1,165 Cars Stolen From 2013-2015 Were Never Recovered: This Is How To Avoid The Nightmare!
It’s a shock nobody wants to experience. Imagine waking up to your usual morning routine and stepping out with your car keys dangling in your hands. You are ready to get into your car and drive off, so you can kick start the day’s itinerary, only to discover that the car is nowhere to be found! First, you think it’s just a rude joke. Then, it suddenly dawns on you that your car may have been stolen. For some, it could even be a nightmare that follows a shopping spree; they step out to find an empty parking spot. The car has disappeared and you have no motor insurance!
Car theft is certainly an extremely distressing experience! Be that as it may, it is the experience of many people in Nigeria, some of who never get their cars back.
According to data from the [i]National Bureau of Statistics, 2,542 vehicles were stolen from 2013 to 2015, out of which 1,377 vehicles were recovered, while 1,165 of them were never recovered. That is over a thousand people who had to live with this sudden nightmare. Among these are those who have the means to have the stolen vehicle replaced immediately and those who are almost eternally transfixed in that state of loss. This is even truer in a depressing economy like ours, which has seen a continued rise in the cost of goods due to inflation and drop in income as a result of slowed economic activities.
Indeed, car theft can happen to any of us. It is therefore our responsibility to ensure that we understand the factors that may attract vehicle thieves and what we can do to protect ourselves.
For those who have once been victims of this experience, they often find themselves double-checking that their car doors are locked, windows are wound up and nothing of value is left exposed inside the car. But the truth is that car thieves are constantly finding new ways to make car theft work for them, meaning that an average car thief is more knowledgeable on car security than the average car owner.
Some may say, “my car has an alarm and an immobilizer, I am well covered.” However, while the modern security systems are great deterrents, according to Roger Morris of the American National Insurance Crime Bureau, [ii]“technology has been driving down the theft rate for years and now thieves are using technology to perhaps drive it back up again.” What this means is that car thieves are devising equally sophisticated ways to beat security systems. So, the problem of car theft is not going away anytime soon. But, applying some basic principles below may just make the difference with regard to preventing your car from being stolen.
It is important to note a few factors that can determine the chance of car theft:
- Vehicles in Demand: Car models regularly demanded for and in high use are likely to be target for theft.
- Carelessness: This is a situation where vehicle owners, due to their actions or inactions, list their lovely vehicles to the car thieves. One of such behaviours is forgetting to lock your car doors.
- Isolated Parking: Parking in isolated locations where car thieves will have the time and cover to undermine your car security.
- Easy Exit Management: Parking your vehicle in a way that requires no extra maneuvering to exit the parking spot. Thieves love easy drive-aways.
Remember that car thieves generally dislike most forms of security which may include kill switches, alarms, security cameras, steering lock etc. So, having other layers of security is a good deterrent for car theft. But, nothing beats the unflinching assurance of having a motor insurance for your vehicle(s), so that when the most sophisticated security systems fails – as they sometimes do – you are not faced with the daunting reality of having to replace the vehicle at a cost you are completely unprepared for. A comprehensive auto insurance policy from Leadway Assurance comes to mind in this regard.
The Leadway Auto Plan (LAP) is designed to provide a range of benefits for any level of cover you purchase on your vehicle(s). It offers a comprehensive motor insurance, which covers loss of or accidental damage to the vehicle of the insured and also indemnifies for damage to third party vehicles/properties, as well as third party personal injury or death arising as a result of any accident from the use of the insured vehicle(s). It provides either an agreed compensation or replacement in the event of an unfortunate incident of theft or other occurrence that may result in a loss or damage. Depending on the variation you prefer, LAP offers an incremental value in its compensation package.
To find out more about the Leadway Auto Plan (LAP), please call (01) 2800 700, 2800 701 or send an email to Lcs@leadway.com for more details.
[i] ‘Reported Road Accidents and Stolen Vehicles statistics’, www.nigerianstat.gov.ng, 2013 – 2015
[ii] Mystery Device Could Let Thieves Get In Your Car in Seconds’, www.nbcnews.com, December 2016