JCB Insurance – Tackling Plant Theft Fraudsters

JCB Insurance – Tackling Plant Theft Fraudsters

Plant theft is still a huge problem in the UK…

As a specialist Insurance Broker looking after companies where Contractors’ Plant is central to their business, we are at the front line of dealing with the aftermath of plant theft. Because we arrange and manage insurance for our clients, in the event of a machine being stolen, we are usually the second people that they call – after the Police.
We negotiate claims with Insurance companies and Loss Adjusters on behalf of our clients so we see the problems this causes. The thing is, it’s not just the direct cost of the stolen machine that you need to consider. In addition to this, there is the delay on the contract caused by the machine going missing, the cost of hiring another machine in to get the contract going again, the continuing hire charges you have to pay at two thirds the rate if it’s a machine you’ve hired in.
There are also costs that are difficult to quantify such as management time wasted having to collate all the required information, meet with Loss Adjusters, meet with the Police and generally deal with all of the problems caused by the plant theft.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just get on with the job… Manufacturers are working hard to prevent theft and JCB are at the forefront of this fight.
Not only are JCB machines fitted with market leading security devices such as transponder key immobilisers, keypad immobilisers, CESAR registration and Livelink tracking technology, we at JCB Insurance are also playing a big part too.
As machines get harder to steal because of all of the security measures now in place, would-be thieves are having to get more creative and we have observed a rise in fraudulent hire as a result. What better way of stealing a machine than posing as a bona fide customer and getting the Plant Hire firm to hand over the keys or key code to the machine? Better still, get them to deliver it to you as well!
Plant Hire firms must be vigilant and make doubly sure that they make of the relevant pre-hire checks before releasing a machine to a new customer.


Do a company check, take photo ID, check the address, take references where you can, make sure it’s a genuine site that the machine is delivered to. If the customer is from out of the area, question why is he hiring from me? check they have got the relevant hired in plant insurance in place. It is the responsibility of the Plant Hirer to make sure the person in front of them is who he says he is and that he is a genuine customer.
We give practical advice to all of our Plant Hire customers on putting water tight new account opening procedures in place to prevent this type of theft but despite this, sometimes it still goes wrong.
When it does and our client calls us to report a claim, we don’t just report it to whichever insurance company they are insured with and leave it at that – we take a much more proactive stance:

We will take calls from the Police and help to see if what has happened can be linked to other Plant Theft situations we may have dealt with. As one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers dealing with Plant, the Police often make contact with us for any information we may have.
You may not be aware but the Metropolitan Police have a national division dedicated to Plant Theft – PANIU – Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit. PANIU is financed by the Insurance community to help tackle the problem and any theft and we report full details of any plant theft direct to them. Sadly it is often the case that your local ‘Bobby’ dealing with the crime of a stolen machine hasn’t heard of PANIU, so we make sure that all the relevant information is passed over to them.
It’s not always when a machine gets stolen that we speak to PANIU either. We have seen instances where someone has called us and tried to take out hired-in plant insurance with the aim of trying to appear genuine when they attempt to hire a machine. We have developed a great nose for this type of fraudster and work with PANIU to catch them before they even steal a machine.
JCB Insurance are proud to have been instrumental in helping the Police arrest, charge and convict 3 individuals and break several plant theft gangs in the past few years.
Fraudsters sometimes think it is sometimes easier to try and buy hired in plant insurance on-line, perhaps with a stolen or cloned credit card.

This is a difficult area to manage but JCB Insurance are making it hard for criminals by doing things like carrying out as many background checks as possible on people buying online and if there are names and addresses that are known to be fraudsters and thieves, we block them from using our website.
In addition to JCB fitting high quality security devices to machines to prevent them being stolen, JCB Insurance are also helping people protect their assets and prevent plant being stolen by advising them on how to manage this risk more effectively. We are also working with Police and Insurance Companies to help identify individuals involved in illegal activity and also crack organised crime gangs who think Plant is an easy target and a quick way to make money.
Plant Theft is still a big problem but by staying focussed, understanding the issues and a working together it is possible to prevent it.

JCB Insurance Services Ltd are an Insurance Broker specialising in taking care of all the insurance needs of Plant Hire, Civil Engineering, Utilities and companies involved in all types of Construction and Groundworks.
Established in 1984 we have a wealth of experience and knowledge and in this sector and in addition to arranging great value insurance, we also help protect businesses with practical risk management advice and guidance.

0800 141 2877