The small print guide to insurance

Part 1: Thatcham's

Vehicle Tracking Thatcham Approved
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If you want to buy gap insurance for a car valued at over £75,000, we’ll only deal with you if your car has a Thatcham’s approved tracking device.

It may sound like a real ale brand, but Thatcham is actually the insurance industry’s own ‘not for profit’ research centre. Thatcham Research (to give it it’s proper title) was founded in 1969 by motor insurers to conduct research to contain the cost of motor insurance claims by investigating safe and cost effective repairs.

Thatcham Research

The research centre still based in the Berkshire market town of Thatcham – but it has expanded its remit to a much wider definition of vehicle technology research, spanning vehicle safety, technology and repair. This includes providing most of the data insurers used to define a car’s insurance grouping – combining its New Vehicle Security Assessment and its Crash Laboratory tests to create and administer the insurance Group Rating system on behalf of the ABI (Association of British Insurers).

Thatcham provides the safety and security expertise to the insurance industry to prevent accidents and theft – as well as researching and validating repair and recovery.

Thatcham researches vehicle repair methods and technology. It works closely with the motor industry to shape the designs of new vehicles, and the use of materials and technology so that vehicles are designed to be repaired cost effectively.

The Thatcham Automotive Academy offers training and accreditation for people working in vehicle repair – from apprentices to experienced technicians upgrading their skills. In addition, Thatcham certifies parts used in repair through its TQA quality assurance scheme.

However, it’s the testing of vehicle security devices – and particularly trackers – that is relevant to your gap insurance policy. Having effective and proven security is essential to preventing theft – as well as aiding recovery.

Thatcham’s security test trackers (and indeed other security equipment) to ensure that they will work effectively in as many scenarios as possible. It publishes a list of those that meet its standards. This includes having back up batteries, being activated by illegal ‘ignition off’ movement (eg being towed or loaded onto a flatbed), working internationally (so that stolen vehicles can be followed overseas) and a certified monitoring centre.

If you want to find out more about Thatcham, you can check out

by Beate Kubitz at 19 Aug 2018, 00:00 AM