Car Theft And Insurance Rates
Auto theft is one of the top non-violent crimes committed in the U.S every single day. Insurance companies, law enforcement and consumers are all responsible in the joint effort in helping reduce auto theft crimes. Take a look at how auto theft varies across the country, how it affects us and what we can do to help.
DOES IT MATTER WHERE I LIVE?
Living in urban, high crime, port, or border cities has a high impact on your risk of becoming a victim of car theft.
National Insurance Crime Bureau 2011 report
Top 10 metro areas with high auto theft rates
1 Fresno, CA
2 Modesto, CA
3 Bakersfield-Delano, CA
4 Spokane, WA
5 Yakima, WA
6 San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, CA
7 Stockton, CA
8 Anderson, SC
9 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
10 Visalia-Porterville, CA
Top 10 states with highest number of auto thefts
10 New York
DOES IT MATTER WHAT CAR, COLOR OR BRAND?
According to the FBI, a vehicle is stolen in the US every 43 seconds. Many of these you think would be flashy sports cars, but that is not always the case.
A THIEVE’S WISH LIST AND WHY
1 1994 Honda Accord
• Plain & Ubiquitous
• Light on its feet
• Great Visibility
• Lack of anti-theft technology
• Only problem, once you steal it, someone else will steal it from you
2 1998 Honda Civic
• Lightweight (2,400 – 2,500 pounds)
• Good handling
• #1 car stolen for joyriding
• Fuel Efficiency
3 2006 Ford F-150
• #1 car stolen at tailgates
• Best selling truck in America, always a market for parts
Older vehicles are usually stolen for their parts, which are no longer being manufactured; newer cars are stolen for their popularity
TOP COLORS STOLEN
TOP BRANDS STOLEN
TOP DAYS OF THE WEEK TO STEAL
TOP MONTHS TO STEAL
If you live in Fresno, CA driving a white honda accord on a Tuesday in November… well, you better be cautious.
MOST EXPENSIVE CAR EVER STOLEN & RECOVERED
• 2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AM
OLDEST CAR EVER STOLEN AND RECOVERED
• 1948 Chevy Fleetline
Will my insurance cover it?
Every 26 seconds, a motor vehicle is stolen in the U.S.
In 2006, 1,192,809 vehicles were reported stolen
Only 13% of these cases ended with arrests
Over 700,000 reported cars have never been recovered
They are presumed to have been exported and sold on the black market, disassembled in chop shops, or fraudulently reported stolen
Not all insurance plans will cover car theft
Liability and collision will only cover in the case of a car accident
Comprehensive auto insurance will usually cover theft, vandalism, hit & run damage, and “Act of God” damage (flood, severe weather, animal damage, fire, falling trees)
The average cost of comprehensive auto insurance in the U.S. is $136/year*
(Washington D.C. has the highest average at $266/year)
(Oregon has the lowest average at $97/year)
Comprehensive deductibles usually fall between $0 and $1,000. Paying a higher deductible will lower the annual cost.
*Many insurance companies require that the policyholder purchase collision insurance with comprehensive insurance
An estimated 14% of U.S. drivers don’t have any kind of auto insurance.
HOW ITS DONE (TOP WAYS CARS ARE STOLEN)
• Finding the hidden key
WHERES MY CAR
The recovery rate for vehicles is at 52%, a 30 year low. Auto theft is the costliest property crime in the US, costing consumers more than 8.2 billion annually. There were an estimated 715,373 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2011
• Chop Shop
• 50% of stolen cars end up in a chop shop
• Most chop shops make up to 4X as much as the cars worth by selling parts separately
• Skilled chop shop artists can strip a car in 30 minutes
• Shipping Containers
• 40% of vehicle thefts occur in port and border cities
• Of the top 25 metro areas for car theft, nearly half are cities with ports.
• Over 10,000 stolen cars/year are shipped to foreign countries
• Ending up in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Central America
• Crime Scenes
• Cars are stolen to commit other crimes so license plates does not link to them.
• Drive by shootings, armed robbery, grand larceny are among the favorites.
• Sometimes thieves take a car just because they can, this is called joyriding.
• Then leave it for someone to find
• Unsuspecting Consumers
• Thieves change the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and sell to a person.
• Buyers have low chance of getting money back when they accidentally buy a stolen vehicle
REDUCING YOUR RISK
Whether you live in one of the risk areas, own one of the most stolen cars or not, there are ways that can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of car theft.
• USE COMMON SENSE
• Do not leave the car running when you get out, leave your keys in the ignition, or in some hidden spot. Make it as difficult for a thief as you can.
• THE RIGHT CAR INSURANCE COVERAGE
• Buy comprehensive car insurance coverage. With comprehensive coverage in place, you’ll be able to replace your stolen car without decimating your budget.
• Smart car thieves know their way around many security devices so having a recovery system or deterrent system can help reduce theft.
Auto theft is on the decline in the US. However, recovery rates are also down. Over 700,000 vehicles are stolen a year and not recovered. They are presumed to be exported, fraudulently reported stolen.
Latest posts by Raphael Locsin (see all)
- Maintenance Tips to Prevent Accidents - May 2, 2016
- Insuring Your Actual Home vs. A Home You’re Renting Out - April 25, 2016
- Cyber Security Wars: Arming Your Business Against Liability - April 20, 2016