Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

Ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers sub­mit lists of the se­cu­rity fea­tures fit­ted at fac­tory level to dif­fer­ent mod­els of cars to the South African In­de­pen­dent Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Ser­vices (Sa­ias).

Chris Bezuiden­hout, a Sa­ias di­rec­tor and con­sul­tant, says his com­pany checks and rates the ef­fec­tive­ness of the se­cu­rity sys­tems, which in­clude im­mo­bilis­ers and transpon­ders (keys with a mi­crochip that con­tains a spe­cial code that works only in your car).

“The rat­ing takes into ac­count var­i­ous fac­tors, such as whether the se­cu­rity fea­tures are linked to con­trol the en­gine and how ef­fec­tive the fac­tory-fit­ted se­cu­rity sys­tem is. The cars are then rated on a points sys­tem, and the ve­hi­cle se­cu­rity sys­tem (VSS) rat­ing list is dis­trib­uted to in­sur­ers via the South African In­sur­ance As­so­ci­a­tion,” he says.

The VSS rat­ing of your fac­tory- fit­ted se­cu­rity sys­tem is one of the fac­tors that an in­surer con­sid­ers when de­cid­ing if your car needs an ad­di­tional se­cu­rity de­vice, such as a gear­lock or a tracking de­vice.

Trevor De­vitt, the com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager of Out­surance, says the VSS list is not the sole ref­er­ence for in­sur­ers, nor is it the only fac­tor that in­flu­ences the cost of your pre­mium.

Bro­kers and mem­bers of the pub­lic who want to ac­cess the VSS list have to pay Sa­ias a monthly sub­scrip­tion fee of R70. You will be al­lo­cated a code to ac­cess the VSS list on the Sa­ias web­site.

Bezuiden­hout says the VSS list in­cludes cars man­u­fac­tured lo­cally and im­ported cars.

Ve­hi­cles on the VSS list in­clude Alfa, Audi, Bent­ley, BMW, Cadil­lac, Ch­ery, Chevro­let, Daim­ler Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Citroen, Mit­subishi, Dae­woo, Dai­hatsu, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Hum­mer, Isuzu, Jaguar, Kia, Lan­drover, Lexus, Lo­tus, Mahin­dra, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Nis­san, Opel, Peu­geot, Pro­ton, Re­nault, Saab, Seat, Smart, Subaru, Suzuki, Tata, Toy­ota, Volk­swa­gen and Volvo.

(The list is con­stantly up­dated as new mod­els are man­u­fac­tured and added to the list.)

In his rul­ing last week, Charles Pil­lai, the Om­bud for Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Providers, queried why in­sur­ers San­tam and Mu­tual & Fed­eral had in­sisted on dif­fer­ent se­cu­rity re­quire­ments for the same car, a 1995 VW Jetta Cli.

The San­tam pol­icy re­quired a gear­lock ap­proved by the Ve­hi­cle Se­cu­rity As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa (Vesa), whereas the Mu­tual & Fed­eral pol­icy re­quired an Ac­cred­ited Bureau for Se­cu­rity (ABS) gear­lock.

Bezuiden­hout says that ABS car­ries out se­cu­rity sys­tem test­ing on be­half of Vesa, so San­tam and Mu­tual & Fed­eral had in fact re­quired that the same gear­lock be fit­ted, but each in­surer had used a dif­fer­ent point of ref­er­ence.

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