Protecting Your Vehicle from Car Theft in High-Risk Summer Months

car theft

Summer is a time when people love to get outside, enjoy the warm weather and take much-needed time off from the hustle and bustle of school and work. But while most people are slowing down during this period, new data from Progressive Insurance reveals that criminals are picking up their car theft activity.

Unfortunately, having a vehicle stolen not only has an impact on an individual’s auto insurance rates; it affects the industry as a whole. It’s for this reason that vehicle owners can benefit from taking as many steps possible to protect their cars.

Car Theft a Major Problem in the Summer Months

Progressive Insurance recently released its 2012 Personal Lines data, which revealed stunning information about car theft. It found that thefts increased by 15 percent during the months of July and August. In fact, nine out of 10 of the highest car theft dates occurred between July and September.

The data went on to show that cars were most likely stolen on a weekend. The highest day for stolen car claims was Sunday, followed by Saturday.

One astounding piece of information coming from the data was car theft recovery rates. Unfortunately, vehicles are recovered only 46 percent of the time, which means most individuals who are victims of car theft don’t get their vehicles back.

This makes protecting vehicles from theft a critical step in car ownership.

Protecting Vehicle and Auto Insurance Rates from Theft

Many people don’t make the connection between car theft and auto insurance rates; however, the link is significant.

Each time a vehicle is stolen, if the owner carries comprehensive auto insurance, the company usually has to pay for either repairs or replacement of the vehicle.

Due to the high cost of this crime, some companies boost the individual’s premiums as a result. And if a neighborhood or city suffers from enough car thefts, individuals living in those areas may see hikes in their insurance costs.

One way to avoid a significant hike in coverage is to protect your vehicle from theft. Progressive Insurance offers some protection tips for current car owners:

  • Add car alarm: Many newer vehicles have some type of car alarm or theft deterrent system installed that sounds off when it’s not disabled with the car key. If yours does not, consider adding an alarm for theft protection.
  • Place sticker in the window: If you don’t have an alarm just yet, Todd Golling, Progessive Claims Trainer and former Virginia State Trooper shared in a press release to add a sticker in the window that says you do.
  • Remove items from vehicle: If you know you will be leaving your vehicle for a long period of time, be sure to remove any items from the car that could entice thieves to attempt a break-in.

Any steps you take to deter criminals is likely to help, Golling noted in the release.

“Thieves are lazy, so if you do anything to make their job more difficult, they’ll move on to the next car,” he said.

Image courtesy of Toa55 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net