The number of car fires increased by 45 percent in five years, according to figures from the Dutch Association of Insurers. In 2014 there were still around 3000 claims and by last year the number increased to 4359. Between 2017 and 2018 there was an increase in car fires of more than 9%.
The cost of these car fires is estimated at between 40 and 50 million euros annually for insurers, reports RTL Nieuws.
Last year, most insurance claims for car fires were found in South Holland (779) and North Brabant (734). Flevoland and Zeeland had the least recorded and Utrecht the largest increase of 33% in one year.
Offenders of arson are very difficult to catch as evidence is destroyed in the fire. According to NOS, the car fire increase might be due to “copycat” behavior among young people.
Criminologist Anton van Wijk of Bureau Beke tells AD, “Young people see each other or read about it and then think: we are going to do that too. A car is on fire, it is in the news, people pick it up very quickly, partly due to social media.”
There are even further concerns regarding electric cars as fires in these will rise in the coming years, reports RTL Nieuws. Extinguishing a fire in an electric car is a safety hazard, as these contain more batteries and therefore more chemicals that could explode.
However, these figures only represent 30% of the population that have their car insured. Therefore, the number of cars burned must be higher but were not insured.
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