As technology advances, more and more new cars are being sold with built-in anti-theft trackers to help protect them from thieves. That’s great news for motorists, as they can offer peace of mind and extra protection from the risk of theft.
If you purchase an anti theft tracker or a car that has one built-in, take a moment to check the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy and how they relate to your tracker system. Just like you’re responsible for checking the depth of your tyres is always correct, you must also ensure that your vehicle’s anti theft tracker is operational and activated for your policy to remain valid1.
Switching your anti theft tracker on should only take minutes, so it’s best not to assume that this has already been completed before you leave the showroom. Recent warnings from insurers have urged new car owners to double check if their vehicle has an anti-theft tracker before leaving the dealership – so what exactly is this new security measure?
Anti-theft trackers use GPS to enable a vehicle to be tracked if it’s stolen. Car owners who have a tracker included with their vehicle need to ensure that the tracker’s subscription is activated, and the system is working properly2. Details and instructions should be provided with the car, but it’s important that customers take responsibility and conduct the checks as soon as possible after making the purchase.
In fact, it’s an idea to ask your car dealer to give you a run-through of your vehicle’s anti-theft tracker and ask any questions before you leave the showroom. Dealers have stressed that switching on the tracker is the responsibility of the car’s new owner, but if you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s worth double checking to avoid expensive repercussions down the line.
If a claim is made in the future, it will be crucial that the tracking system is fully up to date and the subscription still valid, so it’s wise for vehicle owners to check the tracking system and associated apps or documents regularly.
An anti-theft tracker is a great feature to have if your vehicle is stolen as it will help police to trace it and (fingers crossed) recover it for you if it’s targeted by thieves. That said, it’s still important to take the usual steps to deter thieves in the first place. If you’ve invested in a new car, take some time to refresh your memory on the simple things you can do to help keep your new motor safe.
It sounds simple, but never leave your engine running and the car unattended, even for a matter of seconds. It only takes moments for an opportunist to jump into the driver’s seat and be on their way. Similarly, leaving valuable items in the car can be tempting if you’re only nipping into the local shop for a minute or two. Think again. Valuables attract the attention of thieves.
Where you park your new vehicle is crucial too. Where possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit residential area, with plenty of homes overlooking it. Avoid leaving your car in unfamiliar areas overnight, and always try to park close to cars and houses if it’s unavoidable. Consider having your VIN (your car’s unique identification number) etched on your car’s windows. This can deter criminals from stealing it as it makes it more difficult for them to pass it on without being traced or buying new glass for each one.
Finally, get into the habit of keeping your car doors locked when you’re driving. Most new cars come with automatic locks that lock while the car is in motion, helping to reduce the risk of carjackers and keeping you and your car safe.
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All cover is subject to normal underwriting terms and conditions.
Chris North FCII is a respected industry leader with over 40 years' experience, who has worked in the insurance industry in a variety of roles, accumulating a wealth of knowledge.
He is currently Technical Manager for Towergate's motor division, providing expertise on all matters relating to motor fleet insurance, in particular haulage and self-drive hire fleets.
This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance. The information contained is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact a Towergate Insurance adviser.
Date: July 15, 2022