Santam insists on device for high-risk vehicles

Santam, the country's largest short-term insurer, has put up a condition if it is to continue to insure Citi Golf vehicles and related models: that all new or existing policies where the models are involved be fitted with an approved tracking option.

Santam, the country's largest short-term insurer, has put up a condition if it is to continue to insure Citi Golf vehicles and related models: that all new or existing policies where the models are involved be fitted with an approved tracking option.

The short-term insurance industry was shocked about a week ago by Hollard Insurance Company's announcement that it would no longer insure Citi Golf (Golf 1, 2004 - 2006) models because of their high risk in terms of hijacking and theft.

The insurer's announcement that it would no longer take new policies for Citi Golfs manufactured between 2004 and last year will affect about 2000 policyholders.

The company, which said it would continue to cover other VW Golf models, insures more than 6million vehicles.

Zuriel Naicker, Hollard's spokesman, said the company was phasing out these models because the premiums would be unfair for other customers if the company insured their increasing theft risk.

These vehicles are known in some townships and suburbs as the Take-away, or more correctly, the German take-away.

In a move, which might have upset VW especially because of the low market of new car sales due to steadily rising interest rates, Santam agreed to insure drivers of these models provided that all new or existing policies where City Golfs are added (all models) be fitted with an approved tracking option.

Herman de Meyer, manager of underwriting at Santam, said Santam was aware that Citi Golf cars posed a high-theft risk, hence the company had decided to help its clients protect their cars by requesting the installation of a tracking device.

According to De Meyer, all Citi Golfs and similar models have to be fitted with the tracking system as from the beginning of this month.

This requirement applies to new clients and new items on existing policies.

While no action has yet been taken regarding existing clients who drive Citi Golfs, he says that the company will monitor the situation closely and might extend the requirement in the future.

He says Santam has negotiated a favourable tracking option with City Golf owners in order to provide a cost-effective means of protecting their vehicles against theft.

Though several vehicle insurance and tracker companies admit that they compile private lists of high-risk vehicles, Hollard's refusal to insure a car in its entirety is a first, according to the Retail Motor Industry.

In the meantime, Hollard says it has partnered with VW and have developed an after-market security device which is now available from VW dealerships.

If your car has this specific security device fitted, it will be covered, Hollard said.

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