Anti-theft car devices and other ways to keep your car secure

Posted on: 26 March 2021 at 2:03 pm

Depending on your location, an anti-theft car device is vital to stop you from worrying about the safety of your car.   With so many products currently available, it can be hard to choose the right device for your car. To make the task easier, we have researched the possible options. If you are interested in learning how to prevent car theft, please read on.

Different types of anti-car-theft devices

The products you will find in the anti-theft device category can have a wide range of applications and features. Some are pretty basic solutions for disabling your car, while other systems provide more technologically advanced protection. Some devices even permit you to track your vehicle if it is the victim of a theft. Here are the various kinds of anti-car-theft devices and a brief summary of how they work so you can choose the ones you need for your vehicle: 

1. Electronic tracking systems

These systems are activated when the owner reports the car as stolen. The company tracks the car’s movements and alerts the police so that they can capture the thieves and recover the vehicle.

2. Tyre lock

This hangs on the tyre to prevent the car from being moved, and it must be removed before you can drive the car.

Usually used by police services to immobilize vehicles belonging to drivers who have not paid for their parking tickets, an anti-theft device is also used as an anti-theft device. This is because thieves cannot drive the car with such a device in place, which effectively immobilizes the tyre.

3. Steering wheel locks

This device is fitted on the car’s steering wheel to firmly lock it into position. It is impossible to drive the vehicle until it is removed.

A popular version of this type of device is ‘The Club’, which operates by fitting between the rim of the steering wheel. When required, you can extend it by locking the handles securely in place around the steering wheel’s rim. The device’s length restricts the steering wheel from turning a full rotation.

4. Bonnet lock

This lock is designed to prevent criminals from accessing the engine under the bonnet; many thieves are interested in stealing batteries and other valuable car parts.

Bonnet locks are similar to the bonnet pins you may have seen on certain muscle cars. The main variation is that the bonnet locks lock securely into positions and cannot be opened without the special key. While a bonnet (or hood lock for those in the USA) won’t stop a criminal from stealing your car, it can stop them from pilfering internal components.

5. Electronic immobilizers

Many modern cars include an immobilizer on the car key. This is capable of sending a signal to the ignition to prevent the vehicle from starting without the key.

It works by blocking the fuel system so the engine won’t start when the ignition is turned on. Known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), this technology utilises an electromagnetic field to track key fobs with an RFID chip assigned to that vehicle. Without the correct RFID chip, the vehicle will not start.

6. Kill switch

A kill switch is designed to instantly immobilize the car’s electrical system. This device is often automatically activated after the car is locked and the owner has to perform a series of routines before it will unlock.

Kill switch devices usually include a wire and a mini-toggle switch, along with installation instructions. The switch is very small, so you can hide it anywhere in the front interior of the car. If a criminal tries to hotwire your car they will not be able to get it started.

A nice feature is the fact that kill switches don’t require an in-depth knowledge of the vehicle to install. The kill switch can be fitted under the seat or dashboard or another hiding place.

7. A traditional car alarm

A car alarm is designed to activate after something has happened to the vehicle, such as someone breaking a window – or nudging against it accidentally in a car park in oversensitive systems. Many alarms are supplied with warning stickers to help deter criminals.

If the worst happens and your car is stolen, it is essential to have valid car insurance. Got2Insure aims to make buying your car insurance simple and straightforward. Contact Got2Insure for a free quote today.

Your guide to staying safe on smart motorways in the UK

Posted on: 2 March 2021 at 4:56 pm
smart motorway

A smart motorway is a section of a motorway that uses traffic management methods to increase capacity and reduce congestion in particularly busy areas. These methods include using the hard shoulder as a running lane and using variable speed limits to control traffic flow. Highways England (previously the Highways Agency) developed smart motorways to manage traffic in a way that minimises environmental impact, cost and time to construct by avoiding the need to build additional lanes. 

What different types of smart motorway are there?

The three different types of smart motorway currently include:

  • All lane running’ schemes
  • Dynamic hard shoulder’ schemes
  • Controlled motorway’ schemes

Smart motorways are designed to improve safety and traffic flow. That is why they are a prestige project of the government. However, are they actually increasing the number of accidents on UK roads? Some think so. 

Using a combination of both sensors and digital signs, they guide traffic along the roads to avoid any traffic jams. In the future, the smart motorway will be the basis for autonomous driving. But for now there is some sharp criticism of how effective and safe smart motorways are in the UK. 

Many victims within a few kilometres

There have been 38 deaths on networked sections in the past five years. The total number of accidents is significantly higher, plus there are countless near-crashes occurring more frequently. The BBC has reported that only around 320 kilometres of the 3700 kilometres of the motorway network are equipped with intelligent traffic management systems.

Apparently, those responsible believe that the many digital displays are too confusing, especially in the modernised sections that do not have a hard shoulder – because this is used to achieve a better flow of traffic. Anyone who breaks down has to stop in moving traffic and can therefore increase the risk of an incident greatly.

The number of dangerous situations has increased dramatically

The danger is clear from an example: a section of the M25 motorway near London. Since the modernisation, the number of near-accidents there has increased dramatically. In the previous five years, there were 72 dangerous situations; in the following five years, there were 1,485 near-accidents – that is, 20 times as many.

