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Extra $730: Aqua Owner Frustrated As Ram Raids Drive Up Insurance Cost

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The Kiwi owner of a Toyota Aqua–New Zealand’s most stolen car last year–is frustrated ram raids are costing him an extra $730 every year in insurance premiums.

Jonathan took to Reddit on May 13, 2024, to express his disappointment after his insurance company reportedly sent him an email about the increase in insurance premiums. 

"Ram raid crime to cost me an extra ~$730 per year. Awesome," he wrote on Reddit. 

“Note: fair enough that the insurers have to do this, no bad feelings toward them. The justice system’s relaxed outlook on crime however? Many bad feelings.”

In 2023, more Toyota Aqua were stolen across New Zealand than any other car, according to data released by insurance company AMI in January. 

The hatchback Toyota Aqua is often the target of robbers, who steal the car and use it to carry out ram raids. 

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The Aqua took the top spot for the second consecutive year in a row. The list is based on AMI's vehicle theft data that saw nearly 17,000 claims last year.  

It was also the second-highest year for vehicle theft in the past five years, with 2022 just beating it out after seeing a 43 per cent spike from previous years.

Jonathan shared his exasperation upon receiving the mail from his insurance company, warning of a whopping increase in his annual premium. 

The correspondence from the insurance company detailed the grim reality: repair costs for vehicles, particularly Aquas targeted in ram raid incidents, have skyrocketed faster than a runaway speedboat. 

The insurer cited the ever-present inflationary environment and the tumultuous waves of weather events as contributing factors. But it's the Aqua, sought after like sunken treasure by thieves for their ram raid escapades, that's really making waves in the insurance industry.

The insurance company, in a bid to stem the tide of thefts, has mandated the installation of immobilisers. But thwarting these marauders comes at a cost - a cost that's being passed on to Aqua owners like Jonathan.

Jonathan was remarkably buoyant, expressing no animosity towards the insurers. Instead, he took a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the justice system's laissez-faire attitude towards crime, remarking, "Note: fair enough that the insurers have to do this, no bad feelings toward them. The justice system’s relaxed outlook on crime however? Many bad feelings."

One Reddit user advised Jonathan to sell the car. “I can't believe people still drive these crime magnets. They're being written off just for smashed quarter windows and broken ignitions because parts are unavailable. 

“If you keep it, install an immobiliser, a hidden kill switch for your fuel pump and use a steering wheel lock every time, and switch to a basic third party only insurance…”

Another user was more measured in his reaction. “I wouldn't rush into selling the car, but you should definitely get alternative quotes.

“The problem is you can't tell how much of the increase is because of the model of car and how much of it is a general increase.

“Both of my cars (neither of which appear high up on any theft lists) have increased by a couple of hundred dollars last renewal.”

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