South Africa, with its rich tapestry of cultures and history, has unfortunately also been painted with the persistent challenge of car theft and hijackings. For decades, the landscape has been marred by stories of stolen vehicles and families affected by these distressing events. As you look to safeguard your growing family and assets in such an environment, it is important to understand the role of risk prevention and insurance. Short term insurance not only provides a safety net against potential financial losses but also acts as a supportive hand, guiding you through the complexities of our nation’s unique challenges.
A recent study from Santam’s 2022-2023 Insurance Barometer unveils some startling trends. For those expanding their households and seeking genuine value from their service providers, these vehicle-related crime statistics and preventative tips will prove invaluable.
Study reveals these emerging vehicle insurance trends
- Hijackings and Thefts are on the Rise: Santam’s Insurance Barometer noted a 32% increase in vehicle hijacking claims in 2022 compared to 2021, with vehicle thefts escalating by a staggering 92%.
- Thieves Have New Preferences: A shift in their focus from older, low-value vehicles to pricier double cabs and SUVs was observed. If you’re in Gauteng and drive certain high-end models, you’re up to 20 times more likely to face a hijacking or theft.
- Hotspots Identified: Thieves often target vehicles in areas close to border crossings, from Gauteng through KwaZulu-Natal to Mpumalanga.
- Keyless Vehicle Risks: Modern vehicles with keyless systems increasingly attract thieves.
How to protect what you care about on the road and at home
While all South Africans are highly safety-conscious, we still seem to be taken by surprise by the ever-innovating criminals who want to profit from our hard-earned necessities.
Here are some useful reminders on how you can safeguard against risks to prevent the theft of your car and protect those who drive it.
- Install Vehicle Trackers: We might advise you to fit your vehicle with trackers, depending on its model and your location. For those in high-risk areas like Gauteng, a tracker can offer peace of mind.
- Practice Vigilance: Keep an eye out in high-risk areas. Stay aware, especially when arriving or leaving a destination.
- Safety Tips for Keyless Cars:
- Always Double-Check Locks: Even in haste, always ensure your car is locked. Keyless systems might offer convenience, but they also bring the risk of oversight. A quick double-check guarantees security.
- Opt for Fobs with Sleep Mode: If keyless convenience is your preference, consider fobs with motion-sensor sleep modes. These fobs disable themselves after periods of inactivity, resisting external relay signals. The duration before sleep mode activates varies, so familiarise yourself with your fob’s specifics.
- Disable Your Fob’s Signal When Unused: Some cars allow deactivation of the key fob’s signal when not in use. Consult your vehicle’s manual or contact the dealership to know if and how this works. For those using mobile phones as keys, apply similar precautions.
- Invest in a Signal-Blocking Pouch: These affordable pouches, often termed Faraday bags, prevent relay box signals, making theft attempts nearly futile. After purchasing, run a test to ensure its effectiveness. Alternatively, a simple metal box can serve the purpose.
- Visible Deterrents Matter: While keyless systems promise hassle-free entry and exit, a visible deterrent like a steering wheel lock or wheel clamp can be invaluable. They not only discourage potential thieves but also create additional barriers, increasing the chances of the thief being detected or deterred.
- Light Up Your Driveway: Illuminate your driveway well and consider motion sensors. Bright areas can deter thieves.
- Invest in Home Security: Equip your home with cameras, alarms, and motion detectors.
Join a Neighbourhood Watch: Community vigilance can prevent potential threats. Together, we can keep our neighbourhoods safe.
- Beef Up Your Insurance: Make sure your car insurance – your financial safety net – is structured to meet your needs and protect you from every eventuality.
In conclusion, while threats may be evolving, so are our defences. As you focus on growing your family and securing your home and your assets, let Santam stand beside you, and give you the confidence of unmatched value and safety on the road and in your sanctuary.
Article credit: https://www.santam.co.za/blog/car-advice/stats-reveal-a-shocking-rise-in-car-thefts-and-hijackings-staying-safe-on-the-road-and-at-home/