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Prestige-car-door-being-openedKeyless car theft in the UK is on the rise. The latest remote keyless car entry systems enable drivers to unlock car doors and start the engine “hands free” when they are near the car. It is not just prestige cars that use this method of entry; many new small saloon and SUVs incorporate this technology alongside other clever features such as a kick boot.

The increase in thefts of vehicles fitted with these systems is because criminals can use devices that boost the signal from a key lying inside the house to trick the vehicle into thinking the key is nearby, allowing them to enter and start the car.

The German testing body ADAC has found that 99% of the 237 cars it tested were vulnerable to theft using this keyless system.

Some insurers are refusing to pay out if thieves use these devices to break into your car. This is because most car insurance policies will not cover claims if keys are left in or around the car.  If there is no sign of forced entry, you may find your claim is rejected.  Check that you are fully covered for this type of theft with your insurer.

What you can do to minimise keyless car theft
Some manufacturers have implemented ways of preventing this type of theft by supplying keys that turn themselves off when not being used either automatically or by the user pressing or holding down a button on the key fob. A shielding pouch can also be used to store the keys when not in use which blocks signals from the boosting devices used by thieves.

Practical advice is to store keys well away from doors and windows near the car and as far away from house entry points as possible. Fitting a steering wheel lock is another method of deterring this type of theft.

Looking into the future, manufacturers are working on replacing keys with a smartphone app. This will register users to a central database and enable owners to use their phones to unlock and start their cars.

Other advantages of using the app will be the ability to share cars with family members using their own smartphones. It may also be possible to control the cars speed and even volume of music even when you are not driving the car yourself.

With more technology being built into new models, especially prestige and luxury cars, it is more important than ever to make sure your insurance provider is keeping up with the new technology to keep you fully insured.

High net worth insurance
Online comparison sites and standard insurance policies do not always provide the level of insurance cover needed for some expensive modern cars. Often packed with a high level of technical specification and high value components, you may find your prestige car needs a higher level of insurance cover.

It is not just about replacement or repair costs; you may have a preferred garage for repairs and need the use of a replacement car of equal value when you have to make a claim.

A high net worth insurance policy can provide a range of benefits including cover for your home, leisure craft and travel insurance all under one policy tailored to your individual needs.

To make sure all your possessions are fully covered, talk to your local insurance broker in Sutton Coldfield, CLA Risk Solutions on 0121 321 4600.

 
Do a search on Google for telematics insurance and you will find most of the large insurers and price comparison sites also refer to it as black box insurance. These insurance policies are aimed at individual car drivers aiming to save money on their insurance premiums by having their driving monitored.

Telematics_insuranceCarry out some more research and you will find that telematics covers much more than that and includes a range of clever devices combined with vehicle and driver management to help company fleet operators manage their fleets more efficiently, safely and profitably.

Working with your insurance provider or insurance broker you can implement a strategy for your business that will keep your vehicles on the road, provide a better service to your clients and reduce your insurance claims and costs.

Telematics devices
A computer (black box) is installed in your fleet vehicles to monitor everything from vehicle location, speed, braking, engine idling and fuel consumption. Using this information allows fleet owners to build up a picture of driver behaviour. By monitoring all the information from the black box, improvements can be made to increase efficiency.

The device includes a GPS (global positioning system) that tracks your vehicle. This helps with route planning, vehicle availability and communication of arrival times. This is particularly useful if your vehicles must be at destinations at specific times. The construction sector is a typical example, where movement of materials is crucial to keep sites supplied. Disruptions can be monitored, breakdown assistance quickly dealt with and clients kept informed.

A complete record of the vehicle trip history is stored, helping fleet owners to manage maintenance and keep the vehicle working at maximum efficiency.

Developing better driving habits
Monitoring driver habits can be useful to identify areas of training needed to improve driver behaviour and safety.

Driver assessment and risk management can then be carried out providing feedback on how they are driving and carrying out their other duties compared to colleagues and industry best practice including any regulatory requirements.

Vehicle security
Telematics can be used to locate a vehicle if it is stolen or being used for unauthorised purposes outside normal working hours.

The device will also provide information if one of your vehicles is involved in a road accident and it can be integrated with CCTV cameras to provide footage of the incident and identify who was at fault.

Vehicle cameras
CCTV cameras provide additional information to fleet owners to support the information being provided by the telematics system.

Showing drivers footage of their driving from inside and outside the cab can be an effective training tool, helping to reduce accidents and improve driving efficiency.

The other benefit of having 360-degree coverage with cameras is the ability to record actions of other road users. Insurance claims can be dealt with quickly because it is easier to establish who is responsible, getting your vehicle back on the road faster. Fraudulent claims against your drivers can be robustly defended using the video footage, for example, if a driver is claiming whiplash injury after a collision with one of your vehicles and it subsequently comes to light that your vehicle was travelling at less than 5 mph.

Using telematics, haulage companies have found they can substantially reduce the number of accidents and claims across their fleet by monitoring and improving driver habits.

If you would like to discuss how our telematics cover which encompasses driver assessment, fleet management, mobile data, risk management and vehicle tracking can help your business fleet, please call 0121 321 4600.
Fork_lift_loading_haulage_truckHaulage companies and owners of HGV fleets understand the importance of risk management planning to improve health and safety for drivers, customers, other road users and their own financial security.

The time and effort taken to put in place proper procedures and training will provide long term benefits including:
  • Safer loading and unloading
  • Safer driving leading to a reduction in accidents and vehicle maintenance
  • Fewer prosecutions and related costs
  • Meet legal requirements
  • Lower insurance premiums
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), almost all deaths arise from just four kinds of accident, most often during loading and unloading or maintenance of vehicles:
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle
  • Falling loads
  • Falls from vehicles
  • Collapsing or overturning vehicles
Information is taken from the HSE publication “Health and safety in road haulage”.

