15% spike in malicious damage to cars

17 March 2016

  • Co-operative Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch calling for communities to look out for their neighbours
  • Malicious damage most likely on a Saturday or Sunday 
  • Manchester is the national hotspot for this type of claim
  • Average cost of claim in 2015 was over £1000

Motor insurance claims for malicious damage rose 15% last year according to recent data from the Co-operative Insurance*.

Since 2011 the Co-operative Insurance had seen a 65% drop in the number of motor claims it received which were classed as being malicious damage, however between 2014 and 2015 this figure began to rise. An upward month on month trend has also been identified in January and February of 2016.

Malicious damage is an act that intentionally or deliberately causes damage to personal, private or commercial property.** Examples of malicious damage include vandalism such as car bodywork being deliberately scratched, wing mirrors pulled off and windows being smashed.

According to the Co-operative Insurance claims data car owners in Manchester are most at risk of malicious damage to their vehicles followed by those in Edinburgh, Chelmsford and Peterborough.  The average cost of a malicious damage claim in 2015 was £1,001 in comparison to £961 in 2014.

The top three regions where malicious damage motor claims are most prevalent are the South East, London and the East of England. This type of damage is most likely to occur over weekends, on Saturday or Sunday.

These figures comes as the Co-operative Insurance has announced it has become a primary sponsor of Neighbourhood Watch for 2016 and is urging communities to look out for their neighbours and their belongings. The two groups are also calling for new Neighbourhood Watch members and are aiming to set up 30,000 new schemes this year.

Recent research has found that nearly one in five (18%) of people have not had a conversation with their neighbour for over a month, whilst 13% have admitted to not knowing their neighbour’s names.***

Jonathan Guy, head of claims at the Co-operative Insurance, said:

“Malicious damage is a senseless crime and can cause a great deal of inconvenience and upset to the victim. Vigilance is key and whilst we would never advise tackling somebody who you think may be deliberately damaging property, we would urge individuals to be alert to this type of activity and call the police if they do see it.

“We want people to feel safe where they live so by working with Neighbourhood Watch, who share this goal, we have the potential to reach out to a huge part of society to help make this possible.”

Lynn Farrar, Vice-Chair of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, said:

“We ask all our members to report crime when they see it and that includes damaging all property including cars.  Our ethos is that of making people feel safe in their community and knowing that neighbours will report incidence to the police re-assures our communities and also acts as a deterrent against crime occurring.”

The Co-operative Insurance offers tips for keeping vehicles safe:

  1. Always ensure doors are locked and any alarms on when you leave your vehicle
  2. If possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit area and avoid dark side streets
  3. Never leave any items on show in your car
  4. If you have a steering lock, use it

For more information about joining or setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme visit: http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/


For more information please contact:

Jenna Moss
Press and Media Relations Manager
0161 767 4354 / 07770 441 828

Notes to editors:

*Co-operative Insurance malicious damage claims data 2011 – 2016 14.8% increase
** Definition of malicious damage: http://www.ask.com/government-politics/definition-malicious-damage-e013afddf10ead1d
*** Research by Atomik for the Co-operative Group

About the Co-operative Insurance/Neighbourhood Watch relationship

The sponsorship agreement between the insurer and the UK’s largest voluntary movement will initially last 12 months.  It will see the organisations working together to achieve their common goals of bringing neighbourhoods together to create stronger relationships and promote safety among communities, giving individuals greater peace of mind.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, The Co-operative Insurance will also distribute new window stickers to members and provide local co-ordinators and members with important resources to enable them to access useful information more readily and to help them carry out their roles in the community more effectively.

Neighbourhood Watch has more than 173,000 coordinators, covering 3.8 million households across England and Wales while The Co-operative organisation overall has almost five million across the UK

About The Co-operative Insurance

The Co-operative Insurance is a UK-based General Insurer that operates principally within the personal lines segments of the Motor and Home Insurance markets. The Co-operative Insurance underwrites the majority of business written, supplemented with some small lines of business where The Co-operative Insurance acts as a distributor or has a 100% reinsurance arrangement in place.

With more than 1m customers, The Co-operative Insurance is committed to ‘Doing the Right thing’ and always strives to treat customers and members fairly. The Co-operative Insurance pioneered the way in lowering the insurance premiums of Young Drivers as the first major insurer to launch a pay how you drive telematics insurance product for young drivers in 2011. Since launching the scheme, The Co-operative Insurance has saved its young drivers more than £7.2 million in their first year of driving.

About Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch is the largest volunteer crime prevention movement in the UK with 3.8 million household as members across England and Wales.  The movement was established 33 years ago and is a ‘good neighbour scheme’ where neighbours look out for each other to help protect themselves from being a victim of crime. Traditionally the movement has focused on traditional acquisitive crime such as burglary and car crime, but volunteers have turned their attentions to cyber- crime and fraud. Independent research shows that Neighbourhood Watch can reduce crime by up to 26%.

The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network is the national charity which acts as the voice of the movement across England and Wales. The charity is supported by the Home Office and works closely with national policing and community organisations, alongside supporting the wider membership.