the unit is activated, it will transmit your Driving Style data every time you make a journey, which you'll then be able to view in your very own, personalised, secure area of our website – www.carrotinsurance.com/mydashboard. Here, you'll be able to check on your Driving Style score, get tips on how to improve it and drive more safely, with our video tutorial and check on any rewards you've earned for improving your score or for referring friends to Carrot.

We want you to get the most out of being insured with us so have developed a useful new online tool, which will maximise your potential to earn cash rewards. Our ‘Watch, Earn, Learn’ video tutorial gives you lots of tips on common driving situations that are likely to affect your score. It shows you how to keep your Driving Style score ‘in the green’ and potentially earn you up to 15% of your premium back in cash rewards via your Carrot Card. Oh, and it helps to make you a safer driver too!

How do you calculate my insurance premium?

To calculate the price of your annual insurance premium, we need to use some of the standard risk/rating factors applied by our industry - including your type of car, driving experience and where you live. After this, as long as your policy details remain the same, your premium will not go up by a single penny for the rest of your policy year, unless you choose to buy any Top-Up miles.

I'm asked to specify how many miles I expect to cover during the year?

The theory is that the more miles you travel, the greater the chance of you being involved in an accident, so the higher your annual premium is likely to be. We know that it can be hard to predict your mileage, especially if this is your first car insurance policy. To help you out, within the first 30 days from the start of your policy you can buy additional miles at the same price as when you first purchased your policy. When you have the i-box fitted your dashboard will record your miles, and based on the current usage you can see if you are predicted to travel more miles than you have purchased. If this is the case and you are still within the first 30 days of the policy, give our Customer service team a call on 0333 355 1725 option 2 and we can give you an ‘Inception miles’ quote as it will be much cheaper than buying top-up miles later on.

What do I do if I find I need to increase the annual mileage covered by my policy?

It's easy to buy Top-Up miles if you think you're going to need more than the annual mileage you stated when you took out your policy. Just give our friendly Customer Services team a call, and they'll quote you the additional cost for the Top-Up miles you need. Once again, to give our customers the fairest possible deal on their car insurance, we use your Driving Style score to calculate the rate that your Top-Up miles should be charged at – so once again with Carrot, it pays to be a safe, responsible driver.

If I go over my annual mileage and forget to buy Top-Up miles, what happens?

Don't worry. Before you reach the annual mileage you stated when you took out your policy, our Customer Service team will contact you with a reminder, and you can buy your Top-Up miles over the phone there and then – you could even pay using your Carrot Card and the balance of any cash rewards you might have earned. If you go over your stated annual mileage and carry on driving for too long without topping-up, bear in mind that your policy could become invalid and get cancelled.

Can my insurance go up in price?

In short, no! This is a big difference from most of our competitors that offer young driver insurance. The annual premium you pay when you take out your policy is fixed for the entire policy year, providing your details remain the same. In fact, by driving responsibly and improving your Driving Style score, you'll have the opportunity to earn cash rewards and contribute to a lower renewal premium for your cover the following year. There really is no catch with Carrot.

How does my driving data affect my premium?

The data that gets used to calculate your Driving Style score has no effect on the premium that we committed to when you took out your car insurance policy with us. With Carrot, your premium will not go up, giving you total peace of mind. The good news is that your Driving Style score will be used to determine the level of cash rewards that we pay to you via your Carrot Card every quarter, and the discount that you are on course to achieve on your renewal premium for the following year.

To help you maximise your potential to earn cash rewards, watch our ‘Watch, Earn, Learn’ video tutorial in your online dashboard, which gives you lots of tips on common driving situations that are likely to affect your score. It shows you how to keep your Driving Style score ‘in the green’ and potentially earn you up to 15% of your premium back in cash rewards via your Carrot Card. Oh, and it helps to make you a safer driver too!

Can I pay by monthly instalments?

Yes, you can either pay your insurance for the year in full with a single payment, or, subject to normal credit checks, by monthly instalments. Our finance is provided by Close Brothers Premium Finance and is available at a competitive 43.07% APR, making our monthly payments more affordable. Full terms and conditions are available on request by emailing chat@carrotinsurance.com

Is there an additional cost for the i-box?

