November 16, 2023

Protect yourself against carjacking and robbery during the holidays

By: Sharon Paterson, CEO of Infiniti Insurance

As the festive season has kicked off and everyone is preparing for their holidays, holidaymakers need to take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety on the roads, especially when it comes to hijackings.

It is no secret that in recent years, South Africa has experienced an increasing number of hijackings. According to the latest crime statistics, the annual total for hijackings in South Africa has reached its highest point ever. The official crime statistics of the South African Police Services showed that reported carjackings increased by 8% in 2022/23, recording 22,742 cases.

Motorists traveling to their various destinations this festive season will be more concerned about their road safety. Car hijacking has become a nightmare for motorists as the perpetrators use different modus operandi every year. In the recent common trend of vehicle hijackings, victims are usually motorists driving expensive vehicles such as SUVs and newer model cars. In most common cases, victims get robbed of their valuables such as laptops and cellphone devices and are forced to transfer a considerable amount of cash using their banking APPs on their phones.

These trends expose motorists to a high financial risk if they do not have comprehensive motor insurance coverage to protect themselves in case, they find themselves in these unfortunate circumstances. Ensure that your licence, car and trailer are in good condition, and you’ve got the spare wheels in case of emergency.

“Motorists must check with their insurance provider prior to their journey to make sure they have the correct type of insurance and that they are covered in the event of a carjacking,” says Sharon Paterson, CEO of Infiniti Insurance.

“Clients must find out if their insurer requires additional security features or tracking devices to be fitted to their car. If required, motorists must fit the necessary security features or tracking devices into their cars and be sure to do so within the timeframe given by their insurers to ensure that the policies remain in place. Your broker will be able to assist you to clarify the security requirements,” Paterson advises.

“Most importantly, read your insurance policy carefully to understand what is covered, so that you know what to expect if your car is stolen. Your insurance policy will outline what is or is not covered in the event of a carjacking.”

In addition to the risks of financial loss, Paterson says there is a risk of personal injury if the carjacking does not go according to the plan. “We encourage all motorists to be vigilant on the roads, at all times and take notice of suspicious people and cars around you so that you reach your holiday destinations safely and enjoy your well-deserved break,” she concludes.

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