HOW THE VEHICLE SECURITY LIST WORKS
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.