The device, plus installation and data costs, is included with your Carrot policy at no additional cost.

Will I find Carrot on price comparison websites?

Yes - as more and more motorists looking for car insurance choose to make these kind of websites their first port of call, we want to make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to see what Carrot has to offer.

Quotes that I've had from different insurance providers vary a lot - why?

This can be quite complex to explain, for all kinds of reasons. Car insurers generally use lots of different 'rating factors' to determine the annual premiums they offer. The major rating factors are your age, driving experience, where you live, the car you drive and what you use the car for. Insurers also factor in things like accident trends, costs of repair and compensation claims to calculate their premiums. Insurers offer different prices due to their own experience with certain rating factors and, to be frank, based on how much profit they want to make! As a result, the number of different pricing combinations is almost infinite, and because of this no one insurer can possibly be the cheapest or most expensive option for every driver.

Refreshingly, Carrot is different to most other insurers – whilst we use some of the traditional rating factors to determine the cost of your first year's policy with us (and then apply a healthy discount to recognise that you've taken a responsible approach), for subsequent years the Driving Style scores you've achieved mean that we can price your insurance on exactly how you've driven, rather than how other people that are similar to you, or have similar cars, have driven. In summary, drive safely and responsibly, pay less for your insurance. That's got to be the fairest way, right?

Why is my insurance premium higher than the cost or value of my car?

Hmm, another tricky one, this. Young drivers just getting on the road often tend to spend a fairly modest amount of money on their car – after all, there are other things in life that are more fun to spend your money on, right? But the cost of repairing or replacing your car is only one of the factors used by insurers to calculate your premium. Repairs to other cars that may have been involved in the accident are taken into consideration, as are personal injury claims, for example. You've probably seen a fair bit of media coverage about false claims for whiplash, and its things like this that have fuelled our desire to give young drivers a fairer deal on their insurance.

No Claims Discount

What is a No Claims Discount (NCD)?

Insurance companies usually offer a No Claims Discount (or 'No Claims Bonus') to customers for each year that they're insured without making a claim. Inevitably, young drivers pay a higher price until they have a number of years driving experience behind them. But with Carrot, we aim to put money back into the pockets of the best young drivers with discounts and cash rewards based on how they drive, not just discounts for how long they've been driving without making a claim.

What happens to the No Claims Discount (NCD) I've earned so far?

Carrot recognises NCD in the normal way, like any insurer. The good news is that we're confident we can offer you a great value insurance premium right from the off, so having a full year or more's NCD could see the cost of your policy start to fall.

Can I earn No Claims Discount with Carrot?

Yes, and we'll apply this when calculating your renewal premium. Even better, you can help to drive down the future cost of your insurance even further by driving safely and improving your Driving Style score, and you'll be able to track your progress and the money you're set to save by checking your personalised online Dashboard area.

Policy Information

Can I be insured before the device is installed?

Yes, you are insured from your policy start date. As soon as you've taken out your cover with Carrot, we'll inform our Installations Team, who will contact you to arrange a convenient time and place for your i-box to be installed. If they haven't spoken to you already, you'll need to call them and make sure your i-box is fitted to your car within two weeks of your cover start date.

How do I get my policy documents?

Thanks to a change in legislation in 2011, we can now send out your cover note, policy document and other important documents to you electronically, via email when you take out your policy. Your certificate of motor insurance will be e-mailed to you once your i-box is installed.

What if I change my car or want to cancel the policy?

If you change your car, you don't need to cancel your Carrot Insurance policy, but you do need to let us know as soon as possible so that we can update your policy details. Your new car will need to be fitted with Carrot's i-box telematics device. In some cases we can transfer the i-box from your old car to your new car, but if not we can remotely deactivate the device in your old car, so there's no need to remove it. Changing your vehicle mid-way through the policy year will almost certainly mean there's an adjustment to be made to your annual premium, and there will be a charge associated with removing your old device and/or fitting a new one. If you do need to cancel your policy before the end of the first year that you're insured with us, a one-off charge will apply to cover the cost of the Carrot device and its fitting. Full details of fees relating to changing your car or cancelling your policy are available on request from chat@carrotinsurance.com

Can I insure a modified car with Carrot?