On top of that, an inquiry revealed that a warning sign on the section had not been in operation for a full 336 days.

Now those responsible are reacting. An investigation should show how the sections can be made safer quickly. Among other things, it is expected that the hard shoulder will no longer be used in the future.

Follow our tips to drive safely on smart motorways:

  • Never drive in a lane marked with a ‘red X’ Motorists caught by the cameras driving in lanes with a ‘red X’ will receive three penalty points on their driving licence and face a fine of up to £100
  • Always stick to the speed limit displayed on the gantries
  • Never drive over the thick white line that marks the hard shoulder, unless clearly instructed.
  • A broken white line indicates a normally operational lane
  • If your vehicle encounters difficulties, such as a warning light or makes juddering noises, immediately exit the smart motorway if at all possible and stop as soon as it is safe to do so.

What are Emergency Refuge Areas?

Emergency refuge areas (ERAs), or SOS areas, are intended to act as places of refuge for vehicles on roads that don’t have hard shoulders. They are often painted a bright highly visible orange and are located at intervals of 1.5 miles on smart motorways.

What should I do if I break down on a smart motorway?

If your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an incident on a smart motorway, follow these steps:

  • Use an ERA if possible;
  • Use your hazard lights.
  • If you are in the ERA or on the nearside ALWAYS exit the vehicle and stay well behind the crash barrier. And turn your steering wheel full lock to the left

If you cannot reach the closest ERA or leave your vehicle safely, you should:

  • Move on to the verge if it doesn’t have a safety barrier, and you can do so safely;
  • Turn on your hazard warning lights

If you cannot get to a verge or a nearside lane, remain in your car and dial 999. Keep your seatbelt on.

If the worst happens, and you are involved in an accident on a smart motorway or any other type of public highway, it is essential – and a legal duty – to have valid insurance.

How do car insurance claims work?

Posted on: 29 January 2021 at 4:00 pm
how is car insurance fault decided?

Needing to make an insurance claim is always stressful, and even though it may seem clear cut, deciding who is at fault isn’t as straightforward as it may seem, – at least from the perspective of the insurers. Deciding who is at fault, isn’t solely about deciding who is to blame – the ongoing financial consequences can last a long time.

The communications between both parties’ insurers to determine liability starts in the immediate aftermath of an incident. It is not unusual for the matter to be unresolved several months later, even if you have fully comprehensive insurance. Why does this matter? The truth is with increased premiums and the loss of your no claims bonus, liability can have a financial effect on you and your insurer, so it’s worthwhile understanding the factors involved in determining liability.

how is car insurance fault decided?

How do car insurance claims work?

Both claims handlers will gather evidence to create an accurate picture of the incident to back up the version of events supplied by their policyholder. If there is a clear dispute, evidence can be used to determine liability and resolve differences.

Make your case as strong as possible

The quality of the evidence is vital as it will help your claims handler build a case on your behalf:

Have a dashcam;

Use a smartphone to take pictures of the accident’s immediate aftermath – the impact on each vehicle, witnesses, skid mark on the road etc. Voice recordings at the scene can also help to provide valuable evidence.

What is the next step if no one is prepared to accept liability?

Insurance providers usually attempt to negotiate a settlement between themselves, even in disputed cases.

Occasionally, specialist claims investigators are appointed to perform more detailed follow-up investigations to determine liability. Going to court is rare because of the costs involved and the uncertainty of the outcome.

Could my claim be settled on a 50/50 basis?

If there is no evidence and neither party wants to go to court, a 50/50 basis is a good compromise. However, this will lead to an at-fault claim on your insurance record with the associated increase in premiums.

Can your insurer decide the outcome of a claim?

Yes, even if you strongly feel that you weren’t responsible for an accident, most policies enable a claims handler to settle a claim despite your opinion.

What can I do if I disagree with my insurer’s decision?

You should contact your Insurer and ask them to explain to you the rational of their decision. If you still think that your insurer’s decision is unfair, you can submit a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. It isn’t their role to re-investigate the accident, but they will look carefully at the insurer’s decision and check that it was reasonable.

What happens if the other driver wasn’t insured?

If you claim against an uninsured driver, the cost of the claim comes from the MIB (Motor Insurance Bureau). Members of the MIB pay a fee, since the 1988 Road Traffic Act all insurers who underwrite motor insurance must be members, the cost of this fee is translated into your premiums.

However, if you have a Got2Inure policy your no claims discount will not be affected if you are able to identify the uninsured driver by providing the following:

  • You are able to provide the make, model and registration number of the other car involved;
  • Provide the name and address of the offending driver;
  • We can establish that you were not at fault in any way.

Open Claims?

It is important to divulge your claims history to your insurance company. Including any open claims you may have. Misrepresentation of your claim history can lead to the insurance company invalidating your policy and subsequently not covering your claim.

The importance of having realistic expectations

Unless you have concrete evidence for a clear-cut accident, it’s always wise to take a pragmatic approach of the insurance claims process. Even though it is in your insurance company’s interest to achieve a no-fault settlement, this is not always possible.

Founded by senior Motor Insurance Executives, Got2Insure believe in making your car insurance simple and straightforward. Our comprehensive policy is 5* Defaqto rated. Contact us to make a claim or for a quote to see how much you could save.