Wikipedia defines jamming in dance culture as a kind of informal show-off during a social dance party. Dancers clear a circle (jam circle or dance circle) and dancers or dance couples take turns showing their best tricks while the remaining dancers cheer the jammers on.

It now seems that criminals have taken jamming to a whole new level, where personal items can be removed from your car without much effort and there usually isn’t anyone cheering them on! Well, we hope not.

Many questions and issues have arisen in respect of how car jamming affects our lives and those of our clients. We would like to take this opportunity to not dance around the issue and get straight down to some important issues:

Car jamming is the name given to the technique used, when criminals use a remote device operating on the same frequency as your car’s remote locking system, to prevent you from locking your vehicle.

These acts are executed by professional gangs or syndicates and they know exactly what they are doing. As you attempt to remotely lock your vehicle, the criminals activate their device, rendering the locking system on your vehicle inoperable. You then walk away from your car none the wiser. Up to now there are no counter measures to stop the jamming, as car remotes are electronic transmitters.

These gangs operate throughout the country and we have had incidents in Scottburgh and surrounds where car jamming has taken place. Car jamming incidents are not limited to major mall parking areas.

What are the implications in terms of your short term insurance portfolio, if you fall victim of car jamming?

The reality is that unless there are signs of forcible and or violent entry, into the vehicle, most insurance policies won’t pay out claims for theft of valuables from your unattended vehicle.

The Ombudsman for Short-Term insurance has ruled that if clients were to suffer any loss due to a remote jamming scam, their claims would be rejected because they were supposed to check whether their cars were indeed locked first before walking away.

The Ombudsman stated that motorists should not assume that their cars were locked merely because they pushed a button.

If there is no forcible and or violent entry into the unattended vehicle, there is no claim. It is imperative that all reasonable precaution be taken by you to ensure that the vehicle is securely locked.

Tips on safeguarding your personal items in the vehicle:

  • Make sure you hear the beep of the car alarm and the audible sound of the locking mechanism and physically check your doors to ensure that they are locked
  • Don’t carry unnecessary valuables in your car
  • Make sure that valuables are not visible from within the vehicle, the valuables are out of view, or concealed in a locked boot or locked compartment.
  • Be on the lookout for suspicious people or activity in the vicinity of the vehicle.

Should you require more information on how your short term insurance portfolio can be tailor made to suit your needs, we kindly invite you to contact either Marius Marais or Warren du Preez at the Scottburgh office.