Are Auto Insurance Rates Affected by Auto Theft?
Car and other vehicle theft is very common in the United States, with a motor vehicle stolen every 41 seconds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you only have liability insurance, it’s unlikely you’re insured for vehicle theft, and therefore your vehicle being stolen will not affect your insurance company. Comprehensive insurance will cover theft but yes, vehicle theft is likely to affect your insurance rates, particularly if it’s a problem you experience more than once. Read on for more facts about auto theft and how to keep your rates low.
Auto Theft Facts
The 2016 Uniform Crime Report compiled by the FBI is a good place to start to get an idea of the prevalence and impact of car theft in the United States. According to the report:
- The estimated rate of motor vehicle theft to inhabitants is at 236.9 per 100,000.
- The total number of vehicle thefts in 2016 was estimated at 765,484.
- Vehicle theft amounted to a nationwide loss of approximately $5.9 billion in 2016.
Perhaps surprisingly, the most high-value cars are not the ones that are most often targeted by thieves. While a Ferrari owner may feel more at risk, research shows that more attainable and older cars are often stolen at a higher rate. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau 2016 Hot Wheels Report, the 1997 Honda Accord was the most at-risk vehicle in terms of theft, followed by the 1998 Honda Civic, and the 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size). As the NICB notes, these older model Honda vehicles were not equipped with ‘smart keys’ and newer models are not as regularly targeted.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau also compiled a list of the top 2016 model year vehicles stolen during 2016, with the Toyota Camry in first place, followed by the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Corolla.
Auto Theft Prevention
There are many ways you can help keep your vehicle safe, here are 7 ways to keep your care secure:
- Remember to always lock your car and keep your car keys with you
- Don’t step away from your vehicle while it is still running
- If you must leave valuable items in your car, ensure they are hidden from view
- Park your vehicle in a secure garage
- Park in well-lit areas that are monitored for security
- Fit an immobilizing device to prevent your car from starting
- Insert a tracking device so that if your car is stolen, it can be found immediately
Consider Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
If you’re concerned about a high rate of auto theft in your area, comprehensive insurance can bring you the peace of mind you need. Comprehensive insurance usually covers auto theft, including whole vehicle theft, parts theft, and theft of items taken from within the vehicle. Ask your insurance provider exactly which aspects of theft will be covered.
How to Keep Your Insurance Premium Low
Insurance premiums can be affected by many factors, including where you live, the crime rate in the area, and the rate of auto theft. Insurance companies often reduce rates for those taking extra care to protect their vehicle from theft. Equipping your vehicle with an anti-theft protection device, for example, might mean your provider can offer a lower rate. Contact your insurance agent to find out if this is something they take into consideration.
Last but not least, shop around for the best insurance rates for your vehicle and location.
For more information about how Insure on the Spot can help you with this decision, please do not hesitate to call one of our many locations across the Chicagoland area!