Drivers warned to activate anti-theft trackers as insurers refuse pay outs on stolen cars
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Insurers are in some cases refusing to pay out for stolen cars that have been fitted with anti-theft devices that have not been activated, or have lapsed subscriptions.
One driver even lost a staggering £65,000 when their Range Rover was stolen, because their insurer said they were not eligible for a claim having failed to activate their tracker.
Car owners have been warned to turn on the devices or risk missing out on insurance payouts if their vehicle is stolen.
Experts have warned that some dealers are failing motorists by not pointing out important anti-theft features when selling vehicles.
The owner of the Range Rover Velar, which cost £65,000, was not eligible for a payout because the tracker had not been activated.
He said: “I was glad to be told that the activation of the tracker was something I could have done in less than a minute.”
“The dealership is saying it was my responsibility to activate my tracker subscription,” he told The Telegraph’s Katie Morley Investigates column.
Zurich, the insurer in question, said: “Tracking devices play an integral role in the event of a theft, alerting you to the location of a vehicle within seconds.
“However, some customers inadvertently forget to either register the tracker at the point of purchase or maintain a valid subscription.”
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They added: “You can’t assume that just because you have a tracker on a vehicle that it will work in the event of a theft if you haven’t done both.
“For some of our customers it’s a prerequisite for insurance cover and could mean that theft claims are not paid if both aren’t in place.”
Meanwhile, Admiral, Britain’s biggest car insurer, said it has also dealt with cases involving inactive trackers.
They said: “We have had some claims we’ve dealt with in the last year where a customer has had a tracker fitted, but the subscription wasn’t active. We deal with each one on a case by case basis and in many cases the claim has been settled in full.”
Jack Cousens, Head of roads policy at the AA, said: “Clearly if there is something as fundamental as a security tracker then retailers must make sure they activate it before handing over the keys.
That way it is crystal clear to customers and it wouldn’t take more than five minutes.
“Some sellers will go over and beyond and walk you through all the features and technology.
“The flipside is that others are just there to sell you a vehicle and move on to the next customer as quickly as possible.”
Many newer vehicles are actually factory-fitted with anti-theft trackers, and these can help lower insurance premiums.
Some insurers will in fact insist that more expensive vehicles have the technology installed before offering cover.
There are a range of different devices that drivers can choose from to have fitted to an existing car.
In some cases they can result in a large discount on an insurance policy.
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