Car theft is a major concern for car owners across the country and insurance companies are also taking action on this matter.
Vehicle theft and hijacking are on the rise in South Africa. According to South African crime statistics, provided by the South African Police Service’s (SAPS), 5,119 cars were hijacked in the country only between in the first quarter of 2023. The numbers are shocking considering that, according to those reports, 57 cars are stolen every day in South Africa..
Car theft rises are also prejudicing insurance policies and prices. In fact, by using a car insurance calculator it is easy to notice that the insurance gets more expensive whether you live in a dangerous region or your car model is on the theft rankings.
In this context, the installation of a tracker in one’s car has become a common requirement for obtaining car insurance. This policy has been put in place by most of the major insurance companies operating in the country. Failure to comply with this policy means that car owners risk losing their insurance coverage.
This is the case, for example, of Old Mutual Insure. The company already announced that car owners of high-risk vehicles located in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and other smaller provinces are required to install vehicle tracking devices to keep their coverage active.
As said, it’s not only about location, but also about the car models. An specifical warning was issued to owners of newer and late-model high-end vehicles, as they are being increasingly targeted in South Africa (especially bakkies and luxury vehicles).
The company explained that claims for these kinds of vehicles are increasing, apparently related to the fact that criminals are being able to bypass keyless entry systems. “From our investigations, it appears that syndicates have found ways to seamlessly access vehicles with keyless entry systems. The theft rate is particularly high in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and some of our smaller inland provinces”.
Installing a tracker in a car makes it easier for the police to locate and recover a stolen vehicle, and this reduces the cost of claims for the insurance companies. In addition to this, the installation of a tracker makes it less likely for a car to be stolen in the first place, as the presence of a tracker acts as a deterrent to would-be thieves.
The benefits of installing a tracker in a car are not just limited to reducing the risk of theft. Trackers can also be used to monitor driver behavior, so insurance companies can use the data collected by the tracker to determine if the client drives safely, which reduces the risk of accidents, thus reducing the price of the policy.
In short, it is important to pay special attention to the indications of each insurance company to avoid losing coverage due to not having the appropriate device. The increase in security is a plus!