Unfortunately we do not insure vehicles that have been modified in any way from the manufacturer’s specification. This is because they make your car much more attractive to thieves.

Standard specification cars are always the best bet if you're looking for lower insurance costs.

If your car has been modified for your disability call us on and our helpful advisers will be happy to provide a quote.

Your car will be inspected for its specification and roadworthiness when your i-box is fitted to it. So make sure yours doesn’t have any modifications including:

If you’re unsure whether your car is modified call us or send a picture before you buy a policy and we can let you know if the underwriter will accept.

Can I get insured if I don't own the car?

You must be either the owner or the registered keeper of the vehicle in order to insure it. If you are intending to drive someone else's vehicle (for example a parent's car) it will need to be insured in their name, with you as a named driver.

Am I covered for driving outside of the UK?

Yes. Take a look at your policy wording for full details of what kind of cover you have for driving overseas.

Do you provide breakdown cover and what does it include?

You can take out optional breakdown cover with Carrot in addition to your main car insurance policy, and our partner, Call Assist, provides this. Full details of the level of cover on offer can be found in the standard Breakdown Policy Wording, available on request from chat@carrotinsurance.com

Can I take out legal expenses cover with Carrot?

Yes, you can – and the great news is that we can add this to your insurance policy at no extra cost! This helps you to recover your uninsured losses if you have an accident that isn't your fault, and really helps to give you peace of mind. Full details of the level of cover on offer can be found in the standard Legal Expenses Cover Wording, available on request from chat@carrotinsurance.com

What happens if I get a crack in my windscreen?

Windscreen cover is included within your Carrot Insurance policy, so just ring our approved partners, Auto Windscreen, on 0800 587 6817 and they'll arrange to repair or replace your windscreen at the earliest opportunity.

What should I do if I'm involved in an accident?

First, don't panic! Our Claims Team will be at the end of the line to help you and talk you through the process on 0333 355 2990, and our Claims Line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Is a free courtesy car provided if my car is damaged in an accident and needs repairing?

Subject to availability, a free courtesy car will be provided to you, provided your car is repaired by one of our Approved Repair centres.

What do I do if I think my car has been stolen?

If this happens, first call the Police, give them the details and get a Crime Reference Number from them. Next, call us on 0333 355 2990 and we'll liaise with the Police to help them recover your vehicle using the GPS tracking technology that's built into our i-box to help them recover it.

How does Carrot use my personal details?

We take data protection very seriously, and only use the personal information that you provide to us to help us manage your insurance policy. This includes sharing it with underwriters, as well as handling claims and issuing policy documents to you. Information relating to you and your insurance policy may also be used or shared to help prevent fraud, but that's it – no sharing it with third parties that are going to spam your inbox or bombard your letterbox!

Driving Style Scores

What does my Driving Style score start at when I'm a new customer?

When you first join us we assign you a starting score based on any claim-free driving experience you might have. If you're a brand new driver or you have zero No Claims Discount, we'll start you on a zero driving score. If you come to us with some No Claims Discount under your belt we'll start you off on a higher score.

How is my Driving Style score calculated?

We install our i-box telematics device in your car to collect and send information about your driving style. It measures things like acceleration, braking, swerving, and the number and length of journeys that you make. We then take this data and place it into three categories – Speed, Smoothness and Usage – that are then combined to give you an overall Driving Style score. And it's this score that gives you the opportunity to earn cash rewards every quarter for driving safely and responsibly.

If you like, you can check your Driving Style score, and how it's made up, for every journey you make by logging onto your very own secure, personalised area of our website ('My Dashboard').

What information will I be able to see about my Driving Style?

Based on the data transmitted by your i-box, you'll be able to check how every single journey you make affects your Driving Style score by logging into your secure, personalised Dashboard area of our website. In addition to seeing how many miles you've travelled whilst insured with Carrot, you'll be able to look at your Driving Style score for that day, that quarter or the year to date. You can view your overall score, or look at it in more detail, measured against the criteria of Smoothness, Speed and Usage.

