Claims for thefts of Land Rover Defenders have risen in the North East.
NFU Mutual revealed that claims costs for Land Rover Defenders rose by 69 per cent, up to £760,000 from 2014 to 2015 in the region.
The North East has the highest cost of Land Rover Defender theft claims in 2015, followed by the Midlands at £235,000.
NFU Mutual, a rural insurer, is urging owners of Land Rover Defenders in the North East to increase security measures and be vigilant to thieves to reduce the risk of their vehicles, or parts of their vehicles, being stolen.
Across the UK, Land Rover Defender theft claims cost the insurer £1.8million in 2015, an increase of 8 per cent since 2014.
This comes as the last of the iconic model rolled off the production line in January this year.
Clive Harris, Agricultural Vehicle Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “The Defender is no longer in production which has prompted a greater demand, making them a bigger target for thieves.
“I urge Land Rover Defender owners to be vigilant and be on their guard.
“Owners should ensure they have adequate security measures in place and consider fitting an after-market approved immobiliser and a tracking device if possible.
“When not in use Defenders should be parked in a garage or a secure area which is well lit if possible.
“Never leave keys in the ignition and keep keys out of sight at home and when out in public areas; it’s essential that easy opportunities are taken away from thieves.”
NFU Mutual has provided top tips for securing a Land Rover Defender:
- Fit a mechanical immobiliser such as a Thatcham approved steering or pedal lock.
- Fit an alarm for added security and consider adding a tracking device.
- Thieves will target component parts so consider marking them using a forensic marking solution or system.
- Keep the vehicle in a lockable building or park in well-lit areas, which are overlooked.
- Have the vehicle identification number etched on windows.
- Consider fitting a hidden battery isolation or a fuel cut-off switch.
- Take photographs of unusual features, modifications, damage or repairs which could aid identification if stolen.
- Ensure any valuables are removed from the vehicle, including sat navs.