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Microdot Technology - FA News - Article 11


Microdot technology is a groundbreaking innovation in vehicle identification created to solve the problem of identifying stolen or hijacked vehicles... And it looks certain to revolutionise the motor insurance industry.

Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) estimates that some 90 000 cars worth R9 billion are stolen or hijacked each year. Although 43% of these vehicles are recovered South Africa's law enforcement agencies are often unable to trace the owners due to identifiers such as vehicle identification (VIN)., engine and license numbers being tampered with. As a result some R1 billion worth of recovered vehicles are destroyed each year.

Finding Solutions

A challenge of this magnitude requires an innovative solution. "Microdot technology came about as a result of many years of collaboration between stakeholders in the industry, including the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) and like-minded business bodies such as BACSA, " says Christelle Fourie, Managing Director of MUA Insurance Acceptances.

"The technology involves spraying new vehicles with thousands of Microdots, 1mm in diameter, onto at least 80 different vehicle parts. Each Microdot contains a microscopic 17-digit laser-etched VIN and personal identification number (PIN), which allows for the vehicle to be traced back to the registered owner. The microdots are only visible under ultra-violet light and through a magnifying lens."

The microdots can be applied both covertly and overtly, making it difficult for thieves to remove or conceal them, or strip parts of the car for resale. Once the microdot technology has been applied, the vehicle is fitted with a warning sign which acts as a visual deterrent to would-e criminals. A single dot is all that is required to trace a vehicle owner, whose details are registered on a national database.

Covering the motor pool

What impact will microdotting have on the insurance industry? "it is possible that vehicle owners who utilize microdot technology could benefit from reduced car insurance premiums in the future, as the risk of theft is reduced and the rate of recovery is significantly higher," says Christelle Fourie. "The recovery rate of cars that have incorporated microdot technology is 91% according to a study conducted by BACSA."

Law enforcement remains the bottom line in the fight against crime. "The rapid response of SAPS saw them recovering three cars that we insured in just one week (in July) which is a very encouraging sign for us. Thrilled as we are by this world class response to crime, we believe that we should embrace technologies like microdotting to support their efforts in making South Africa a safer and lower risk society," she says.

FA News magazine October 2011 - Short Term Article

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Microdot Technology - FA News - Article 11

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