What do you mean by Speed, Smoothness and Usage, and how do you calculate my Driving Style score?

Right, time to get a bit technical and scientific! We want to be as transparent as possible and make sure you know how your Driving Style score is calculated, and give you all the information you need to see how you could improve it with every journey you make. So, here we go:

A Journey starts when you turn the ignition on and ends when you turn it off, so if you stop and turn the engine off, for example to collect friend A whilst on your way to friend B's house, then this will count as two journeys – one from your start point to A and one from A to B. Got it?

Each Overall Journey Score is calculated from a blend of the scores recorded for each of our three Driving Style score measures – Smoothness, Speed and Usage, and each of these is weighted when it comes to calculating your Overall Driving Style score.

Smoothness, unsurprisingly, measures how smoothly you drive! Your i-box can detect any sharp acceleration, braking or deceleration, changes in direction, & also up and down movement (tip – avoid potholes!). We then calculate your Smoothness score depending on how often (on a per mile basis) and how severe these instances are for any given journey. The smoother you driver, the better your score will be – and as with all other aspects of your Driving Style score, the higher the number you achieve, the better you're doing. The scoring range that we use is from -10 up to +10.

Speed, stating the obvious, is a measure of how fast you drive. This in turn has two components – Average Speed and Speed Limits. For Average Speed, your i-box takes readings, usually at minute intervals and compares your speed at each interval with the average speed for the stretch of road along which you are driving. If you are above the average, your Speed score goes down depending on the extent to which you exceed the average. If you are below the average, your Speed score goes up. Speed Limits work in the same way but measure your speed compared with the Speed Limit for that stretch of road.

Finally, Usage measures three aspects of how and when you use your car. These are Time of Day, Journey Volume & Journey Duration. Starting with Time of Day, your Usage score is affected negatively if you make a journey that starts any time between 11pm and 5am, recognising that accidents are unfortunately more frequent and severe at night. Journey Volume affects your score depending on how many previous journeys you've made have started in the preceding 24 hours – below seven will have no effect on your score, but each journey over seven will affect your score negatively. Finally, Journey Duration looks at the length of each journey, with trips lasting over one hour having a negative impact on your score.

Your Overall Driving Style Score is calculated from your Overall Journey Score for each journey you make. This is weighted to take account of the length of each journey, so a journey of twenty miles counts ten times as much as a journey of two miles.

How does my Driving Style score affect the amount of cash rewards I can earn?

An improvement on your Driving Style starting score is your ticket to quarterly cash rewards and a cheaper renewal quote for the following year's insurance from Carrot. Your Driving Style score is calculated using the data collected by the i-box installed in your car.

At the end of every 3-month period from your policy start date we'll compare your current Driving Style score with your starting score and give you a cash reward if your score has improved. The size of the reward will depend on how much you've improved by.

When it's time to renew your policy with Carrot, your renewal premium will be based on the overall Driving Style score you've achieved throughout the year - the better the score, the lower the price you'll pay. Cash rewards in the second year are based on any improvements on the score we used to calculate your renewal premium, and so on for each subsequent year that you remain a customer.

What if I only achieve a low Driving Style score?

Don't worry too much, as with Carrot you're not at risk of your premium going up mid-term – if your details remain the same, the cost of your insurance will stay exactly at the price you paid when you took out your policy. It just means that the amount of cash rewards you can earn by improving your Driving Style score will be restricted. In extreme cases of repeated dangerous driving, we reserve the right to cancel your policy.

I'm not sure about some of the Driving Style information on My Dashboard, what should I do?

Whatever it is, just pick up the phone to our Customer Services team on 0333 355 1725 and we'll be more than happy to talk through any queries you might have.

My parents would like to see the information on how I am driving - can I share it with them?

It's your choice, and we won't interfere – this is family business! If you're happy to share your Driving Scores with the folks, then so be it. If they're 'down with the kids' and on Facebook, install our exclusive app and they'll be able to see your Driving Scores posted to your Timeline (the good news is that we'll only post your positive scores, but keep that to yourself!).

