Costs have increased by an estimated 15 to 20 percent because of the number of stolen vehicles.
The cost of auto insurance in the Bahamas is an estimated 15 to 20 percent higher than it could be, says a new report, due to the high vehicle theft rate in the country.
This problem with stolen vehicles is only compounded by other issues in the Bahamas.
An industry executive said that this auto insurance problem is made worse because the processes from the government are “in the Stone Age”. According to the managing director at RoyalStar Assurance, Anton Saunders, the Road Traffic Department doesn’t have an automobile registry, nor is it computerized, which means that there are extremely limited options in terms of cracking down on the sale of stolen cars.
Other leading auto insurance executives have expressed similar concerns about the industry in the country.
As a result, these execs from the auto insurance industry in the Bahamas have re-issued a call for a vehicle title system in the country, as well as a crackdown on imports of wrecked cars, which is vital to helping to get the high vehicle theft rates under control. Saunders said that Mitsubishi and Honda vehicles are specific targets for car thieves. He also pointed out that there were very few Hondas that were covered within his company’s portfolios.
However, Saunders also added that the true expense of stolen cars to the public as a whole is that auto insurance premiums “are probably 15-20 per cent increased across the board because of theft.” At the same time, he stated that there was no progress being made on actually building the vehicle title system that is desperately wanted by the industry, and there have not been any steps made toward the introduction of vehicle tracking systems.
He feels that the Road Traffic Department has not kept up with technology, procedures, and developments in the auto insurance industry, which would have made it capable of handling certain additional efforts, such as a registry, which could be very helpful in reducing fraudulent vehicle sales.
Others have made similar statements, such as the president of Summit Insurance Company, Timothy Ingraham, when he said that the rate of vehicle theft and the associated auto insurance claims payouts has “definitely” had an impact on the premiums paid by drivers in the Bahamas.