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Motorcycle theft in Malaysia and Singapore Get the facts



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Singaporean motorcyclists can rest relatively easy, knowing that motor vehicle theft is relatively rare ­– and declining – in the island state.

In 2018 there were 886 motor vehicle theft cases in Singapore, down from 1,642 in 2014. Those cases of theft include theft of vehicles, parts, and theft from motor vehicles. 

Annual Number of Motor Vehicle & Motor Vehicle Related Theft in Singapore
Includes Motor Vehicle Theft, Theft of Motor Vehicle Component Parts and Theft from Motor vehicles
motorcycle theft
Source: ValueChampion

From January to September 2019, Singapore Police Force announced 21 arrests related to 18 motorcycle thefts. So, while the odds of having your motorcycle stolen are small, there remains a chance it will happen. 

The Singapore Police Force advises all motorcycle owners to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  1. Park your motorcycle in well-lit areas;
  2. Install an anti-theft alarm for your motorcycle;
  3. Use a motorcycle canvas to cover the motorcycle, securing both ends;
  4. Use additional locking devices such as disc brake locks or install a suspension guard; and
  5. Remove the ignition key and lock the motorcycle, whenever it is left unattended.  

Am I insured if my motorbike is stolen in Malaysia?


Singapore motorcyclists should also rest easy, in that even with the small chance of having your motorcycle stolen, you are covered for theft as part of your motorcycle insurance policy assuming you have opted for at least Third Party Fire and Theft coverage. (Third Party Only insurance does not provide any coverage for theft).

Riders with Comprehensive or Third Party Fire and Theft coverage who wish to travel to Malaysia – and southern Thailand – are also covered for theft, but should be aware that motorcycle theft in Malaysia and Thailand is much more frequent an occurrence than it is at home.

Motorbike theft in Malaysia


While cases of motorcycle theft are declining in Malaysia, they are much more common than in Singapore. To November 2018 there were 7,005 claims for motorcycle theft in Malaysia, down from 18,244 for the whole of 2014. It should be noted these figures are based on insurance claims and not police reports, so there is a high probability there were more thefts than this figure indicates. 

Annual Number of Motorcycle Theft Claims in Malaysia
motorcycle theft claims
Source: ValueChampion

Safeguarding your motorbike in Malaysia


Even with insurance coverage, having your motorcycle stolen involves a lot of hassle and heartache. It’s best to take some simple steps to stop it happening at all

More than 50% of stolen vehicles in Malaysia were taken from private homes, roadsides, and unlit carparks, so if you are looking to safeguard your motorcycle, avoiding these parking situations is a part of a smart strategy to avoid having your motorcycle stolen.

Basics


  • At the very least, ensure you engage your motorcycle’s steering lock before removing the ignition key. Be aware that professional thieves can break the lock and start the motorcycle in a matter of seconds, but at least this may put off any opportunistic amateurs.
  • Make sure you remove the key, and don’t leave a spare key anywhere on the machine; that’s just inviting trouble.
  • Hotels in Malaysia are generally quite affordable. If possible, pay a little bit more and choose one with secure undercover parking.
  • Well-lit parking areas in high-traffic areas should offer a little extra piece-of-mind.
  • Be opportunistic – if you can park in the view of a security camera anywhere, that may provide enough disincentive to thieves.

Extras


  • Thieves don’t like attracting attention, so an alarm system that makes a lot of noise may be a worthwhile deterrent.
  • Disc locks are relatively affordable, don’t occupy much space, and prevent your bike from being wheeled away. If you have only one, use it on the rear wheel, which is generally harder to remove. Some disk locks have inbuilt alarms, though some riders complain of false alarms.
  • Chaining the bike to an anchor point prevents it being loaded into a van or pickup. Use a purpose-made heavy-duty chain (too many can simply be removed with bolt-cutters), and chain the motorcycle through the frame or braced swingarm – rather than the wheel – to the anchor point. Finding suitable anchor points may be a challenge, though if you’re travelling with friends chaining two bikes together may be enough to put off all but the most determined thieves. Unfortunately, the good chains weigh a lot (one popular high-strength chain and lock is 7kg), so it represents a fair bit of extra weight to lug around.

Be aware that none of the above suggestions will guarantee your bike will not be stolen. Slowing down the process exposes would-be thieves to a higher chance of being caught in the act, and that works in your favour, even if it means they move on to easier, less well-protected machines.

It also pays to be aware that none of the above measures will ensure parts will not be stolen from your motorcycle. Depending on the make and model of your machine, there may be numerous bits and pieces that attract unwanted attention. Apparently, brakes are a very common target. Some of the measures above will also deter these thieves.

What to do if your motorbike is stolen while visiting Malaysia


Motorcycle insurance experts at Budget Direct Insurance advice their customers to take the following steps should the worst happen, and their motorbike is stolen while visiting Malaysia.

Step 1. Call your nearest neighbourhood police station in Malaysia and make sure you lodge a full report with them.

Step 2. Call your insurance company on their Claims Hotline. You will be guided on what to do next. Note, you must submit the police report in order to make a claim.

Step 3. Remember to check if there is any nearby CCTV that may have captured the theft on camera. With the help of the police, the local authorities can retrieve the video footage, which can be used as evidence.

Meanwhile, get more tips on motorcycling in Malaysia here.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, it's vital to have the right motorcycle insurance.
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