Criminals are getting braver and more creative by the day regarding stealing cars. Not only is being hijacked, smash and grabbed or simply having your car stolen incredibly dangerous and traumatic, but it also comes with a vast amount of admin and expenses. Having great car insurance does soften the financial blow and with us you can even get Trauma and Legal Assist Benefits included in your policy, but prevention is always better than cure.
Hence, we’ve compiled a car safety checklist for you. Now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be the victim of a car related crime; it’ll just lessen the chances.
Install a tracking device in your car. Not only is there a bigger chance that you’ll actually get your car back, but it will also have a positive effect on your insurance premium. If you don’t already have a tracking device installed in your car, Budget Insurance offers you the option of buying one through us from a partner company. Some tracking devices even have a system in place that prevents signal jamming – so you know you’ll find your vehicle where you left it.
Install an alarm and even an immobiliser. Again, this will have a good impact on your car insurance premiums, but it should also scare the criminals away. At the very least, your car alarm will notify everyone else that there’s trouble, while the immobiliser will kill the engine ensuring that your wheels stay put. You should remember, however, not to put the immobiliser’s deactivation button where anyone can just see it.
As silly as that sounds, you should always keep your car locked. It doesn’t matter if you quickly step out to close the gate – it only takes half a second to steal your car. Invest in a gear lock. It creates the impression that there are other safety features in your car and the criminal might be persuaded to peruse elsewhere.
Keep your eyes open! Always be aware of what is happening around you. We all tend to space out at a robot, but this is just the chance someone needs to jump into action. Also look around when you arrive home before you stop the car and open the gate; if something looks odd rather drive off to get help.
Speaking of paying attention to your surroundings, don’t you think it’s time you stopped playing on your phone while behind the wheel? It’s illegal, dangerous and your insurance won’t pay out. It will only take a criminal mere seconds to grab your phone out of your hand. Leave your phone in your bag or get a hands-free car kit.
Make a habit of putting your belongings in the boot. Don’t leave a bag on your seat or somewhere visible. Even if the bag is empty, it might still tempt someone uninvited to peek inside your car.
Try to keep your car clean and well looked after. In this way, you’ll extend your car’s lifecycle and you create the perception that there might be security systems in place; although, it’s advised to have actual safety measures in place.
Do the necessary research before you settle on a car. Read up on the cars you’re interested in. Visit a police station and ask for safety tips and advice on which cars aren’t high-risk vehicles. Make sure that you know exactly what it is that you’re buying.
If, however, you are in the unfortunate situation of being a victim of a car crime, make sure you’re safe and within 24 hours of the crime, go to the police and open a police report (you’ll need it for your claim). Once that’s done, phone your insurance company to submit your claim then sit back and let us handle the rest.
Just remember at the end of the day, it’s just a car and can be replaced, you cannot. Rather give up your car than your life.