Insurers &car owners must forge an alliance in the battle against hi-tech criminals

Discounted premiums in return for added security could slow down burgeoning insurance claim costs, says TRACKER

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) latest figures reveal that its members paid out £108million in stolen vehicle claims in quarter one of 2019 – a 22% increase on the same period last year.  However, stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, TRACKER, is urging insurers to offer car owners greater incentives to fit additional security devices, including tracking units, in a bid to overcome rising claims and the keyless car theft epidemic.

Figures from the Home Office record a 50% rise in vehicle thefts over the last five years, which it says is in part being driven by keyless car crime. With less than 46% of all stolen vehicles without some form of fitted tracking device never recovered, as reported by the National Statistics Office, it should be of little surprise that the ABI reveals that £1.2 million is paid out to policyholders every day for theft claims. However, TRACKER data reveals that 88% of stolen vehicles, which were stolen without using the owner’s keys, were successfully recovered by TRACKER in 2018.

Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER, explains: “If more cars were fitted with SVR devices, we’d see a reduction in the volume and cost of insurance claims, because more vehicles would be recovered. If consumers were offered greater incentives to fit additional security measures, such as financial savings on their premiums, not only would claims fall, but the cost of insurance premiums could fall for everyone.  It’s a win-win all round.”

In response to the ABI’s latest figures, Laurenz Gerger, its motor insurance policy adviser said: “The continued growth in car crime must be reversed. Car security has come on leaps and bounds but needs to keep pace with the ingenuity of car criminals. The rising number of theft claims being paid by insurers in part reflects the vulnerability of some cars to keyless relay theft. Action by motor manufacturers to tackle this high-tech vulnerability, allied with owners taking some simple, inexpensive precautions will help put the brakes on this unwelcome trend.”

TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery systems work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. TRACKER’s combination of GPS/GSM and VHF technology makes its tracking solutions superior than others on the market, because they are resistant to jammers. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. TRACKER’s products are Thatcham approved, so those who fit a TRACKER system could also benefit from a possible discount on their insurance premiums.

How does keyless car entry work?
Keyless car entry systems offer motorists a convenient way to get in and start their vehicle without even taking their keys out of their bag or pocket. However, ‘relay attacks’ exploit this technology by enabling thieves, usually working in pairs, to use a device to activate a car key fob remotely, fooling the system into unlocking the doors and starting the engine. Owners may think their keys are safe inside the house, but criminals have found ways to take advantage of the weaknesses in the latest keyless technology.

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