A surge in vehicle thefts, including keyless car crime, has led to motor insurers paying out £1 million per day, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
ABI reported that a new vehicle theft claim is now being made every six minutes.
The figures reflect rising vehicle crime, with the UK Home Office recording a 50% rise in vehicle thefts over the past five years.
The cost of vehicle thefts (including from a vehicle) rose to £376 million last year.
The cost of all motor claims paid, including property damage, personal injury and theft, was more than £8.6 billion in 2018. This was up by nearly £5 billion pounds on 2017, to a record annual high. The average overall claim was £3,082.
Some £4.8 billion was paid out in vehicle repairs last year—this includes repairing the policyholder’s vehicle or that of a third party and providing a replacement.
Laurenz Gerger, ABI’s motor policy adviser, said: “The resurgence in car crime is worrying. The record amounts paid to motorists by their insurers in part reflects the vulnerability of some cars to keyless relay theft. Action by motor manufacturers to tackle this high-tech vulnerability, allied with owners taking some simple, inexpensive precautions will help reverse this unwelcome trend.”
“Despite rising vehicle crime, UK motorists continue to get the most from a very competitive motor insurance market, which saw the average premium fall in 2018, the first annual decrease since 2014. But with cost pressures around theft and repairs remaining, implementing the Civil Liability Act is crucial to delivering a fairer compensation system for claimants and reducing high legal costs, to help ensure competitively priced motor insurance.”