Motoring News

HERE’s the suggested real cost of car theft

INSURANCE is essential to recover from vehicle theft but there are unexpected costs to which a monetary value cannot be attached.

The best advice: Mitigate risk as far as possible with correctly scoped insurance and advice, using security measures to deter thieves, strict adherence to road laws, and driving defensively.”

Those wise words come from Mandy Barrett, employed by insurance brokerage and risk advisors Aon South Africa.

*Source: SAPS crime statistics 2020/2021

So, Aeon South Africa has listed unexpected costs to consider – on top of safety measures – that could help you to mitigate the cost of your car being stolen … here you go!

1 Insurance deductible or excess – An insurance claim is subject to a basic excess (usually five percent of the loss) which is something to take into account. If you’re older than 55 that does not apply.

2 Your monthly vehicle insurance premium is likely to increase due to the loss of your ‘no-claims’ bonus.

3 You can mitigate against theft by parking in a safe area and locking your vehicle at night. Most insurers will offer a premium discount should you volunteer to install an approved tracking system if the policy does not require one.

4 Check that you have included the maximum car-hire on your policy to avoid the cost and inconvenience of being without transport while your insurer is sorting things out.

5 Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle – if unavoidable, however, ensure it is out of sight. Items that you carry in your vehicle, such as laptop, smartphone, luggage, must be specified under your All risks clauses..

6 Remote jamming remains a trend and there is generally no cover without evidence of break-in to your vehicle – it is important to check that your car is locked before walking away.

7 Retail value is the price at which a dealer will sell a vehicle to you. Market value is what you could expect if you trade-in the vehicle in. Insurers will usually stipulate on which the claim will be calculated.

8 Credit shortfall cover should be taken where the outstanding balance exceeds the retail value of the vehicle, enabling you to settle outstanding debt if your car is stolen or written-off.

9 Drive defensively by being aware of road and weather conditions, other road-users, and hazardous situations and take steps to avoid becoming a statistic.

10 It is the responsibility of the driver to take due care by abiding to the rules of the road and keeping your vehicle roadworthy.

Back to Mandy: “Your ultimate goal is to mitigate risk as far as possible and have appropriate insurance should such a mishap be unavoidable, putting you back in the same position – financially – as you were before the loss.

“This is where the value of having an expert broker on your side comes to the fore.  Your broker will guide you through understanding the policy wording and will also point out any gaps in your insurance cover that could leave you compromised – something many people only discover at claims stage when it’s too late and they’re out of pocket,” Mandy concludes.

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Published as a social service to South African road users. – Carman’s Corner editor.

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