Car owners have been warned to turn on their anti-theft trackers or risk missing out on insurance payouts if their vehicle is stolen.
Insurers are in some cases refusing to pay out for stolen cars that have been fitted with inactive anti-theft hardware. Experts have warned that some dealers are letting down customers by failing to explain important features when selling vehicles.
In one case, a customer was told that his stolen Range Rover Velar, which cost £65,000, was not eligible for a pay out because the tracker had not been activated.
“I was galled 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, 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.
“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 perquisite for insurance cover and could mean that theft claims are not paid if both aren’t in place.”
Admiral, Britain’s biggest car insurer, said it has also dealt with cases involving inactive trackers. “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.”