Protecting your Aviva Private Clients vehicles
We launched Aviva Private Clients in April this year bringing you great products and service. Complementary to this is the expertise and knowledge offered by our Aviva Private Clients underwriters and claims teams. This month, we’re talking about vehicle security.
As specialists, they can provide insight and advice on topical subjects - for example we know many High Net Worth clients are likely to have prestigious, high value vehicles, and that vehicle theft is a concern many share.
With the advancement in technology modern cars are often deemed to be virtually theft-proof. Many believe that were someone to break into a car, the wailing alarm and sophisticated immobiliser should ensure that it’s impossible to drive away. If someone managed to start the engine, a tracking device would monitor the car’s position, enabling police to recover it. However, car thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
To comply with European regulations, independent mechanics and locksmiths as well as main dealerships are able to replace lost key fobs. Many car makers now include a feature that allows new fobs to be programmed from data held inside the car’s electronics. The data is protected by security software but some hackers appear to have cracked the codes and developed devices that thieves can use to access the data and program blank fobs. Criminals can legally buy £30 devices that allow them to copy the car's unique electronic key code when the owner uses it before going back to steal the vehicle.
So, what about tracking devices? Criminals have combated this by using various methods such as taking the vehicle apart to find and remove the tracking device, to extreme lengths of shielding the vehicles with metal which block signals.
What can clients do to protect their vehicles?
Thatcham Research, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, assess both new car factory fitted devices and after market devices and publish the results in their national listings. They have defined a number of categories for vehicle security equipment ranging from wheel locking nuts through to After Theft Tracking Systems. In each category, third party security products have been evaluated against "The British Insurance Industry's Criteria for Vehicle Security", using specific tests to indicate the effectiveness of the product. The product listing is updated as and when new security systems are judged to have successfully complied with the Criteria. Each product is subject to a review after 12 months.
Most new vehicles are now fitted with the minimum protection of a Thatcham Research category 2 immobiliser, and in many cases an immobiliser and alarm. Thatcham Research, assesses new car factory fitted devices and after market devices and publishes the results in their national listing.
In the rare event that an aftermarket device may be required to improve security on a new vehicle then it’s important to ensure that the device fitted provides the most effective level of protection available, as a consequence we suggest that only systems that have met the Thatcham Research criteria are used.
For further safeguards it should be ensured that:-
- The correct category of device is fitted to the vehicle i.e. diesel device for a diesel engine
- That it is fitted by a
- That a certificate of installation is produced stamped by the Thatcham Research Recognised Installer
There is a multitude of vehicle tracking on the market and with technological advances moving ahead at such a pace the situation for motorists when choosing a system to protect their vehicle can often be quite daunting. Thatcham Research have devised two main categories of tracking systems based on stringent technical specifications:
- Cat 5 After Theft System for Vehicle Recovery
- TQA Tracking Systems
Other ways to protect vehicles
Another option is to deter criminals from stealing vehicles. If they perceive it to be particularly hard to target a vehicle, they may move on to another. These are some of the ways you could protect your vehicle further:
- Steering lock
- Secure overnight parking
- Wheel locking devices
- Protect the OBD socket – with a metal case that protects it from intrusion
- Mark glass and car parts with a unique code and linked to a Thatcham Research approved database.
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