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CAA Insurance Company Addresses Escalating Auto Theft Crisis Across Canada (CNW Group/CAA Insurance Company)

CAA making recommendations to avoid vehicle thefts

By Tara Clow Feb 1, 2024 | 1:49 PM

Rising auto theft rates across Canada cost the insurance industry about 1.2 billion dollars in claims in 2022.

CAA spokesperson Elliott Silverstein says that figure is expected to rise in 2023, “What our concern is, is that if this keeps trending in that direction without any type of involvement to stop this, we could see issues with insurance rates going forward.”

He says one of the challenges is that a lot of the cars that are being stolen are not ten or twelve years old, they are brand new. When the owner files the claim, insurance companies write them off, but they have to pay almost the entire cost of the vehicle, which could be $50,000, $60,000, or in the $70,000 range, making the impact that much higher.

But Silverstein adds every vehicle owner needs to be diligent, regardless of the make or model or the year their car was manufactured.

“There will always be crimes of opportunity. People leave their cars running and somebody takes advantage of that opportunity, which will always exist for any vehicle. What we’re seeing right now is that there is a coordinated structure that is very organized to try and get certain vehicles that are in high demand to try and get them exported,” Silverstein says.

CAA is encouraging car owners to take all the precautions they can to ensure thieves don’t get access to their vehicles. Some of those preventative measures are:

  • Secure your parked vehicle with a steering-wheel lock, brake pedal lock, or wheel lock, such as “The Club” to secure your parked vehicle.
  • Secure your car key fob by storing it in a Faraday box or pouch to prevent signal hacking.
  • Consider a professionally installed after-market immobilizer.
  • Lock your doors (car and home) and park your vehicle inside if you have a garage.
  • If you own more than one vehicle, it’s recommended to park the less valuable one nearer to the street.
  • Install motion sensors and a camera on your driveway to capture any activity.
  • Cover the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) so it’s not visible on the dashboard.
  • Store a GPS tracker (ex, Air Tag) to track your vehicle should it be stolen.
  • Ensure items are out of sight, and do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Always avoid leaving your vehicle unattended while it is running.

You’re also encouraged to call the police if you notice any suspicious activities surrounding vehicles in your neighbourhoods.

“Getting your car stolen will not only disrupt your daily life but there is also considerable emotional distress it takes on your life as well. We believe the surge in auto theft cases demands a united front,” adds Silverstein.