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Outsmart the Thief security
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userMad Cow
Posted: 30 October 2017 11:09 AM
Subject: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Roydon, Essex


Has anyone had insurance quotes or any views on the above system?

We are currently with Comfort and have been really happy with them but we are selling the current motorhome and specing up a new one following a visit to the motorhome show last weekend. Other half has been researching the best security and is leaning towards the Outsmart system as you can imobilise the vehicle remotely making it unable for the thief to restart. I called Comfort who will only insure a vehicle up to £50k with this system otherwise it has to be Thatcham Cat 1. I called Lifesure (our currently home and car insurers) who say Outsmart is the best system and will insure up to £80k with this fitted which is just short of what we are expecting to pay. I was just wondering what Comfort's reasoning is and whether anyone has it fitted on a vehicle over £80k and who with.

Thanks x
userbrom
Posted: 30 October 2017 12:53 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Cumbria. 2018 conversion - Nu-Venture Quart -VW T6


We had an Outsmart alarm and tracker fitted some years ago to our Trendscout. It would probably be possible to get the resulting MMM article from the archives.

It was very good, highly speccd, and easy to operate, (although we never had to test the Tracker or alarm against hostile action, fortunately). The installation was neat and unobtrusive, and on the odd occasion when I inadvertently set the alarm off, we could rely on an almost instantaneous response by telephone from HQ, checking all was OK - and telling us precisely where the van was at the time. Big Brother was indeed watching us - once alerted by the alarm!

I believe the problem with Thatcham compatability is that Carl Meyer, the OutsmarttheThief boss, has his own ideas as to what features and systems work best in this field, and they don't necessarily fit in with the format used by Thatcham.

Insurance companies who have a fixed requirement that an alarm/tracker comply with Thatcham may not understand this stance, unfortunately. One would like to see them using a bit more flexibility of thought. In our case, the van was quite inexpensive, so a Tracker wasn't deemed compulsory, but we didn't get a discount on the insurance.
userMad Cow
Posted: 30 October 2017 1:39 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Roydon, Essex


Thanks Brom for your experience of Outsmart. It certainly has reinforced our belief that this is the right product. I will drop an email to Comfort expressing my frustration about their stance on this considering we have been a customer for over 9 years. I will also ring a few more companies to see what their policy is too.

Regards
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 30 October 2017 4:16 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Angela, Comfort's underwriting company is Aviva, and I suspect it will be Aviva who insist on Thatcham approved systems. Comfort have some latitude, so it may be worth asking (if you haven't already done so) to speak to Ben Cue, who is their resident, in house, Aviva man.
userMikeJJ
Posted: 30 October 2017 4:24 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Worcs - 2017 AutoSleeper Burford


My last m/h had an "Outsmart the Thief" system installed; but not all was as it seemed.

The problem was that the company has authorised a number of dealers to fit on their behalf. In my case the dealer said they would fit an "Outsmart the thief" alarm and tracker. In the event a Gemini alarm was fitted and the dealer used another and completely separate company to install the tracking system.

That Tracking system, had associated onerous T&Cs, which in essence provided a purely passive system with responsibility for notifying the call centre that the vehicle was missing or the circumstances under which the m/h could be immobilised all resting on me.

I am sure that if you get a complete system from Carl it will be a good system, with a good backing service, but it may not tick all the boxes as far as an Insurance company is concerned so you are right to check around.
userMad Cow
Posted: 30 October 2017 5:52 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Thank you so much Mike. That's dreadful that your system wasn't what you thought you were getting. We will be sure to check.

userDeneb
Posted: 30 October 2017 6:02 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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There are reasons why the OTT is not Thatcham approved, and like it or not, this will affect the willingness of a number of insurers to accept it, so you could be limiting your future ability to obtain competitive premiums at renewal.

Have you considered a Vanbitz Strikeback or Growler system? It is a Thatcham Cat 1 (2 to 1) approved system, designed specifically for motorhomes, and can also be specified with a remote immobilisation and self tracking system based on the MetaTrak Shield.

When I ordered our new motorhome, the converter seemed to have difficulty understanding why I had deleted the OTT system, which they offer as standard, from the specification. They changed their opinion when I took it back for its first hab check a few months ago.

I have no connection to Vanbitz, other than as a very happy customer.
userBrock
Posted: 30 October 2017 6:23 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Wirral - 2013 Hymer BClass 504 130bhp


I'd think this through differently. If Outsmart is that good, why don't the manufacturers get Thatcham 1 approval? If Comfort insist on a Thatcham 1, then other insurers may do as well. Therefore, if you go with Outsmart, your choice of insurers in the future may be restricted. I'd check out how many other insurers will not insist on a Thatcham 1 alarm.

If you are buying a motorhome worth over £80k, then I wonder whether it is an A-class and what windscreen cover is provided. I have £3,000 cover on my Comfort policy and that was enough to cover a new Hymer windscreen - paid up without complaint and did not affect my premiums.

Now its a while since I was involved in insurance matters. I do know that some insurers, especially those that provide a new van in the first few years if your van is a write off, will value your van for insurance purposes at the purchase price. If you insure for less to get around terms of the policy, then you risk your insurance being invalidated because insurance is a contract of 'utmost good faith' and the insurer could say it would not have insured you above the £80k figure. I do not know whether the 'Condition of Average' still applies to motorhome policies where the van has been underinsured. If it does, then if the insurer does pay out, you will get less than £80k. It is up to you to do the research and make a risk based decision as I am not qualified to give insurance advice.

