How you theft-proof your car will differ depending on the protections you already have in place from the manufacturer and what you believe is appropriate for your vehicle. Below are a few things to consider before making a purchase.
How Many Cars Are Stolen Each Year?
Not every car is a target, but recent data shows an uptick in vehicle thefts.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), estimated vehicle thefts have regularly increased by tens of thousands of vehicles every year since 2019, hitting over 1 million cars reported stolen in 2022. The U.S. saw the highest number of vehicle thefts in 2008 at 1.05 million reported thefts, per NICB data.
“We are seeing vehicle theft numbers that we haven’t seen in nearly 15 years, and there is very little deterrent to stop criminals from committing these acts as they are just property crimes, like shoplifting,” NICB President and CEO David J. Glawe stated in a news release.
The NICB reports that starting in June 2020, the United States experienced a 13 percent year-over-year increase in auto thefts. This worrying trend continued into and throughout 2021 as most states reported more incidents than the previous year, according to the organization.
The non-profit also says many major metropolitan areas are dealing with an upswing in carjackings, meaning the victim was threatened with or experienced bodily injury. While those numbers may cause anxiety, the best way to deal with car theft once a vehicle is stolen is to contact law enforcement. If your comprehensive car insurance policy covers theft, file a claim with your insurance company.
Does Car Insurance Cover Theft?
While having an anti-theft device on your car might offer some peace of mind, some auto insurance policies cover vehicles in the event of theft or vandalism. The insurance company will reimburse you the actual cash value (ACV) of your car, minus the deductible, if you have a theft claim.
Most states don’t require comprehensive coverage, but an auto lender may require you to add it to your auto insurance policy if you’re financing your car. If you’re wondering whether your car insurance covers theft, review your policy information to make sure.
How To Prevent Car Theft
If you believe your car alarm system doesn’t offer enough protection, the best option may be to try multiple devices. Having more than one deterrent improves car security by increasing the obstacles a thief must bypass.
A secondary car alarm, kill switch, or tracking system paired with a primary deterrent such as a wheel lock can help prevent your car from being stolen. Ultimately, the amount of theft prevention you invest in will likely depend on how much you value your car.