Blog - January 23, 2024
Protecting Your Property. Understanding And Preventing Theft From Vehicles
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Theft from vehicles is a persistent problem that affects individuals and businesses alike. It can be a frustrating and costly experience, and the impact goes beyond just the stolen property.

In this blog, we delve into the issue of theft from vehicles – exploring the common targets, general conditions of your insurance policy and, most importantly, strategies to prevent it.


What do thieves look for when stealing from vehicles?

Common targets for thieves usually fall into the following categories:

  • Electronics – Laptops, mobile phones, computer screens… These can all be sold for cash fairly easily.
  • Valuables – Things like rings, watches and artwork can again be easy to sell on, but sentimentally difficult to replace. Generally only artwork would be covered under a commercial insurance policy.
  • Tools and equipment – Cameras, sound and lighting equipment, and power tools can all fall under this category. These are items that could also be relatively easily sold on.
  • Documents – Personal identification, credit cards, and important documents should never be left in your vehicle. These can be used for fraudulent purposes, such as identity theft.


Is my portable equipment covered in my vehicle?

Most commercial insurers are happy to include cover for your portable equipment, tools, and valuables while away from your office or home. Some insurers can offer a small extension to include items that are temporarily away from the insured location, and will generally consider three main geographical locations: anywhere in the UK, anywhere in the European Union, and fully worldwide.

However, if you’re regularly taking items out and about or between the office and home, it’s much better to have these listed on your insurance on a ‘portable’ or ‘property away basis’ for full confidence in a successful claim.

It’s also important to note that insurers often apply conditions to their policies, and that is true when contents are left in vehicles overnight. Some of the more common conditions we’ve come across include:

  • Property needs to be left out of sight and in a locked compartment, such as the boot (so not just in a boot, but also under the parcel shelf)
  • All security features should be enabled, alarm activated, doors and windows locked, etc.
  • Forcible entry is often required, meaning the theft would need to have caused visible damage to the vehicle in order for the claim to be valid
  • Payouts can be limited to a certain figure below the general sum insured – for example, it’s common for some insurers to apply a limit of £25,000 for theft from an unattended vehicle


How can I reduce my risk of property theft from my vehicle?

There are several ways you can help deter thieves from targeting your vehicle, including the following:

Keep your possessions out of sight

There’s a reason why it’s a common condition that property is hidden from view when left in your vehicle. Preventing anyone seeing your property when peering into the vehicle helps stop opportunistic thefts from occurring.

Keep your vehicle locked

It’s equally important to ensure you keep your vehicle secure. Activate all factory-standard security, like alarms, as well as any additional upgrades you might have made. You may also want to consider additional measures, such as using a steering lock. This latter step is particularly useful to protect against thefts involving key or fob cloning. Failure to secure your vehicle will result in the insurance claim being rejected.

Know your limits

Most insurers have a maximum limit they will pay out in the event of a theft from a vehicle, so be aware of this and bear it in mind whenever leaving expensive items inside. If you’re staying overnight somewhere, remove items where you can and store them in a more secure area such as your home, hotel room, or office.

Pick your spot

Where you leave your vehicle can be crucial. Encourage employees to park their vehicles in well-lit, secure areas, and invest in surveillance systems where possible.


Safeguard your business from theft with tailored insurance

While insurance can provide a safety net, having to make a claim is never a pleasant experience and something to avoid wherever possible. Preventing theft from vehicles should therefore always be a top priority, and hopefully the practical tips we outlined above will help.


For that additional peace of mind, however, consider seeking out the right insurance. RiskBox has years of experience helping creative agencies, digital brands, production companies, professional services firms, and tech organisations build an insurance programme to meet their evolving needs. Please get in touch to learn more.

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