Vehicle Theft Prevention

Vehicle Theft Prevention

Vehicle Theft Is Rising: How to protect your ride 

Vehicle theft is on the rise. More than a million vehicles were stolen in 2022, and if history is any predictor (and it usually is) the upward slope of car and truck thefts we’ve been seeing over the past several years will only continue to rise. 

For most of us, a car or truck is one of the most valuable things we own, and losing one to theft is a devastating loss, even if you have comprehensive car insurance. While you may think you’re safe from vehicle theft if you live in a nice neighborhood, no one is immune to crime. Follow these tips to protect your vehicle safer from car thieves and save yourself the hassle of reporting a vehicle theft to your car insurance company. 

Why are more vehicles being stolen now? 

Blame the pandemic. While the number of car thefts has been rising steadily over the last several years, car thefts spiked during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, microchips needed to build new cars were in short supply. In turn, fewer new cars could be produced, so people held onto their old cars longer. With people keeping their older cars, there were fewer used cars on the market, too. All of this drove up car prices, so thieves could command higher prices for stolen vehicles. Crime is a business, after all. It’s all a question of supply and demand. 

If you don’t want to become a crime statistic, follow these so-easy-I-can’t-believe-I-wasn’t-doing-this-before tips. 

  1. 100,000 Vehicle thefts are due THIS ONE error! 

In 2021, more than 100,00 vehicles were stolen because someone left the keys or key fobs in the vehicle! These thefts occurred primarily when drivers: 

  • Left the car running while they ran into a gas station or other business to run a quick errand
  • Left the keys in the car while parked at home

Don’t make it too easy for thieves to make off with your vehicle! Turn the car off, take your keys with you, and when you’re not driving, keep the keys in a safe place somewhere other than your vehicle! 

  1. Lock your doors 

A really determined thief will happily break your windows or locks to access to your car. But more times than not, they won’t. Most vehicle crime is a crime of opportunity, and locking your car doors is one more barrier that really does keep car thieves at bay. The more steps it takes to get into your vehicle, the more likely a thief is to move on to an easier target. 

  1. Park in well-lighted areas 

Whether you’re at home or away, parking your vehicle in an area that is well-lighted snatches away a car thief’s most valuable asset – the cover of darkness. Whenever you can, park under a streetligh6t or other lighted area, and the more public your parking space is, the better. At home, park your car in a garage if possible, and if not, install lighting to illuminate your parking area. 

  1. Install anti-theft devices 

The smarter thieves get, the more technologically advanced theft-prevention devices become to beat them. From audible car theft alarms to vehicle immobilization devices to good old-fashioned steering wheel locks, there is an entire industry built to help you keep your car out of the hands of thieves and prevent you from filing a stolen vehicle claim with your car insurance company. 

What if my car is stolen? 

If your car is stolen, your first step is to call the police and file a report. You’ll need to have your car’s make, model, year, license plate number and VIN on hand, so make sure you have a copy of all that separate from your vehicle. 

Within 24 hours, you should also notify your car insurance company. If you have comprehensive coverage, your auto insurance company should reimburse you for the value of the vehicle minus your deductible. If you only have liability and collision auto insurance, you can expect to pay off your car loan and purchase another vehicle out of pocket. 

Don’t get caught without comprehensive coverage – Call Edwards today! 

In the event of a car theft, you will kick yourself for not having comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. Don’t make that expensive mistake. Give us a call today!