With vehicle theft on the rise in the West Midlands and across the UK it is imperative that owners and drivers of company fleet vehicles stay safe.
If you happen to be the victim of a vehicle theft, the adverse factors go far and beyond just a missing car. Not only does the theft leave victims feeling a mixture of emotions from vulnerable to sad and angry; it also impairs the whole logistics of going about daily life. Subsequently, if the vehicle happens to be a company fleet or lease car, then coupled to the situation also intensifies the stress of having to inform the company that the vehicle has been stolen.
So what steps can you take to minimise the risk of vehicle theft?
- Most importantly! Never take your keys up to bed. If an intruder wants the car, then let them have it. It is far more important that they take the car and that you and your family stay safe.
- Make sure that doors and windows are locked. Hang the car keys away from the front door.
- If possible store vehicles out of view. A locked garage with an alarm is the most secure option. For high-net worth vehicles you may also want to look at CCTV security to monitor the car.
- Consider your lighting and install dawn to dusk light bulbs or sensor security lighting. Both options give the appearance that people are in and around the house and can draw immediate attention to the property, acting as a deterrent for potential vehicle theft.
- Check that your car insurance is up to date and valid. Change of address, change in circumstances or increase in mileage are all aspects that can sometimes get overlooked, so make sure that the vehicle insurance policy is applicable.
What to do if a vehicle theft incident occurs?
Step 1. Assess the situation – When reporting a vehicle theft you will be asked a lot of questions so getting some facts together before you begin can help. Answering questions such as – Where was the vehicle stored? How did they gain access? Where were the keys stored? What sort of time did the incident occur? Will all help to create a clearer picture.
Step 2. Contact the Police – Report the incident to the Police immediately and obtain a crime number. You will need to provide information such as the vehicle registration number, make, model and colour of the car, plus location information about where the car was stolen and give an estimated time.
Step 3. For fleet and company vehicles contact your employee – It is important that the employee is aware of the vehicle theft as this may mean providing you with a replacement vehicle, re-arranging appointments, giving you some time to deal with the stress. They will also need to contact and notify their company insurer.
Step 4. Contacting the insurer & broker – The company or individual will need to provide a full report of the vehicle theft to the insurer, detailing all aspects of the incident. The insurer may also ask additional specific questions to help them to assess the case. Once they have all the information then await their response which could mean a settlement within just a few weeks.
Step5. Inform the DVLA – If your insurance company pays out a claim for the loss of your stolen vehicle then you must inform the DVLA that it has been sold to the insurance company. You can tell DVLA online or fill in and post the yellow section of your vehicle log book called ‘sell, transfer or part-exchange your vehicle to the motor trade’.
For further information about any of the vehicle theft topics covered in this article, please contact us at JRW Risk Solutions Limited. We provide insurance packages to commercial companies across the West Midlands and the UK who are looking to insure individual vehicles up to multiple fleets and can support your company fleets whatever the size. For further information, please see our motor fleet insurance and courier / haulage insurance website pages for more details.
Additionally, please refer to the .gov.uk for more information on ‘What to do if your vehicle has been stolen’ – https://www.gov.uk/what-to-do-if-your-vehicle-has-been-stolen