Car Theft and Auto Insurance: Prevention and Protection

By Jesse Herman, contributing editor

Auto Insurance is typically covered in the comprehensive section of an auto insurance policy. Stolen vehicle parts are normally covered. Comprehensive coverage can go a step further and cover fire, vandalism or weather-related damage.

Comprehensive insurance premium rates depend on a cars risk of loss, damage and value at the time of the loss. According to National Census Bureau and the Insurance Information Institute, stolen airbags (75,000+ every year) and xenon headlights are some of the more popular items stolen that people may not consider.

Only 13% of thefts were cleared by arrests. Carjackings occur most frequently in urban areas, but only account for 3% of all motor vehicle thefts.

TOP 25 MOST STOLEN PASSENGER VEHICLES, 2005

Rank

Year/Make/Model

Rank

Year/Make/Model

1

2001 BMW M Roadster

14

1998 Land Rover Range Rover

2

1998 Acura Integra

15

1998 Jaguar XJR

3

2004 Mercury Marauder

16

2003 Mercury Marauder

4

1999 Acura Integra

17

2000 Acura Integra

5

1995 Acura Integra

18

2002 Cadillac Escalade

6

2002 Audi S4

19

2000 Audi A8

7

1996 Acura Integra

20

2000 Audi S4

8

1997 Acura Integra

21

1993 Mercedes-Benz 600

9

2001 Acura Integra

22

1995 Land Rover Range Rover

10

Yakima, WA

23

2005 Cadillac Escalade

11

2000 Jaguar XJR

24

2000 Honda Civic

12

1994 Acura Integra

25

2001 Audi S4

13

2004 Suzuki Aerio

 


Source: CCC Information Services, Inc.


Nine states require insurers to provide car owners with discounts on the base rates for comprehensive insurance for antitheft devices (National Association of Insurance Commissioners). These states are: Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Four states “encourage” that these discounts be offered.

The discount varies but is typically 15%-20% for passive devices, which are activated when the vehicle is locked.

Other states that do not mandate discounts (Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Washington) encourage car owners to install antitheft devices by voluntarily providing discounts.

    TOP 10 MOST U.S METROPOLITAN AREAS FOR STOLEN VEHICLES, 2005

 Rank

Location 

# of Cars Stolen 

Rate (1) 

 1

 Modesto, CA

 7,071

 1,418.880

 2

 Las Vegas/Paradise, NV

 22,465

 1,360.90

 3

 Stockton, CA

 7,586

 1,167.30

 4

 Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, AZ

 41,000

 1,103.50

 5

 Visalia/Porterville, CA

 4,257

 1060.20

6

Seattle/Tacoma/Bellvue, WA

33,494

1057.60

7

Sacramento/Arden-Arcade/Roseville, CA

20,268

1,005.00

8

San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, CA

28,845

983.90

9

Fresno, CA

8,478

978.11

10

Yakima, WA

2,212

965.54

(1) Ranked by the rate of vehicle thefts reported per 100,000 people based on the 2000 Census.

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau


 



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