Unfortunately, car theft is a fact of life, and no city or region, no matter how safe it may be, is immune to this type of criminal activity. As a vehicle owner, take steps to minimize your risk of car theft and understand how its possibility may affect your auto insurance rates. While many Alberta auto insurance policies provide compensation in the event of vehicle theft, it is your responsibility to protect your property and do all you can to prevent your car from being stolen in the first place.
With that in mind, here is a list of the 10 most commonly stolen cars in Canada, according to statistics compiled by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)in 2012:
- 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
- 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
- 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS 4-door 4WD
- 2007 Ford F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2005 Cadillac Escalade 4-door AWD
- 2006 Ford F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2002 Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD
- 2005 Ford F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2004 Ford F350 SD 4WD PU
- 1999 Acura Integra 2-door
You will note that pickup trucks and all-wheel-drive vehicles recur again and again on this list. There is a major overseas black market for vehicles capable of handling rugged terrain and hauling heavy loads.
Why Do Thieves Steal Cars?
According to the IBC, there are four major reasons thieves steal cars:
- To sell overseas — thieves can command much more than a vehicle’s current value if there is demand for that particular make and model in the overseas black market.
- To sell domestically — stolen vehicles can be altered and then resold to unsuspecting customers through dealerships or private parties.
- For transportation — joyriding is one of the most common reasons cars are stolen; young offenders typically commit this type of car theft.
- For use in other criminal acts — many car thieves use illegally obtained vehicles to commit other crimes and robberies as it leaves police unable to use auto registration records to identify them.
How Does Vehicle Theft Affect the Rates You Pay for Car Insurance in Alberta?
Be aware that your relative risk for being a victim of auto theft is factored into your premiums when you purchase a policy. For example, auto theft rates are significantly higher in large and densely populated urban areas, so you can expect to pay more for car insurance if you live in Calgary than you would if you lived on an acreage in rural Alberta.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Vehicle Theft?
Historically speaking, Alberta has one of the highest auto theft rates among Canadian provinces. While car theft in Alberta is trending downward, it is still very important that you acquaint yourself with recommended best practices for preventing vehicle theft.
Here are some measures you can take to decrease your chances of being victimized by auto theft:
- Always lock your vehicle, even if you are only leaving it unattended for a short period of time.
- Never leave your keys in an unattended vehicle for any reason.
- Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a well-populated and brightly lit area. As part of choosing a parking spot, consider how busy the area will be at the time you will be returning to your vehicle.
- Never keep valuables in your vehicle. Laptop computers, smartphones, and golf clubs are especially attractive to thieves because they command high resale values on the black market.
- Disable your vehicle’s internal automatic trunk release.
- If you have a home garage, use it, and always keep the door locked.
- Lock the doors when you are in the vehicle.
- Remember that, in some cases, remote entry systems disable factory-installed security systems. Always ensure your vehicle’s security system is fully operational.
- Consider an aftermarket theft prevention device, such as an engine immobilizer, mechanical immobilizer, or vehicle alarm. Statistics show that vehicles with these safety features are stolen at dramatically reduced rates compared to vehicles that lack them.
Lane’s Insurance is one of the leading car insurance brokers in Alberta. Because Lane’s is an insurance brokerage and not an insurance underwriter, you can take advantage of the province’s most competitive rates while receiving friendly, knowledgeable and personalized customer care. If you need car insurance in Alberta, visit Lane’s Insurance to get a fast, free, no-obligation quote, or contact a Lane’s representative to discuss your unique insurance needs in detail.