Every half hour there is a car burglary in Austria. We tell you the best tips against theft from the car and when the insurance pays.
Cell phones, laptops, expensive clothes, sat navs, wallets – when it comes to the security of their valuables in the car, Austrians are negligent. A study by the Curatorship for Traffic Safety shows that around 60% of all Carinthians have valuables lying open in their cars.
It is not uncommon to see smartphones in the center console, navigation systems on the windshield or a handbag on the passenger seat. It seems that many Austrians have great confidence in the security of their vehicle.
Yet in Austria, a car is broken into about every half hour. Valuables left in the car are an invitation to thieves.
And robbers find what they are looking for in every fourth parked car. Some car owners make it particularly easy for thieves: they forget to lock the car or leave the window ajar.
Theft from the car – the most popular finds
At the top of the thieves' wish list are smartphones, sat navs and cell phones. Handbags are also very interesting, as documents and money can usually be found here. But expensive clothes and jewelry also quickly end up in the thieves' pockets.
Sports equipment, USB sticks, MP3 players and keys are also often kept in the car.
When does the insurance pay in case of theft from the car??
First, the good news: damage to the car caused by breaking open or smashing windows is covered by partial coverage insurance.
However, many valuables such as laptops, cell phones or even navigation systems are excluded from partial cover insurance.
Theft of luggage can be covered by additional insurance. However, this only applies if the car was demonstrably locked. If windows or doors were open and the car was not locked, this is considered gross negligence. The insurance does not cover the damage caused by the theft from the car.
A distinction is made between fixed parts of the vehicle and additional objects. Anyone who had CDs, tablets or sunglasses left in the car can contact their household insurance provider. The comprehensive insurance does not pay this damage.
In the car, luggage is insured during the day only in the locked trunk. It must not be visible from the outside.
Important: If items are stolen from your car, report it to the police immediately.
This is how you can protect yourself against theft from your car
If you want to protect your property and valuables, you must know that a locked car is no obstacle to a thief. With practiced robbers, the car is opened in just a few steps and in 5 seconds minute. 20 seconds later the valuables are already gone.
A car is not a safe. Valuables should never be obviously left in the car. A good example is a handbag on the passenger seat, a navigation system on the windshield or a smartphone in the center console.
9 tips against burglary in the car
- Never leave valuables in plain sight. If there is no other way, lock your belongings in the trunk, which is not visible from the outside
- Always remove the navigation system and its device from the windshield
- Make sure you don't have a print of the sat nav suction cup on the windshield – a thief could interpret that as an invitation
- Always close all windows, doors and the trunk
- Check whether the doors of the vehicle are really locked
- Never leave the spare key in the vehicle
- Take all documents and IDs with you – including the registration certificate
- Lock the car even in the garage
- Have an alarm system installed – of course, this is not mandatory, but it will deter one or two robbers.
Theft on vacation – beware of travel insurance via credit cards
You should pay particular attention when you are on vacation. Because cars of vacationers are particularly popular. They are often packed with valuables and other interesting finds.
Even if travel insurance is included in your credit card, you need to look closely at the terms and conditions. Some will only cover the damage if paid for with the card within a certain amount of time.
Even the word "journey" needs to be looked at closely. For many credit card companies, an exit is only considered a trip if it is more than 20 kilometers from the place of residence.
No insurance coverage is available for jewelry, watches, cameras and their accessories.
Our Bottom Line:
If you leave your valuables unattended in your car, you're giving thieves a run for their money. Don't make it easier for thieves than it usually is for them anyway.