How private is the data that's generated by my i-box?

This is something we take very seriously, and we're clear on one thing – the data that goes to create your Driving Style score is yours. Primarily, it's there to help us to help you become a better driver, a safer driver, and a driver with extra cash in their pocket for choosing to use the roads responsibly.

We will use your data in your favour if, for example, another driver is trying to make a false claim about you. (Remember that we will also be able to use it as evidence against anyone insured by Carrot being naughty and trying to submit a false insurance claim too!)

We're also very clear that we won't:

Cash Rewards

How often can I earn Driving Style rewards with Carrot?

You have the opportunity to earn a cash reward for driving more safely and responsibly at the end of every 3-month period following the start of your cover with Carrot. The average Driving Style score for each quarterly period is compared with the Driving Style score used to calculate your annual premium. At the end of each quarterly interval from your policy start date, we'll look at how much you've improved on your starting score, and the level of improvement you've made will dictate the value of cash reward that we'll load onto your Carrot Card. These cash rewards are a refund of some of your annual premium (including any Insurance Premium Tax applicable) and over the course of the policy year you'll have the chance to earn up to a 15% refund of your total annual premium in this way.

How much can I earn in cash rewards with Carrot?

These cash rewards are a refund of some of your annual premium (including any Insurance Premium Tax applicable) and over the course of the policy year you'll have the chance to earn up to a 15% refund of your annual premium in this way.

And don't forget you can earn cashback whenever you use your Carrot Card to shop at an ever-growing list of your favourite retailers and places to go, too.

Can I only earn cash rewards if I have a Carrot Card?

Having a Carrot Card isn't mandatory, but you'd be missing out on a whole bunch of benefits. You'd still be able to receive any quarterly Driving Style rewards that you earn without having a Carrot Card, as you could provide us with details of a bank or building society account that you'd like us to directly pay them into.

Without a Carrot Card, you'll miss out on being able to earn cashback when you use it to shop at your favourite retailers, which include the likes of TopShop, Topman, House of Fraser, Debenhams and many more.

If I had an accident and the i-box got damaged, would I need to pay for a new device?

Because in the vast majority of cases the 'i-box' is fitted behind the dashboard inside the vehicle cabin, the chances of it getting badly damaged in a crash would be minimal. Even if it did, you wouldn't have to pay for a replacement, as the cost of the new i-box would be classed as a repair cost, which would be covered by your Carrot insurance policy.

Can I lose the cash rewards I've already earned if my Driving Style score gets worse?

No – whatever cash rewards you've earned and had loaded onto your Carrot Card are yours to keep, and to spend whenever, wherever and on whatever you want. If your Driving Style score takes a turn for the worse and dips below your starting score, it just means that you won't be earning all those lovely cash rewards that you would if your score was improving.

The Carrot Card

Is the Carrot Card a credit card?

No. It's not a credit card, charge card or debit card, although you use it in exactly the same way to shop online, over the phone and in stores. It's a prepaid MasterCard®, which means funds are loaded onto your card (either cash rewards from us, or perhaps you loading your own funds) before you shop. When your funds are running low, you simply top up again. You don't have to have a bank account to have a Carrot Card either. Full details of the Carrot Card are available on request by emailing chat@carrotinsurance.com

Where can I use my Carrot Card prepaid MasterCard®?

You can use your card at over 32 million retail outlets and cash machine locations worldwide, wherever the MasterCard Acceptance Mark is displayed.

Is having a Carrot Card mandatory if I want my car to be insured with Carrot?

It's not mandatory, but you'll only be eligible to receive referral rewards if you have a Carrot Card. There are no costs for providing you with a card, and no catches – it's just a great, secure way for us to pay you the cash rewards you can earn from Carrot by improving your Driving Style score or referring your friends to become customers.

You'll be asked if you want a Carrot Card when you're buying your policy, and if you decide to have one it will be issued to once you have successfully completed a 'reward quarter' that shows an improvement on your starting Driving Style score.

You can still receive any quarterly Driving Style rewards that you earn without having a Carrot Card, as you could provide us with details of a bank or building society account that you'd like us to directly pay them into.

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