We often advise and caution our vehicle owners on the need to protect their vehicles from vehicle loss through theft and hijacking.
We have given much attention to vehicle security systems and tracking devices – but we might also need to address some aspects pertaining to once the vehicle has been recovered.
What do we need to know about the keys to the vehicle, 2nd time hijackings and the effect on car insurance?
The Arrive Alive website received a very interesting email from a visitor and we would like to share this request for assistance and the responses received:
We were hijacked but with the assistance of Metro and Tracker recovered the vehicle. Found the vehicle locked on the side of the road. What is the percentage of people being hijacked for the second time and should we replace the locks or can I use the spare key as the original key was taken?
We referred this to driving specialist Rob Handfield- Jones and received the following reply:
“I don’t think there are stats on ‘second-time hijackings’, but it can be expensive to replace the lockset on a modern car. I’d approach your insurers with your concerns, see what their opinion is, and see whether they would be prepared to replace the locks.”
We would like to agree with Rob – and confirm that we have not found statistics on the number of 2nd time hijackings. It would however be advised that the locks be replaced as duplicate keys might have been made and you would not wish to test the performance and service delivery of your vehicle recovery service!
Lost keys, replacement of locks and car insurance
We have also referred the question to Shaun Neuhoff from Hollard Pay As You Drive to enquire about the consequences for your car insurance. He responded as follows:
“The loss of keys, specifically resulting from the hijacking, will typically be covered under a motor policy and will therefore be paid for by the insurer, including new keys and the re-programming of the vehicle for the new keys. Obviously, each insurance company has its own limitations and excesses so the client would need to check with their specific insurer as to what their benefits are.”
These suggestions were shared with our website visitor and we received the following response and confirmation:
“Thank you. Yes it will be covered we only pay the excess. Thanks for all the assistance”
An excess is the first amount payable by you in the event of a loss, and is the uninsured portion of your loss, so when you submit a claim you’ll have to pay an excess. It usually has to be paid to the garage fixing your car once it is repaired before you can drive it away. [Car Insurance Glossary]