Insurers see drop in car thefts in Malaysia

A cannibalised Wira.

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of car thefts reported in the country has dropped by almost half over the past five years, according to the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM).

It has reduced from 70,847 cases in 2013 to 35,953 cases in 2018.

PIAM chief executive officer Mark Lim attributed the success to the concerted effort among government agencies, the private sector and the public over the years to reduce such thefts, which had also indirectly reduced the insurance claims for vehicle thefts.

“The downward trend continues, and the first six months of this year saw a further reduction in the number of such thefts.”

In 2018, there were 7,027 cases of vehicle thefts reported in the first six months and the number dropped further to 5,173 cases over the same period this year.

Lim said that Proton Wira topped the stolen cars list.

A total of 225 cases of such thefts were reported in the first six months of this year, followed by Proton Iswara (164), Perodua Kancil (123), Toyota Hilux (112), Perodua Myvi (100), Proton Waja (76), Proton Saga (68), Toyota Vellfire (65), Nissan Vanette (64) and Honda City (51).

In terms of frequency of theft of a particular model based on the number of insured models on the road, Lim said Toyota Vellfire topped the list with 65 cases followed by Toyota Alphard (29), Nissan Vanette (64), Toyota Liteace (18), Proton Perdana (22), Nissan Cefiro (four), Isuzu Trooper (four), Mitsubishi Triton (19), Toyota Hilux (112) and Proton Iswara (164).

Proton Wira topped the stolen cars list
IGLA device to foil car theft and carjacking

“Reducing the number of vehicle theft is important as it is usually the precursor to the commission of other crimes such as robbery and smuggling, ” he added.

PIAM chairman Antony Lee said insurance companies were forking out almost RM15mil in motor insurance claims every day.

“Although road fatalities decreased by 6.7% from 6,740 in 2017 to 6,284 last year, the number of road accidents continue to go up.

“Based on statistics published by the Transport Ministry, a total of 548,598 accidents were recorded in 2018, ” he said.

He added that motor insurance claims rose by 12% for the first half of this year to RM2.71bil.

He said PIAM was in talks with the Transport Ministry to find ways to reduce road accidents through the “carrot-and-stick” approach.

For example, he said, this might include rewards for drivers who have a summons-free record.

On the whole, Lee said the general insurance industry recorded a drop of 1.4% with gross direct premiums of RM8.92bil for the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year.

He added that further liberalisation of the insurance industry would help buffer the effect of a slower growth due to external economic factors such as the ongoing US-China trade war.
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