Tracker, vehicle recovery specialists who work closely with the metropolitan police, report that 84% of stolen vehicles are taken using keys left in the ignition; never is the temptation greater to do so than at this time of year. With vehicles being left on the drive to warm through or de-ice the windows, opportunist thieves are on the lookout for just this practise. They are aware of popular makes and models and may already have a buyer in the wings before you have chance to raise the alarm.
Stuart Chapman, their Police relations manager, is quick to point out that many van insurance firms will not pay out if you are proved to be negligent, demonstrating this little duty of care. Not only could that aspect have a damning effect, but also you are liable for prosecution for leaving a car unattended with the engine running.
If this is a practise you cannot get out of the habit of doing, then Chapman recommends fitting a vehicle tracker. It may not grant you indemnity from prosecution but you stand a much greater prospect of retrieving your van once it has been stolen, at least avoiding you the cost of a replacement. With its hidden transmitter, the thief may not even know you ahave a lock on him.
In a recent statement, he reminded us, “Fitting a Tracker unit could significantly increase the chance of a stolen car being recovered, however…
“…it may take a few minutes more, but a few simple security precautions can save a lot of heartache and expense if your car is stolen.”
In the likely event that your tools are missing, sadly, it is doubtful that your van insurance policy will cover you for those being replaced if your car is frost jacked, due to your lack of duty of care.
The other tool, and perhaps more likely to deter the opportunist thief, is an immobiliser which can only be disabled by optical recognition. The advanced version of this tool, quite new to the market but which seriously helps you attain cheap van insurance by fitting it due to the increased protection against theft, means you can leave the cab but, unless the system verifies that it is you driving by your ocular fingerprint, will remain engaged until your return.
So, remember, frost jacking is prevalent when attempts to stave off Jack Frost’s overnight legacy lead to vehicle theft. Either don’t do it or protect you, your livelihood and your no claims bonus by preparing for it.