If I was shopping around for a new alarm, I'd be looking at the offerings from VanBitz.

Posted before reading above post!

Edited by Brock 2017-10-30 6:24 PM
userMad Cow
Posted: 30 October 2017 6:53 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Crikey Deneb & Brock lots to thinks about. Good job we have time.

The Lifesure advisor said that OTT has so much more to offer than the Thatcham categories list and that is why they can't rate it. Well I am not sure about that but why would an insurance co say it? We already have strikeback, growler and tracker on current moho but I think the best deterent was the removable steering wheel as they would have a job getting away with that. This was a Concorde option and our moho is nearly 10 years old and we are downsizing both length and wallet now.
userMad Cow
Posted: 30 October 2017 6:56 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Roydon, Essex


Thank you Brian,,

I emailed them and got a short reply saying Aviva would not consider anything other than Thatcham. Do you think it is still worth pursuing? Do you have any thoughts on the OTT or recommend any other systems?

Regards
userJohn52
Posted: 30 October 2017 7:02 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 


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As I understand it, If you under insure a van you only get pro rata.
Say you insure a £100k van for £50k, and there is £50k damage.
You only get £25k because the insurers say half of what was damaged is their responsibility, the other half is your responsibility.
userKeithR
Posted: 30 October 2017 7:11 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 


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this post got me confused so i got my certificate out to check what i have.
it is from outsmart the thief limited, is the gemini 931T-MH model and clearly states thatcham 2-1.
it was fitted by the the dealer prioviding my moho.
i am completely satisfied with it , particularly the perimeter alarm whilst you are in the van, and when ive cocked it up and contacted OTT they have sorted my problem very quickly.
i do not have tracker. perhaps i should check out that option.
userMad Cow
Posted: 30 October 2017 7:45 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Thanks guys,

Lots of good stuff and food for thought. Interesting about the OTT Gemini alarm with Thatcham rating. We would not under insure, in fact Lifesure said, after putting me on hold, that they would consider honouring the value as it wasnt way off the mark. I have shown all your responses to my other half and now leaving it with him.

Thanks once again.
userstarvin marvin
Posted: 30 October 2017 9:59 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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It's the same with your house insurance.
userMikeJJ
Posted: 31 October 2017 7:38 AM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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One other thing which springs to mind is that while the alarm system itself may be Thatcham accredited, the installer may not be similarly accredited.

Going back to my previous situation the Gemini alarm was Thatcham tested and accredited but the OTT agent/dealer who installed the system could only give me an OTT installation "Certificate" and when I checked they were not on the list as a Thatcham Recognised Installer.

So again had to check the wording of the insurance very carefully to see if that compromised anything.
userMad Cow
Posted: 31 October 2017 8:25 AM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Thanks Mike. A very valid point. As we know, insurance companies will look for loopholes not to pay out.
userDeneb
Posted: 31 October 2017 8:44 AM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Another point for consideration - the Gemini 931T-MH installation and wiring descriptions are openly available to anyone via the internet, whereas Strikeback/Growler is a bespoke system and the installation configuration is only held by the installer. The Gemini is a Can-bus system with arming/disarming controlled through the can network and according to the available instructions, able to be disarmed on operation of the standard vehicle door locks. This type of system can be susceptible to electronic compromise (such as the Transit factory fitted alarm controlled by the locking system, which is deactivated by picking or electronically over-riding the door locks).

I don't know if OTT customise the system (if indeed that is the alarm they use) to mitigate any of the above, but I would personally steer clear of any can-bus integrated alarm. Their only advantage is ease and speed of fitting for the installer IMO.
userMad Cow
Posted: 31 October 2017 12:01 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Roydon, Essex


I see what you mean. Will certainly consider this. Thank you.
userwitzend
Posted: 31 October 2017 5:35 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 


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See this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Portable-Car-GPS-Signal-Blocker-Isolator-Anti-Tracking-Device-with-Antenna-Fuse/272837458356?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649 are trackers of much use I've got one but is it worth while when these are easily obtained
usersilverback
Posted: 31 October 2017 7:57 PM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 


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we have one not had any probs with it seems to be spot on even ring you on accidently setting it off, i'm with comfort they said the alarm/tracker was ok with them cos i did have a query if it was approved by them, they said it was ok, but then again my van is 5 years old and not worth 80K
Jonathan
http://www.606060.com/motorhome-security-13-p.asp

userbrom
Posted: 4 November 2017 8:41 AM
Subject: RE: Outsmart the Thief security
 
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Location: Cumbria. 2018 conversion - Nu-Venture Quart -VW T6


I don't have any axe to grind, and as I said, fortunately didn't suffer any attack to check the OTT's efficacy - and mine was fitted ten years ago to a previous vehicle.

However, I contacted Carl the other day to check about these cheap GPS blockers mentioned earlier in the thread, and he says his protected vehicles are completely immobilised when the alarm sounds, and cannot be taken away. He claims the thousands of OTT systems fitted have suffered NO thefts in the 12 years of operations. He sent me a link to his new video on Youtube, which I found interesting - the link is:

https://youtu.be/ADn_GJgufNk

He says most insurance companies will now accept his system, which is ahead of Thatcham. The current exception is Aviva, which he says is the underwriter behind Comfort.

My view, as a non-techie, is that if I were choosing a system, I would contact the companies concerned and talk it through with them in detail. Carl certainly welcomes this.

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