How Insurance Rates Are Affected By Theft

Facts About Auto Theft

Unfortunately, auto theft is far too common in the United States. In 2012, the FBI reported that 167,468 vehicles were stolen in the U.S. While the top ten “hot spots” are in Washington and California, all Americans are vulnerable.

Anyone can be a victim, not just the brand-new car owners. Very often, an older car can be parted out and bring more profit than selling a stolen new car whole. The National Insurance Crime Bureau released the top 10 most commonly stolen vehicles for 2012.

  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Ford full sized trucks
  • Chevrolet full sized trucks
  • Toyota Camry
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Dodge full sized trucks
  • Acura Integra
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Maxima

How to Guard Against Auto Theft

Theft can either be the entire vehicle or parts like tires and wheels, seats, and airbags. Most states only require liability insurance to drive on state roads, but many motorists opt for comprehensive policies to include to include theft protection. If you would like this protection, you should know that many policies only cover the depreciated value of the vehicle or its components, not the replacement cost. Also, policies that offer a minimum theft coverage probably don’t cover the cost of a rental car while your claim is being processed. Carefully examine the policy to ensure that you are getting the level of protection that you want.
Many insurance companies factor in the risk of theft when calculating your rates. If you live in a state with a higher auto theft rate, or if you drive a vehicle on the list of high-risk vehicles, you will very likely pay much more for your insurance.

Since age, driving history, location, gender, lapses in coverage, previous claims and your credit score are all factors used to calculate your rate, it’s not always clear how much the risk of theft will affect your rate. The best way to ensure a fair rate is to get quotes from several providers before buying a policy.

Protecting Yourself

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports that some states like New York, New Jersey, Georgia, and Washington encourage insurance discounts for anti-theft protection devices they do not require them. Some states do require the insurance companies to offer the discounts, however. Call your provider to ask about these potential discounts.

You can save between 5% and 25% of your premium cost by utilizing anti-theft protection devices. Be sure to contact your agent before investing in these systems hoping to lower your rate.