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Stackyard News Jun 2012

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Vigilance the Key to Reducing Metal Thefts

Philip Pagin of H&H Insurance Brokers lays down the law on protecting yourself against metal theft.

Philip Pagin of H&H Insurance Brokers

Philip Pagin

Insurers are currently paying out more than £1 million pounds a week to victims of metal theft. This number has doubled in the last five years and almost 1,000 thefts are reported each week. The Association of British Insurers have suggested that at least 300 tonnes of metal is being stolen each week which is an equivalent size to 300 cars.

However it is not is not just affecting business and towns and cities as in recent months they have seen an increase in rural metal theft claims.

“Last year many farmers saw thieves paying closer attention to easy to lift machinery such as quad bikes and trailers, they are now seeing a distinct rise in thieves searching properties for metal in all sorts of shapes and forms.” Says Philip

“There is no telling whose property will be a target but one must be wary and exercise caution. The main target for these thefts is farm and contracting yards so farmers must be more vigilant when it comes to insurance and really think about risk.”

Items being targeted include batteries, rollers, aluminium sheep pens, lead flashing, redundant machinery and even gates and fences. Not only does this financially burden a farmer or owner it also puts animals and humans at risk, particularly when gates and fencing is being taken and sold on.

The price being paid for scrap metal has increased considerably with current prices in excess of £150 per tonne and in the depths of a recession, the price from a dealer is all too tempting for criminals across the country.

In recent time’s government policies or lack of policies has been the centre of much debate over metal thefts with the public and victims demanding stricter policies for scrap metal dealers when purchasing from the public.

Whilst there is a unanimous agreement that both those stealing scrap metal and those selling it on need to be limited, it may take some time to see legislation pass. And every week waited is another 300 tonnes being illegally taken and resold.

Insurance Brokers can play a key role in not only dealing with claims but also in ensuring that their customers take the appropriate security measures to reduce their individual risk. Philip offers his suggestions for protecting your property and assuring you are within the fine print of your farm insurance policy.

·       Remove all keys from vehicles
·       Take batteries out of unused machinery
·       Minimise easy visibility of any scrap metal, vintage machinery etc
·       Take photographs of high risk items
·       Identify unique marks

Finally check that your insurance policy is the right one for your enterprise and covers everything you assume it will. Many insurers have warranties and conditions which could potentially void claims if not strictly adhered to. If you are unsure call to ensure that you are insured!

For more information on insuring against metal theft contact H&H Insurance Brokers on 01228 406 290.

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