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Car thefts up 29%, insurance claim every six minutes

Patrick Christys
Mar 28, 2019

There has been a 29% rise in the number of car theft insurance claims.

The The Association of British Insurers reports £376m was paid out by its members last year following vehicles being stolen.

In fact, a car insurance claim is made every six minutes in relation to a stolen vehicle.

The ABI said the number of insurance claims for car thefts had risen by 12% to 56,000 in 2018 compared with 2017.

And keyless cars are apparently particularly vulnerable after criminal gangs discovered a way to hack the locking system and break into the vehicle.

Keyless entry can be slightly misleading - the driver does actually have a key but it sends off a signal which links up to the car so the driver never has to take the key out of their pocket in order to open it.

Working as a team, thieves will find a car that uses a keyless entry system and hold a device close to the vehicle which boosts the signal which links up with the key.

Another thief will stand near the front door of the house and use a device that relays that signal to the key, tricking the car into thinking the owner is near by.

They then drive off with the car and, often, break it down for parts.

Laurenz Gerger, the ABI's motor policy adviser, said: "The resurgence in car crime is worrying. The record amounts paid to motorists by their 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 reverse this unwelcome trend."

In its theft-risk report, published earlier this month, Thatcham Research gave several cars a poor security rating, including the Ford Mondeo, Hyundai Nexo, Kia ProCeed, Lexus UX and the Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

This just goes to show how important it is that you get car insurance.

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