Extra security could help bring down motor insurance premiums

Should insurers offer their customers incentives to fit additional security devices?

The suggestion comes from stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) specialist Tracker, which points to recent figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) showing that motor theft claims paid by insurers in the first quarter of this year were at the highest level of any quarter since 2012.

On average, over £1.2m is paid out to policyholders every day for theft claims.

With Home Office figures recording a 50% rise in vehicle thefts over the last five years, partly driven by keyless car crime, it's thought that extra security devices, including signal blockers and tracking units, could help win the battle against car thieves.

Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, said: "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."

Less than half of all stolen vehicles without some form of tracking device are ever recovered, but Tracker data reveals that 88% of vehicles fitted with its Thatcham-approved device that were stolen without using the owner's keys were successfully recovered by the company in 2018.

Commenting on the ABI's figures, Laurenz Gerger, the insurance body's 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."

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