In 2022, more than 1 million vehicles were stolen in the U.S.—an increase of 7 percent over the previous year. And industry experts say that nearly half of the time, owner errors contributed to the theft of the vehicle!
You may not think your vehicle is of interest to a car thief, but it’s not always the most expensive or flashy vehicles which are stolen. The top five vehicles stolen in 2021 were full size Chevy and Ford trucks, Honda Civics and Accords, and Toyota Camrys. In many cases, car thieves target vehicles because they want to resell the parts.
If you carry comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy and your car is stolen, your loss should be covered, less your deductible. However, since you don’t want to go through the hassle and expense of losing your vehicle in the first place, here are a few simple tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of car theft.
Avoid being an easy target
Car thieves look for the easiest marks they can find—vehicles with unlocked doors, open windows, and so on. Even if they don’t steal your vehicle, thieves also look for valuables they can resell left in unlocked vehicles. Make it harder for them to take your vehicle and your belongings, and they will move on to an easier target.
Make it hard to get in
- Always lock your car doors when you leave your vehicle. Roll up your windows, too.
- Never leave your keys or key fob in your car.
- Never leave the car running and unattended, even if you leave the car locked.
- Don’t leave valuables like phones, purses, or laptops in your car. If you must leave them, put them out of sight. Consider locking them in your trunk before you reach your destination in case anyone is watching as you leave your car.
Pay attention to where you park
- Park in well-lighted, high-traffic areas, such as near store entrances or guard shacks in public parking garages. Don’t give thieves privacy and darkness in which to work.
- At home, if you can’t park in a garage, park under a streetlight, or install motion-detecting lights that will illuminate where you park.
Make it harder to steal
- Add an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock, noise-making alarm, or an ignition kill switch.
- Etch your vehicle identification number (VIN) on your windows, or use paint or an indelible marker to place your VIN under the hood, on your battery, and under your trunk lid. This makes it harder for thieves to get rid of the car and easier for police to identify it if it is stolen.
If your car is stolen
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, your vehicle might be stolen anyway. If this happens to you, report the theft to the police within 24 hours. You’ll need to provide the following: Make, model, and color of your vehicle; license plate number; Vehicle identification number; any additional identifying characteristics of the vehicle. You should also report the theft to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Don’t be an easy target for car thieves. Take these simple, common-sense precautions to reduce the chance that you’ll be a victim of car theft.
Lakewood Financial Services: your source for car insurance
If you’re shopping for car insurance, please call Lakewood Financial at 941-747-4600 for a no-obligation quote, or click here to contact us online. As an independent insurance agency, we work with many insurance companies in order to help you find the best coverage for your specific needs at the most competitive price. Lakewood Financial has been in business since 2003, primarily serving the communities of Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch & Sarasota.