Insurers warn of new car anti-theft device


The Insurance Crime Bureau has warned of a rise in car thefts by criminal syndicates using a method known as a ‘relay attack’. This device targets next-generation cars with keyless entry and ignition technology.

It’s different from the known signal jamming device, which prevents the car from locking so that criminals can gain access to the vehicle. This new device gives criminals access to the vehicle to copy the signal, which means they can unlock and start the car, and drive away.

The device, examples of which police have confiscated, intercepts signals sent by the key fob while it searches for the linked car, allowing criminals to open it and steal the contents or even the vehicle itself. same.

Wynand van Vuuren, head of customer experience at King Price Insurance, says the company’s customers will be covered for theft of their cars thanks to these new relay attacks. However, laptops and other items stolen in this manner will only be covered if specified as portable property.

It is not necessary for a customer to prove that such a device was used for the car to be stolen or accessed. All they have to show is that the car was insured against theft and the premiums are paid. If the car is stolen, how it was stolen has nothing to do with the customer, and the customer has no responsibility to prove how it was done, van Vuuren said.

It is also important to check if your policy contains an exclusion stating that high value items are only covered for theft from a car when there are visible signs of a break-in to the vehicle.

According to King Price, the easiest way to avoid a relay attack is to disable the keyless entry feature if you’re in a high-risk area. This process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

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