What if your car/motorcycle is stolen? Which models are most stolen?

Car theft rates in Hong Kong are not high compared to many other cities, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still be very disappointed if your personal car or motorcycle is stolen. How many cars are stolen in Hong Kong every year? What should you do if your car is stolen? If you end up not finding your car, will the insurer compensate you for your loss? Are personal belongings of your car also covered by the insurance? The car insurance experts at Kwiksure will answer the above questions for you today.

Vehicle thefts are up 40% compared to the same period last year

According to Hong Kong police, there were 546 cases of car theft in the first nine months of 2022 – an increase of 154 cases (39.3%) compared to 392 cases in the same period last year. Over the past ten years, there have been an average of 400-600 cases per year.

Source: Hong Kong Police

Which models are often stolen?

Depending on the car model and brand, hybrid cars and Japanese seven-passenger cars are generally more at risk. Criminals steal cars for parts, which are then resold for a profit, or they put on fake license plates for other criminal purposes. The catalytic converter attached to the exhaust pipe of the hybrid car contains precious metals, so it is sought after on the second-hand market. Similarly, Japanese 7-passenger cars can be used by criminals for activities such as site visits and transporting stolen property because they are simple and low-profile.

Four Ways to Prevent Personal Car Theft

1. Park your car in a parking lot with security

Car thieves often look for targets in the middle of the night on quiet streets or low-security parking lots. It usually takes a few minutes to open the door and ignition switch to steal the car, after which the thief will drive the car to a ready location or warehouse to disassemble it and remove the parts. Thus, to reduce the risk of theft, the first thing is to avoid parking your car overnight in a very quiet street. Instead, it is better to park in a parking lot with security and CCTV.

2. Install an automatic upload car cam

You can also install a reliable anti-theft system in your car, especially a video camera that stores files in the cloud.

3. Lock the doors before leaving your car

To make the most of the available space, some parking lot operators will ask the driver for the car keys so they can move the car. Some thieves will pretend to be the car owner, trick parking lot staff for the car keys, and then drive the car away. Similarly, they can approach a car with the key in the door or a car with the door open. So, it’s best to park in a high-security parking lot or garage and make sure the car is locked when you leave it so that criminals have no access to it.

4. Avoid leaving valuables behind

It’s common knowledge that keeping your belongings out of plain sight can reduce the risk of your car becoming a target for thieves.

Four anti-theft systems for motorcycles

1. Wheel lock

Locking the wheel can increase the time it takes for a thief to steal your car because even if the thief succeeds in breaking the ignition switch, he will have to push the motorcycle away to unlock the wheel. Thieves are always looking for easy targets and a wheel lock will add an extra layer of security to your motorcycle.

2. Cover your car

A motorcycle cover prevents thieves from knowing the make and model of your motorcycle at a glance, so they can’t tell if your motorcycle is expensive. Moreover, a cover protects your car from sunlight and rain. But don’t cover your car in case of a typhoon, otherwise, the cover acts like a parachute and your motorcycle may fall!

3. Use the motorcycle cover lock

It is recommended that you use car cover locks on both the front and back of your motorcycle, as even motorcycle covers can be a target for thieves.

5. Use anti-theft items

Really determined criminals can simply lift the motorcycle themselves to the connecting vehicle. In that situation, the three anti-theft measures mentioned above will fail. With this in mind, we recommend that you use a disc brake lock to make it more difficult for thieves to push your motorcycle away.

Some disc brake locks are also equipped with an alarm device. If the lock senses vibration, the alarm will continue to beep. In the case of GPS anti-theft systems, they can help locate your motorcycle if it is stolen.

Tip: When buying a used car, verify the vehicle’s origin before taking delivery, to avoid buying a stolen car!

What type of car insurance should I buy to protect against car theft?

Generally speaking, comprehensive car insurance already covers damage caused by car theft. You can also consider buying fire insurance and theft insurance on top of third party motor insurance. Don’t forget to pay attention to the deductible amount in case of car theft.

What are the insurance claims and compensation procedures after a vehicle is stolen?

Once a vehicle is confirmed stolen and not recovered, the insurer will hire an appraiser to value the vehicle, then deduct applicable deductibles (including but not limited to the theft deductible) to arrive at the final amount of compensation. The whole process usually takes 4-6 weeks.

Will there be compensation for other things lost in car theft?

All personal items and equipment not original to the stolen vehicle will not be covered, unless they are specified and approved by the insurer at the time of application for coverage (eg premium stereo).

How to Calculate NCD for Stolen Car

In Hong Kong, No Claim Discount (NCD) is linked to people and not vehicles, so even if a car is stolen and not found, the owner can still transfer the old car’s NCD to a new car. If the owner secures comprehensive motor insurance and claims compensation for the stolen vehicle, the NCD will be deducted by 30% (ie 50% NCD to 20% NCD). On the other hand, if you secure a third party motor policy and your vehicle is stolen, the NCD can be fully transferred to another vehicle in your name as there will be no claim.

Who is the owner of the stolen car when recovered later?

After an insurer pays compensation for a stolen vehicle, if the original owner later recovers the vehicle (for example, the police returns the vehicle to the owner after the case is settled), he must immediately notify the insurer since it is already stipulated in the policy document that the insured property is now of the insurer.

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