Metropolitan Police statistics from 2007 show that gadgets like sat nav units and mobile phones have become big money for car thieves. And with harder financial times ahead for many, this area of crime is likely to increase.
According to those figures, theft of sat navs from vehicles rose 154% between April 2006 and April 2007 – that’s more than double. And sat navs aren’t the only gadgets attracting thieves to your car. MP3 players, DVD players and digital cameras are among the items most often reported stolen from vehicles.
The worst part of losing your sat nav or DVD player from your car is that it will usually end up costing you far more than just the cost of replacing the gadget. You’ll also be paying for the cost of repairing broken windows or popped locks, or however the thief gained entry to your car. If you make a claim against your car insurancepolicy for the repairs and replacement, you could lose your no claims bonus and may face higher premiums for years to come.
Knowing all this, you’d think that the savvy driver would take measures to avoid putting out a welcome mat for thieves, but surveys point to the opposite. An industry survey showed that an incredible 96% of drivers regularly leave their electronic gadgets in their cars when they park them. As if that’s not bad enough, an unbelievable 1 of every 3 drivers surveyed admitted that they leave their gadgets in full view inside their vehicle. The results? An incredible 21% of drivers surveyed – more than one in every five – have had at least one electronic gadget stolen from their vehicle.
Mobile phones, sat navs, MP3 players and other electronics are a veritable treasure trove for today’s brand of thieves. They’re often left in full view on the front seat or dash of a car. It’s only a matter of seconds for an opportunist to break a window and be off with your sat nav tucked into a pocket or under a shirt. Those goodies are easy to steal and easy to sell off, since they’re in such high demand.
Save Your Sat Nav – And Some Cash
One UK car insurer isn’t taking the situation laying down. At swiftcover.com, the UK’s only completely online insurance company, they’ve added a new cover option to their car insurance. For a small extra premium of around £30, you can purchase gadget cover when you purchase their car insurance. The small gadgets cover will replace your in-car items if they’re stolen from your car or damaged accidentally. That’s a cheap price to pay to cover hundreds of pounds worth of equipment that you might use every day.
The small gadgets cover from swiftcover.com will cover items like mobile phones, PDAs, satellite navigation systems, MP3 players, safety camera locators, portable games consoles, digital cameras, camcorders and portable DVD players.
Of course, the best form of protection is prevention. Before you get out of your car, make it a practice to pick up any gadgets on your dash or seats and stow them in the glove box or the boot. That one simple habit can reduce your chances of being a smash-and-grab target dramatically.