In Brief

Range Rovers 'uninsurable' in London after theft spree

A security breach means some insurers won't offer cover unless Range Rovers are left in secure car parks

Insurance companies in London are refusing to cover new Range Rovers, unless owners have secure parking facilities, after the vehicles were targeted by thieves who have managed to override the car's keyless ignition system with an electronic device found on eBay.

"If you are an owner of a 'street parked' Range Rover [in London], even with the most sophisticated tracker, nine out of ten insurers will now say no," James Wasdell, co-founder of Quantum Underwriting told The Times.

In the first seven months of this year 294 Range Rovers were stolen in London, compared to just 63 BMW X5s, the car's closest competitor.

Keith Rowley, who bought a new Range Rover after his was stolen from south-west London, says he was refused cover by AIG because he did not have underground parking. "How many people living in London have that type of parking?" he asked.

Rowley said Range Rover had told him that it was his problem to resolve. "I had to tell them, 'No, this is your problem, I have just bought a £100,000 car from you, if I can't get insurance, I can't drive it, and if I can't drive it, I don't want it'", he said.

The company says it is taking steps to resolve the situation. "Our line-up continues to meet the insurance industry requirements as tested and agreed with relevant insurance bodies," a spokesman for Jaguar Land Rover said. "Nevertheless we are taking this issue very seriously."

Insurers are expected to meet the car company to discuss the matter soon. 

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