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How does car theft affect your auto insurance?

March 7, 2022

In Canada, a car is stolen every 6 minutes on average1. Unfortunately, no one is really immune to such a loss with multiple impacts, starting with an increase in your auto insurance premium. How do you drive with more peace of mind?

Initial findings

The car theft rate increased significantly in 2021. This increase is greater for certain types of vehicles. The vehicles most targeted by thieves include SUVs, 4x4s, pickup trucks and luxury vehicles2.

Technological advances make it easier for thieves with the smart key system. Some thieves simply need to be near the targeted vehicle to pick up the electronic signals. The next step is to reprogram a blank key, unlock the vehicle and start it up without any contact.

Auto theft: Where, when, how?

Auto theft generally takes place at night, directly in a private driveway, or during the day, in areas around shopping centres and movie theatres. Park-and-rides near bus, train and metro terminals are also popular: thieves keep an eye out for morning commuters knowing that they will have plenty of time to operate discreetly before the theft is reported several hours later3.

In Quebec, Greater Montreal is the region most at risk. This is due to the high population density as well as the proximity of the port, the preferred route for quickly taking vehicles out of the country.4 The more recent the vehicle, generally less than four years old, the higher the risk of theft.5

Better safe than sorry

In addition to the trouble and hassle associated with having their vehicle stolen, owners who filed a vehicle theft claim in the past will see their insurance premium go up at renewal.

A tracking system is an effective way to counter theft and the resulting increase in premiums with many insurers.

What is a tracking system?

The company specialized in vehicle marking and tracking installs wireless identification and tracking devices all over the vehicle. In the event of theft, the devices can be traced within a very wide radius, sometimes across all of North America. Parts that are more popular for resale are also identified or marked in the process, making it easier to identify the stolen part.

it’s common for an insurer to require that a tracking system be installed for certain vehicle types and models when insuring the vehicle.

There are numerous advantages to this:

  • Significant decrease in the risk of theft
  • Fewer inconveniences following the theft
  • Greater chance of locating the vehicle

Good to know

Companies specializing in installing tracking systems apply decals or engravings to the vehicle windows. This simple action keeps thieves away since it acts as a deterrent.

Savings for the car owner

In most cases where a tracking system is mandatory, the reduction in premium compensates for the purchase cost of the device in the first year of coverage. Find out more!

Tracking system

If you’ve been asked to install a tracking system or decided to install one on your own, be sure to check these points first:

  • Before installing a tracking system, make sure it’s recognized by your insurer. There are a number of systems on the market, but they’re not all recognized.
  • The discount is applied when the vehicle owner confirms the installation with their insurer. Be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible!
  • If a vehicle is not initially required to have a tracking system, but then is required at some time during the contract, the owner does not have to install it. However, you may benefit from a reduced insurance premium if you install a tracking system. Ask the right questions.

What to do if your car is stolen

If you realize that your car is no longer in the spot where you parked it, here is what you need to do.

1- At the scene of the theft, as soon as you notice the loss, first call the police.

A police report is required before you contact your insurer.

2- Next, call your insurance company. Have the following information on hand:

  • Where the theft occurred
  • The police report number
  • Contact information of any witnesses to the theft
  • Your insurance policy or car insurance certificate number

As a general rule, you can call your insurer or submit a claim online. Once the claim is opened, it will be reviewed, and then when it is accepted, you will be indemnified. The wait time varies based on a number of factors such as your insurer, the terms of your car insurance policy, and your claims history.

Looking for tips to prevent your car from being stolen?

Read the article. Happy driving!