Mutual & Federal has been made aware of the increasing number of remote control blocking incidents that have been taking place across the country. Remote control “blocking” takes place when criminals interfere with a vehicle’s central locking system, leaving the owner to think that the vehicle has been locked while it has not.

Criminals are believed to be doing this by pressing down on a gate remote control at the same time that the vehicle owner presses down the central locking button. This then blocks the vehicle’s remote control signal. Most vehicle and gate remote controls use the same frequency, making it easier for a gate remote control to block a vehicle remote control.

Personal Lines interpretations

Due to the increase in these incidents, we have revised the interpretation of our allsure policy under the All Risks and Personal Computer sections to cover items stolen from unoccupied motor vehicles, with no visible signs of forced entry. This, amongst other things, now makes provision for items that are stolen as a result of remote control locking being blocked, provided certain conditions are met.

The cover interpretation now carries the following requirements, limits and excesses.

Should there not be visible signs of forced entry; policyholders will be compensated on the following basis:

  • Any items claimed for must already be separately and individually specified in the schedule
  • The maximum compensation payable will not exceed 75% of the value of the specified item
  • The maximum compensation payable will not exceed R10 000 for any one event. This refers to the total value of all items claimed for from one event
  • An excess of 10% of each claimed item will apply. If there is a claim for multiple items, the excess will be applied to each individual item.

No changes will be made to the policy wording and no additional premiums will be charged to policyholders.

Commercial Lines interpretations

For our Business All Risks and Electronic Equipment sections, we have decided to consider the circumstances in which we will cover these types of losses. We have included the terms and conditions in the relevant sections of our policy wording.

The following clauses were included and if this type of cover is selected, an additional premium will be payable:

Specific exception 1(a) will not apply to goods in the compartment or boot of the vehicle when the insured maintains that the vehicle was locked, and no evidence of forcible and violent entry or exit exists, provided that:

  • The police case number is supplied to the company
  • The property is separately and individually specified in the schedule
  • After the deduction of the first amounts payable as specified in the schedule, the liability of the company is further restricted to a percentage lower than 50% of the claim or R10 000 for any one event.

Mutual & Federal acknowledges that it would not be fair not to offer cover for losses of this nature and therefore have granted limited cover. In both instances the insured will become a co-insurer for the shortfall in compensation. Our policy wording is very clear that the policyholder has a duty to take reasonable care to prevent or reduce loss, damage, bodily injuries and accidents.

Below are some tips on how our policyholders can protect themselves from this type of loss:

  • Try not to leave any valuable items in a vehicle. If there are any, do not leave them in a place where they are easily visible, but rather in a locked boot or compartment
  • Before walking away from the vehicle, press the remote control and check the door handle to make sure the vehicle is locked (do not rely on sound alone)
  • Park as close to the entrance of the shopping centre as possible, as there is always a lot of people and movement
  • Be aware of suspicious individuals lingering around in the parking area.

We need to encourage our customers to stay alert and vigilant for any suspicious activities at all times.

Should you require more information, please contact your Portfolio Manager.


Louw Conradie

Head: Broker Distribution