Car theft has increased in the UK and more than a 100,000 cars are being stolen a year. The insurance claims for car theft are 1 policy claim out of 20, and the car insurance companies want drivers to realize the need to protect their vehicles from these incidents. The more claims made to an insurance policy, the higher the premium.
Many thefts occur near or at the home. Drivers should not take it for granted just because their car is in their driveway or parked in front of their building, that it will not get stolen. Regardless of where the car is parked, always lock it, alarm it, and remember where you parked it.
Some things to think about when parking your car are:
- Park in an area where it is busy. Thieves don’t like busy places; this makes it harder for them to steal.
At night, always park where there is plenty of light and lots of people.
- When parking your car, turn your wheels toward the curb and use your emergency brake; this makes it harder to tow your car.
- Never leave your keys in the ignition or the car engine on; even if it’s for a minute – thieves are always looking for an easy steal.
- If you ever park in a parking garage, always take your ticket with you and make sure the garage has an attendant on duty.
There are different types of insurance plans involving car theft.
Third party is the basic, minimum coverage that allows drivers to drive legally. If anything happens to the driver or their car, nothing is covered. Third party refers to your passengers, any people, property or cars that may get hit are all covered; your car and you are NOT covered. Third party insurance is the cheapest way to build your No Claim Bonus before investing in Full Comprehensive insurance.
Third Party Fire and Theft can be added to the basic coverage plan. This will help drivers if their car catches on fire or if their car is stolen.
A new way car thieves have discovered to steal higher-end vehicles is by getting the keys. How can the thief gain access to the owner’s keys? The thieves have mastered the art of pick-pocketing, burglary, and even towing the vehicles! Some use false documentation to test drive a vehicle, and carjacking, where the owner is inside and forced to give the thieves the keys. Vehicle manufacturers are now offering an anti-hijack feature for most of their cars: selective unlock and automatic lock to help with this method of car theft.
Thieves still steal the older vehicles due to their poor security and few alarm systems, but don’t be fooled. The newer, luxury cars bring the thieves a higher profit when they sell it on the black market. These new approaches to stealing have begun because of the effectiveness of anti-theft car alarms and immobilizers.
Some precautions that can be taken are making sure your possessions are out of sight or not in the car. Sometimes a thief will notice a CD they like and it tempts them to steal the car. Removing car stereos when accessible can help with car theft. Etching the registration number in every part of the car which could be stolen like the headlamps, would help in recovering some of the stolen property. Insurance companies hope by taking these precautions, it can eliminate the car being stolen.