Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Are Your RV Dealership's Keys Reasonably Secured Against Misuse?

New RVs at a dealershipA 10-ton motorhome piloted by an inexperienced RV driver can be plenty dangerous on the highways. Now imagine that motorhome is being driven by somebody who stole it right off your RV dealership's lot. The damage and injuries caused by the thief are going to make for some ugly news headlines.

Who is going to be held responsible for this wild joyride when the dust settles? The thief will certainly get a fair share of the blame. But if you didn't take reasonable measures to secure your keys, headlines that damage your dealership's reputation won't be your only problem.

Protecting your inventory — from camper trailers all the way up to Ferrari-priced Class A motorhomes — is probably already a priority at your dealership. That's why you likely have fences, padlocked gates and maybe even a lockbox for keys. But even those security measures can fall short against determined thieves.

Fences and padlocks didn't stop thieves from driving three RVs worth almost $2 million off a dealership lot late one night in Colorado. Dealership management told a local news station that the thieves had to have had a plan in place. Even if your keys are secure, do you know who has access to them and when they're taken?

Thieves in Arizona got a little bit luckier when they took two motorhomes that had been on display at a local mall. They keys to the RVs were left locked inside by dealership employees. Even basic security practices won't be enough if you make it easy for a thief to access keys and make a clean getaway.

The situation can careen even more out of control if the fleeing criminal is involved in accidents while driving the stolen motorhome. No bystanders were hurt during a high-speed police chase with a stolen RV in California, but the dealer could still have faced civil liability for damage, injuries or death caused by the thief in the stolen RV.

If a motorhome stolen from your dealership is involved in an accident or causes damages, the loss of the asset, insurance deductibles and increased premiums won't be your only concerns. What steps have you taken to make sure your keys don't fall into the wrong hands?