Over the past five years, accident reports sent to HSE and local authorities show that nearly 60 employees were killed and 5,000 were seriously injured in the haulage industry.

Employees in haulage companies, warehousing, wholesale and retail distribution are vulnerable to a variety of injuries such as simple slips, trips and falls to being struck by moving or falling objects.

HSE’s leaflet aims to help all employers in road haulage and distribution to improve their employees’ health and safety.

Although it draws on information from the haulage and distribution industry, almost everything here will apply to every operator of commercial vehicles.

Risk management
Insurers pick up the cost of accidents, damage to vehicles, legal liability and a range of other insured losses. By identifying areas of risk and implementing a framework to minimise or prevent the impact of an insured event, haulage companies can improve safety and increase profits.

Controlling risks with an emphasis on practical control and improvements to eliminate or reduce hazards are the recommendations that are put forward in the HSE’s publication.

Areas where improvements can be made include:
  • Employee training for drivers, maintenance and distribution staff
  • Telematics to help your drivers
  • Vehicle tracking, route planning and fuel management
  • Driver assessment
  • Safety devices such as cameras and autonomous emergency breaking
We can help you protect your contracting business. Simply call us on 0121 321 4600.
2017-06-18_11.42hrs_Le_Mans_IMG_5645As the Paris motor show celebrates its 120th year this month, there is no better platform to see everything that is new, innovative, sporty or luxurious in the automotive industry today and what is coming in the future.

I enjoy wandering around car shows, seeing the latest models and innovations. Whether you can afford them or not, it is the luxury end of the car market that attracts the most attention, especially the prestige luxury saloons or sports supercars.

Being a partner at an independent insurance broker, I find myself assessing the cost of insuring and owning these vehicles with an eye to minimising the high cost of insurance cover and protection from vandalism or theft on behalf of our clients.

Cut the cost of your prestige car insurance and keep your vehicle safe
There are a few simple things you can do to help reduce your car insurance, whether it is a prestige supercar or a family saloon:

Family fleet insurance
By insuring all the cars in your family under one policy you can reduce the premiums of all the vehicles in the fleet. Discounts can be up to 20% so your expensive prestige model should benefit more than the other cars in your fleet. Other benefits include a single renewal date and one set of forms for all.

Make and option packs can affect your premium
With luxury cars, it is sometimes the brand of the vehicle more than the value that can determine the insurance premium. Repair costs, availability of spare parts, location of authorised repairers and vehicle specification level can all affect your insurance premium.

Accident reducing technology
Check the specification of your new car before you buy and go for the “safety pack” that includes the latest technology such as autonomous emergency braking, rear traffic alert, lane keeping and electronic stability control, plus many more car safety features being installed in new vehicles.

On-board CCTV systems
Installing an all-round camera system can reduce insurance premiums by acting as a deterrent to theft, helping insurers to establish who is at fault in an incident, speeding up the claims process and providing vehicle tracking to recover the vehicle.

Defensive or Advanced driving skills course
Learn how to become a better driver by taking a specialist driving course that will give you the skills to become a safer driver.

Shop around to find the best deal
Discuss your next car purchase with your insurance broker who will be able to give you advice on what to think about to protect your car and can research the best insurance provider for the vehicle you are thinking of buying.

Other things that can help
Stay healthy, keep a clean driving record and, if possible, limit your annual mileage.

CLA (Risk Solutions) have a team of specialists who can advise you on the most effective ways to protect your next prestige car purchase to keep it protected and provide a competitive insurance quote.
Call 0121 321 4600 to talk to one of our team.
Autonomous_Emergency_Braking_AEDThe latest and possibly the most effective safety feature that is now being fitted in more and more new vehicles rolling off production lines is the autonomous emergency braking system (AEB).

The system works by using either radar or cameras, or a combination of both, to warn drivers if a potential collision is imminent and applies the brakes to prevent or minimise the impact.

Different technologies and options
As is usual with new technology, there are differences between the offerings of vehicle manufacturers and how these safety features are marketed and sold. Some are offering it as standard across their range of vehicles, others are including it as an optional extra. How the system works and the name of the system also differs between manufacturers.

Some use a radar system that will identify where an object is, its general shape and whether it is metal. Others use cameras, which are better at identifying the object (a pedestrian or cyclist for example) but are not very good at determining where they are. A combination of both provides the best solution.
The technology has moved on considerably since the first vehicles to be fitted with AEB came into production in 2008. At that time the system was used for slow speeds in city traffic between 2mph and 19mph to stop or reduce the effects of an impact. Now systems are smarter and apply a much greater braking force to work effectively at higher speeds.

What has not changed since AEB systems were introduced is the fact that injury and deaths are lower for vehicles fitted with AEB and some crashes can be avoided altogether.

The future of AEB
Soon, it will be realistic to expect all new vehicles to be fitted with AEB. The EU Commission has ruled that all new cars must be fitted with AEB together with other safety features from 2021. AEB is already mandatory on all new HGVs over 7.5 tonnes (since November 2015).

Thatcham Research have some interesting statistics on their website covering AEB, including accident reduction and insurance premiums.

Euro NCAP, the new car assessment programme, will not give a five-star safety rating to any car not fitted with AEB, making it even more likely that AEB will become compulsory in the future.
Can this reduce my insurance premium?

Owners of vehicles fitted with AEB can expect lower insurance premiums. Though the systems are more expensive to replace if you are involved in an accident, this is more than offset by the damage prevention the system provides by avoiding crashes.

If you are a vehicle fleet owner, the reduction per vehicle can result in substantial savings across your fleet of vehicles.

Regardless of possible cost savings, the reductions pale into insignificance against the possible injury or loss of life that can be prevented by AEB.