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Relay theft is rampant in Great Britain

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Relay theft is rampant in Great Britain

Relay theft is rampant in Great Britain

In Great Britain many motorists with stolen cars for “relay theft” they are finding that insurers reject their claims and blame them – with some drivers even being charged with fraud. This theft is a way for thieves to break into cars in seconds, without using force or needing a key, all using electronic key fobs.

Car theft rose 25% last year, partly due to this form of theft which sees criminals simply stand outside a house with a parked car, then use a device called a keyless repeater, which works extending the limited range of a regular electronic key fob.

But many drivers are finding out the hard way that theirs insurer refuses compensation because they consider the theft suspicious. Some motorists have even been accused of being part of the theft by their insurer and making a fraudulent insurance claim. And anyway most insurance policies won’t pay out if an insurer suspects fraud or that a car has been stolen using your key or while it was left unlocked.

However, the nature of relay theft means that cars can be stolen easily without a trace, leaving many motorists unable to prove that they are the victim of a crime to their insurer.

Ten drivers have already won the case

But 10 angry drivers took their cases to the Financial Ombudsman Service and won. In one case last year, a motorist was charged with defrauding a suspected relay theft and his claim was denied. The chauffeur, named Miss A, was insured by UK Insurance Limited, the insurance powerhouse that underwrites policies for brands like Direct Line and Churchill.

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The motorist’s car was stolen after a breakdown, but UK insurance has questioned Ms A’s account, saying the car keys were not close enough for a relay theft and that the The car’s alarm would have gone off if it had simply been loaded onto a truck, which would have deterred thieves. The company then charged Ms A with fraud, leaving her with no money and no car. FOS said this was “difficult and probably costly for her, as she has young children”.

Eventually the FOS sided with the driver, saying that British insurance needed “just cause” to charge Miss A with fraud, “not just some concerns about how or why a thief might choose to steal a car.” car”. The FOS added that the car could have easily been stolen by larceny and ordered UK Insurance to remove all records of the fraud, reinstate the car insurance policy and pay the original claim and £250 in compensation.

A UK insurance spokesperson said: “Although the vast majority of claims are genuine, we remain vigilant to identify fraudulent claims, which unfortunately do occur and put upward pressure on premiums.” “In line with the FOS ruling, we have compensated our client in this case and apologized for any inconvenience caused.”

Be careful if the second key is missing

In another example, motorist Ms O’s car was stolen outside her property. The driver said her car must have been stolen using relay theft, as there was no broken glass or signs of forced entry afterward. Her car also locked automatically, meaning it couldn’t be left unlocked for long.

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But his insurer QIC Europe, refused his request as he could only provide one of the two keys that came with the car. The insurer argued that the car must have been left unlocked or stolen using the missing key. The second key eventually arrived, but QIC still refused to pay, despite its own investigator stating that Ms O’s car was ‘susceptible to theft by the relay method’. The FOS ordered QIC to pay the claim plus £500 damages.

How to defend yourself against theft by relay?

It is always best to place the key fob as far away from the vehicle as possible and store it somewhere that is not near doors or windows of the property. Or you’d better buy a simple steering wheel lock or steering wheel clamp – a great tool to deter even the toughest criminals with the latest technology. They will act as a visual deterrent to thieves who are likely to avoid them.

Also, always make sure your vehicle is locked whenever you leave it on the street, especially in crowded parking lots where thieves often use signal blockers. Finally, consider storing the car overnight and installing a tracking system in the vehicle.

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