Cross-border-vehicle-theft-makes-car-insurance-a-necessity-in-South-AfricaIt was recently revealed in the media that approximately 100 vehicles are stolen and taken over the border to Mozambique every month! We shared this comment on Facebook and soon a few of my friends commented that they believe their vehicles might have been relocated to Mozambique as well!

Crime is one of the most important factors contributing to increased car insurance premiums. Vehicle theft and hijackings increase the risks of vehicle loss for car insurers and is one of the reasons why South African vehicle owners have to fork out much more for car insurance premiums.

But how big is the risk that my vehicle might get stolen and taken across our borders?

The South African Insurance Crime Bureau has revealed fascinating research results on this topic in the latest newsletter, and we would like to share some of this information:

  • During the 1980s the police identified the smuggling of vehicles across Southern African borders as a problem.
  • In 2005, researcher Irish stated that South Africa is the major source of vehicles that are smuggled within the SADC region.
  • According to Interpol statistics, South Africa accounts for between 96% to 98% of all vehicles acquired illicitly within the region.
  • In 2003 the police revealed that more than 20% of stolen or hijacked vehicles were smuggled out of the country into neighbouring states by organised crime groups.
  • In 2007 Burgers et al stated that approximately 30% of all stolen or hijacked vehicles are exported illegally and undetected from South Africa, via Ports of Entry/Exit and border lines.
  • In June 2009 Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) said that 20% vehicles are exported to neighbouring countries.

How easy is this cross-border theft for criminals and how many vehicles are recovered?

  • Burgers (2007) stated that during 2006, approximately 27 000 vehicles left the country.

These vehicles are taken over border posts and from major harbours. Facts on harbour and border posts are:

  • There are 53 land border posts across approximately 5800 km of borderline.
  • There are eight major harbours.

It is believed that the recovery rate for these vehicles from most countries in the region back to South Africa is less than I% of those seized in joint operations between the SAPS and police in such countries. At an average value of R80 000 per vehicle, a conservative estimate of the direct financial loss to South Africans as a result of the illegal export of stolen and hijacked motor vehicles is R2.I6 billion per year.

This information emphasizes the need for vehicle owners to protect themselves from vehicle loss. On the car insurance blog we have also added information not only about finding car insurance – but also on the need to have the correct vehicle security systems installed!

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3 thoughts on “Cross-border vehicle theft makes car insurance a necessity in South Africa

  1. Sarah Anderson

    SAIA Donates over R1.7 million to Combat Crime

    Caption: Dr Graham Wright, CEO of BACSA accepts a cheque from Ronnie Napier, Chairperson of the SAIA Board for R1.7 million which is going towards combating crime.

    Today the South African Insurance Association (SAIA), on behalf of its members donated over R 1.7 million to Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA).

    ‘Our industry has, since 2002 donated over R10 million towards BACSA’s crime-combating activities and we remain committed to contributing towards improving the crime situation in our country to ensure a sustainable and successful future for all,’ said Ronnie Napier, Chairperson of the SAIA Board.

    Mr Napier, in handing over the contribution to BACSA said that the funds as approved by the SAIA Board for an eighth consecutive year would assist BACSA with trio crime-combating activities in conjunction with the relevant authorities and partners.

    Mr Napier reported that through the continuous efforts of the industry working with partners such as BACSA and the South African Police Services (SAPS) that motor vehicle crime had reduced since 2002 by 50%. He further stressed that ‘while incidences of vehicle theft had greatly reduced over the years, there was no room for complacency concerning crime.’

    Mr Napier highlighted that in previous years support to BACSA had focused on combating motor-vehicle crime. However, now that such crimes were no longer the most pressing priority for the short-term insurance industry, SAIA was for the first time making a contribution that was borne by all of its members, rather than “only by SAIA’s motor insurance members”.

    ‘Motor insurance remained the largest class of business for the industry and the high cost of claims related to the issue of road safety was becoming increasingly problematic for many members within the short-term insurance industry’, said Napier.

    ‘As about 70% of insurance claims were road-accident related, the Association had adopted a strategy to address the causes of claims, while also maintaining a focus on crime-combating’, said Napier.

    Dr Graham Wright, CEO of BACSA, concurred with Mr Napier that the initiatives undertaken to prevent crime could serve as a springboard for efforts aimed at reducing the high accident rates. “We believe that systemic improvements are necessary, in addition to addressing the culture of non-compliance in South Africa”, said Dr Wright.

    Dr Wright stressed the importance of partnerships in combating crime and building a responsible citizenry. He stressed that all had a role to play as the police and the relevant Government agencies could not do it alone.

    Successes had been experienced and some of the trio crimes appeared to be stabilising.
    Dr Wright attributed this to the leadership within the Department of Police to address crime with renewed vigour and determination. Other success factors included a business sector focused on information-sharing and doing what it could to `put its own house in order’.

    Dr Wright thanked SAIA for its contribution as a good corporate citizen that recognised that the fight against crime needed a holistic response to sustain current gains.

    ‘BACSA was committed to working closely with Government and business partners at this time of renewal, re-commitment and action to progressively realise the shared vision of a South Africa in which people both were safe and felt safe’, said Dr Wright.

    SAIA was thanked for being a stalwart and important partner in the fight against crime.

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