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Updated: Nov 24, 2022

A New Threat

There is growing evidence that shows third parties and thieves of today and the near future, can and could use various methods to access a vehicles systems. Not only the security systems but all systems including safety.

Thieves today are able to manipulate vehicle systems and software, so that it is becoming increasingly difficult to detect possible fraud or actual theft.

With the current engines emissions standards for all motorcycles, cars, vans, trucks, construction plant / agricultural equipment. there could be access into a vehicles systems that could be exploited by thieves.

Insurers and the public are taking the risk whilst the unknowns are mounting up.

How will an investigator or the Police decipher what the crime is?

Is it theft? Or is it possible fraud?

Organised Crime Gangs (OCG’s) have become adept at countering the security systems, we have seen a rise in the layers of protection as listed below:

  • Door Locks

  • Door Shielding

  • Dead Locking

  • Alarm Systems

  • Immobilisation

  • Locking Wheel Devices

  • Steering Locks/Transmission Locks

  • Vehicle Tracking

But now thieves are striking back! How can you protect your customers?

It can be seen, that once the potential target vehicle has been identified by the Organised Crime Gang (OCG) the method to steal the vehicle or equipment can be planned. The vehicles systems can be overcome by commercially available devices which can change or deactivate the following vehicle security systems even with Thatcham assessed and listed systems:

  1. Component Substitution

  2. Software Manipulation

  3. On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)

  4. Hacking

  5. Keyless Theft

By manipulating these systems, the vehicle will allow starting and then to be moved under its own power without the correct key or in some cases no key at all. These devices would appear to be available to anyone to purchase through internet sites with no questions asked.

For all the technology manufacturers use, thieves are now using more high tech methods to steal vehicles; it may be possible for the thief to adapt to compromise the vehicles systems to steal to order a range of vehicles from a Ford Fiesta to a Range Rover.

Unfortunately manufacturers are tied to legislation whereas the OCG’s are not, this gives the OCG’s much more freedom to adapt and make changes.

With the Global market growth for vehicle parts and the repair methods enabling less time consuming repairs, thieves are able to break vehicles and equipment quickly and quietly.

How do you as an insurer tell where the new panel came to repair your customers car? Are you paying twice?

Manufacturers build vehicles for differing parts of a Global Market. Not vehicles for one marketplace.

How do you tell your customer is trying to commit fraud?

Triage of Vehicle & Equipment Theft Claims


The service can be provided in three forms:

  1. Emailing of claims where there is doubt that the customer statement is correct.

  2. Emailing of claims where there is doubt that the vehicle data is correct.

  3. Emailing of claims where there is a possibility of a new device being used.

In either case, only the method of submission changes, the processing methods are identical.

Objectives of the Service:

  1. To significantly reduce the risk of paying out for fraudulent theft claims, by: a) Confirming that the vehicle theft claim matched the M.O’s that are currently reported. b) Confirming that the vehicle security systems are vulnerable to the claim. c) Confirming that the vehicles security systems operate against the methods stated by the claimant.

  2. To ‘speed up’ the process by which companies can cleanse theft claims.

Method of Operation

  1. Incoming requests to contain: – Reference number – MO – VRM – Make – Model – VIN

  2. VSST responses to contain: – Reference number – VRM – VIN – Make – Model – MO Confirmation

Technology Changes Over the Last 30 Years

How will you deal/verify your theft claims?

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