The latest police figures have shown that car theft is on the rise, making it even more important for car owners to be vigilant and brokers, MGAs and intermediaries to ensure their clients are adequately protected.
As 2016/17 figures show a 30.4% increase in vehicle theft since 2013/14, police are urging car owners to take extra safety precautions such as investing in steering wheel locks and faraday bags, which block radio signals and therefore stop criminals cloning the key. And yes, we had absolutely no idea what they were either!
Research conducted by The Telegraph found that over three quarters of investigations into car theft in England and Wales were left unsolved. It is suggested this could be because new keyless models are being targeted by creative criminals. Newer keyless models allow thieves to copy electronic information which, in turn, tricks the vehicle into thinking a key is present. This ultimately allows a criminal to enter the car and drive away without any signs of damage and with minimal noise.
Between 2012/13 and 2016/17 a total of 30 out of 44 forces in England and Wales saw an increase in car theft. Middle-class areas close to London saw large increases; Hertfordshire and Surrey endured an increase of over 35%, while Hampshire suffered the largest increase, seeing a rise of 56% when it comes to vehicle theft in the last 4 years.
Findings based on analysis of official figures from the Ministry of Justice and the Office of National Statistics show that 4 out of 5 people caught stealing a car in the UK between 2006 and 2012 were only punished with a fine. These fines amounted to an average of £198, £2 less than the penalty faced for being on your phone whilst driving. These findings also show that of the 20% of thieves who faced jail time, the average sentence lasted just 21 months.
In addition to the rise in car theft, research shows that between 2013 and 2017 there were an average of 2,000 vandalism claims on a monthly basis in the UK.
Topping the list for vandalism claims was the smart car, with over 1 out of 100 registered owners filing a claim each year. Mini came in at second with 1 in every 1,000, followed by Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mazda, Peugeot, Saab, Fiat, Mercedes and Citroën.
As the law and criminal justice system seem to be taking a less punitive approach, it looks like the burden is on individuals to avoid being victim in the first place and in the event that they are, ensure they are protected.
For brokers, MGAs and intermediaries, this is where a replacement vehicle policy is essential, providing your clients with access to a vehicle without compromising on quality, ensuring they are able to carry on with their lives as normal after a theft or being the victim of vandalism. If you’d like more information on our replacement vehicle policy or any of our other products or services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.