If you operate a fleet of commercial vehicles you need motor vehicle insurance cover to protect against theft and other deliberate or accidental damage to vehicles. Motor vehicle thefts, including van thefts have been on the rise in the last few years highlighting the need for organisations in the transport sector to take action to protect their fleet from criminals.
Motor vehicle theft has and always will be a concern for businesses in the transport and motor trades but in recent years, keyless van thefts have become a serious epidemic. Some light commercial vans (LCV) that have proved to be popular among thieves in the past year include the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
Nearly 90% of stolen LCVs were also taken without the owners’ keys. The thief removes the ignition from the vehicle and uses a laptop computer to extract the last used code from the ignition. Thieves are then able to program a new key to the vehicle and drive away using their own ignition barrel.
Don’t let your fleet suffer during the keyless van theft crisis.
The following strategies may help to deter potential thieves from attempting to steal light commercial vehicles (LCVs) such as work vans from your premises.
An ignition shield is a strong metal piece that bolts around a vehicle’s ignition through existing bolt holes behind the dashboard. By adding an ignition shield to the vehicles in your fleet of motors, you will make it increasingly difficult for thieves to remove the ignition and program a new key to any vehicle.
There are many different types of immobilisers that you can add to your fleet to limit thieves’ ability to drive away, such as a pedal box. This encases the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals to prevent vans and other vehicles from being moved when the box is locked in place.
In addition, you can install digital immobilisers to your fleet that require drivers to input a short code or sequence to unlock and operate the steering wheel. This prevents thieves from stealing your vehicles, even if they gain access to the ignition.
You can deter thieves from even attempting to steal your vehicles by adding extra deadlocks to the doors to make them harder to prise open. Slam locks are useful for quick stops as the door locks each time it is closed. Implementing a more advanced alarm system can also help to reduce van thefts.
If a thief is successful is stealing your van or commercial vehicle, a tracking device can increase your chance of recovering the vehicle. With these devices in place, you will be able to detect the whereabouts of missing vehicles and limit fleet replacement costs.
Although it may be cumbersome, it’s also best to remove tools from your van overnight and store elsewhere to minimise the losses in the event of a motor vehicle theft. If possible, park the vehicle in a locked garage as well for extra security.
Ensure your fleet is also protected with proper insurance cover in the event of a motor vehicle theft. Let your insurers know of positive features that have been added, such as trackers as many will offer discounts for advanced security devices.
The following tips are also important to consider when you are arranging motor trade and fleet insurance cover for your business, and will be beneficial if you find yourself in a situation where you have to make a claim on your motor insurance policy as a result of theft, vehicle damage, an accident or other common motor vehicle claims.
For incidents where fault is in dispute these can be invaluable in resolving liability quickly.
Most accidents are caused by driver error and driver training can have a significant impact on the frequency of accidents. Company car / van driver incentive schemes can also have a positive effect on accidents & claims.
Consider a higher excess for own damage claims – insurers will often reduce premium rates in lieu of higher excesses.
Make sure you speak to an experienced motor trade / fleet broker. Not all small brokers have the agency base and buying power needed to get you the best deal.
Don’t leave it to the last minute to look at your insurance renewal costs either, be proactive! Call ABL Group.
If you require support to review and update your motor vehicle insurance policies, contact us:
Tel: 028 9099 3600