Young drivers threatened with having car insurance cancelled due to app flaws

Hasan Chowdhury
A number of young people claim to have encountered issues with the app, which have put them in situations where they have had their insurance cancelled - Michael Spring / Alamy /© Michael Spring / Alamy 

Young drivers face the prospect of having their car insurance revoked as an app that aims to make quotes more affordable for users has come under fire for alleged flaws. 

Carrot Insurance, which aims to “encourage safe driving”, let’s users measure key information with an app about their journey, such as the duration, mileage and “Driving Style Score”, based on details about the way a driver accelerates and brakes. 

But the app, which uses telematics technology to assess a driver’s safety and help them reduce the cost of insurance policies, traditionally marked at a higher fee for young people, has been criticised for recording data incorrectly, threatening cancellations to existing car insurance holders.

Conservative MP Craig Tracey told the BBC that there were reasons to question if the app was “fit for purpose” as it “seems like the technology is not working”. "There's a glitch somewhere along the line," he said.

A number of young people claim to have encountered issues with the app, which have put them in situations where they have had their insurance cancelled or been forced to end them, losing years of no claims bonus in the process.

The app was found to have recorded users as driving when they were using another mode of transport such as a train or cycling. 

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In one case, a person was marked as speeding while being on the train. The company said its an error that could “occur in some very rare instances” when customers pair their phone to a Bluetooth device. 

In another case, a user found the app stopped working following an update in December having received an email from the company that said her “insurance will be cancelled” unless the app was connected to the car. 

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, Carrot received the most complaints in the second half of 2018 among companies of a similar size.

In a statement to the Telegraph, Carrot said: "We are extremely sorry that some of our customers have had a poor experience with our Better Driver app and telematics devices. When this issue became apparent in April 2019 we acted as quickly as possible to put things right and prevent anyone else experiencing similar problems or being disadvantaged in any way.

"We believe we’ve contacted all those customers affected and fully compensated them, however, if any of our customers who have found themselves in a similar situation and who haven’t heard from us, please get in touch immediately."