Ramraids: Insurance companies urge companies to protect themselves

Insurance companies are warning businesses and car owners to take preventative action as ramraid crimes increase.

There was 123 raids across Auckland last year, and this year there were already 75 in the city last week. While businesses in Palmerston North, Hawke’s Bay and Christchurch had been targeted.

MP for Tamaki Simon O’Connor told a town hall on Monday evening that around 200 children were doing most of the damage in Auckland.

NZI chief executive Garry Taylor said the city had seen an increase in raids and burglaries across Auckland.

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“In Auckland we have also seen an increase in claims for stolen vehicles used in raids,” he said.

“Many of our customers have been contacted by the police in the early hours of the morning to let them know that their stolen vehicle has been used in a raid.

A hunting and fishing raid in Palmerston North in April caused extensive damage to the store.

Provided

A hunting and fishing raid in Palmerston North in April caused extensive damage to the store.

“Pickup raids are disruptive at the best of times and for some of our customers unfortunately it can take a long time to get back to business. There is often significant damage to the building in addition to loss of stock.

In parts of the country, Covid-19 supply chain shortages have led to increased lead times for storefront glass and shopkeepers, he said.

“In addition to having the right insurance, it’s important that store owners also protect themselves through effective risk management and prevention to minimize disruption to their business.”

Steel bollards buried at least 500 meters into the ground and other types of on-site deterrents were well worth the investment, he said.

But a raid at Mobil in Oratia, Auckland, showed the bollards were no match for thieves who managed to break through a concrete block front wall and break into the service station.

NZI chief executive Garry Taylor said that over the past 12 months the city has seen an increase in raids and burglaries across Auckland.

Provided / Stuff

NZI chief executive Garry Taylor said that over the past 12 months the city has seen an increase in raids and burglaries across Auckland.

“Ramming beams are another effective solution when underground cables and pipes make bollards difficult to install.”

There were also day-to-day steps retailers could take to mitigate risk.

Moving stock away from the window and out of sight, and pulling out the cash drawer to show it’s empty could deter thieves.

“Just flipping all the other hangers on clothes racks can also slow down a smash and grab,” he said.

Fog cannons, which fill a magazine with heavy but harmless fog in 10 to 20 seconds, were another effective defense, he said.

“We also advise you speak to local police for advice on the latest burglary prevention measures, and also consider having a risk assessment carried out.”

A spokesman for the Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa Insurance Council said it was important to keep the number of raids in perspective.

“All but a tiny percentage of retail businesses will be insured. Of this very large number, very few are affected by raids each year,” he said.

But the raids have typically caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to buildings.

“These costs are often several times greater than the value of the stolen goods. While all of this can usually be insured, repaired and replaced, there is a terrible impact on store owners and staff who have to deal with the consequences,” he said.

Insurers had been dealing with raids for many years, and they were a well-known and well-known risk to them.

“Certain types of retail businesses, such as luxury goods, other outlets that sell high-value products, and liquor stores, have long since taken greater steps to defend against thefts of all kinds.”

This included armored glass, grilles, shutters, bollards, alarm systems and the securing of goods outside opening hours.

“One of the most effective measures is to install bollards at a high level. This usually requires the consent of local councils, so it is important that companies work closely with them.

“While there are instances where general retailers need to work with police and councils to do more to protect their stores in order to maintain insurance, retail insurance remains very widely available on normal terms.”

A spokesperson for AA Insurance said when thieves raided, multiple stolen vehicles were often used.

“This is because driving a vehicle into a storefront can damage the vehicle enough to render it immobile. A second or even third stolen vehicle can then be used by thieves to get away.

According to claims data from AA Insurance, most stolen cars were made more than 10 years ago, and thieves continue to target the simpler option, which usually means vehicles without security features .

The spokesman said people should always lock their car, keep valuables out of the car, if possible park off-street.

Kristan F. Talley