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Auto theft is a serious concern whenever you own a vehicle and is much more common than you may think. While most drivers are insured against vehicle loss due to car theft many drivers have absolutely no coverage in place. Becoming a victim of car theft can have serious consequences on your car insurance rates and cause great exposure to personal liability without the right type of car insurance.
Every year the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) publishes a list of the most stolen cars across America and in 2009 the types of vehicles most reported as stolen were:
- 1994 Accord
- 1995 Civic
- 2004 Ram Pickup
- 2000 Caravan
- 1997 F-150 Pickup
- 1999 Taurus
- 2002 Explorer
- 1989 Toyota Camry
- 1996 Grand Cherokee/ Jeep Cherokee
- 1994 Acura Integra
While every car can be the victim of auto theft these models represent the vehicles with the highest number of unit stolen in 2009. Older cars have a lot of value due to their lack of anti-theft deterrent systems and the “breakdown” value of their parts on the black market.
How to Prevent Auto Theft
Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee your vehicle will never be stolen but there are many ways to reduce your risk of being a victim to auto theft.
Always Lock Your Vehicle
One of the main reasons car thieves steal one vehicle over the next is just a case of entry. It takes time and risk of exposure breaking a windshield or temporarily setting off a car alarm. However if your doors are unlocked all of these anti-theft systems are usually disabled and makes the car an easy target for thieves. Locking your doors is the easiest way to reducing your risk of being a victim to car theft.
Install an Anti-Theft Device
Around 10 years ago a lot of car manufacturers installed loud alarms and within a couple years they stopped installing these as better devices came to market. Anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks, ignition locks and other (not so loud) devices have greatly reduced the exposure of many late model cars to auto theft.
Vehicle Tracking Systems
With the success of LoJack, vehicle tracking systems are a valuable asset to any car. These types of devices make it almost impossible for most car thieves to detect and can assist law enforcement in finding your vehicle. Although no one will guarantee the condition of your car at least its a step in the right direction.
What type of car insurance will cover a stolen car?
If you just carry minimum state requirements you will have no coverage for a stolen vehicle as filing a claim for vehicle loss due to auto theft falls under either comprehensive coverage or uninsured motorist coverage (depending on your state and car insurance company). State minimum car insurance laws only require liability insurance and any type of car insurance which covers auto theft is optional. Check with your car insurance company about your coverage for loss due to auto theft.
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