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Is Your Car On Thieves' Lists?

Is Your Car On Thieves' Lists?

By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012
As we all know, there are many factors that influence our auto insurance costs, including the cars that we drive, the places we live, and our genders, ages and driving records. When it comes to the car we drive, a major consideration for insurers is whether that car is frequently stolen. If your car is on the list of most stolen vehicles, most insurance companies will charge you a higher rate to insure it.

Non-profit organizations such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) track the most stolen vehicles in America by tallying all cars that are reported stolen by law enforcement agencies each year. The NICB's most current top 25 list of most stolen vehicles nationwide is as follows:

1. Toyota Camry
2. Honda Accord
3. Honda Civic
4. Chevrolet Full Size C/K Pickup
5. Ford Full Size Pickup (150/250/350)
6. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
7. Oldsmobile Cutlass/Supreme/Ciera
8. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan
9. Ford Taurus
10. Toyota Corolla
11. Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth Neon
12. Nissan Sentra
13. Chevrolet Caprice
14. Ford Explorer
15. Chevrolet Cavalier
16. Chevrolet Compact SUV (Blazer)
17. Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager
18. Toyota Pickup
19. Pontiac Grand Am
20. Ford Escort
21. Acura Integra
22. Dodge Ram Pickup
23. Nissan Maxima
24. Ford Mustang
25. Buick LeSabre

Even if your car is high on this list _ You CAN protect it!
There are a number of measures you can take to help safeguard your car from being stolen, even from the most experienced thief. The NICB recommends the following "layers of protection;" saying the more layers of protection on your vehicle, the more difficult it is to steal. Think about it, can you imagine what you would do without your car for even a week, let alone longer? Don't let these professional thieves profit on the car you count on to get you to all the places you need to go.

Layer #1 _ Common Sense
An unlocked vehicle with a key in the ignition is an open invitation to any thief, regardless of which anti-theft device you use. The common sense approach to protection is the simplest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves.

Secure your vehicle even if parking for brief periods. You should always:
  • Remove your keys from the ignition

  • Lock your doors/close your windows

  • Park in a well-lit area


Layer #2 _ Warning Device
The second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected.

Popular second layer devices include:
  • Audible alarms

  • Steering column collars

  • Steering wheel/Brake pedal lock

  • Brake locks

  • Wheel locks

  • Tire locks/Tire deflators

  • Theft deterrent decals

  • Identification markers in or on vehicle

  • Window etching

  • Laminated glass


Layer #3 _ Immobilizing Device
The third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle.

Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated.

Popular third layer devices include:
  • Smart keys

  • Fuse cut-offs

  • Kill switches

  • Starter, ignition and fuel disablers


Layer # 4 _ Tracking Device
The final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to a police or monitoring station when the vehicle is reported stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.

Passive and Active Anti-Theft Systems
Passive and active anti-theft devices are the two options available when considering an anti-theft system. Passive devices automatically arm themselves when the vehicle is turned off, the ignition key removed, or a door is shut. No additional action is required. Active devices require some independent physical action before they are set, such as pushing a button, or placing a "lock" over a vehicle component part. This physical action must be repeated every time the anti-theft device is set or it will not function.

We can't predict the future, but we can help safeguard the cars that we count on. Add a layer to your vehicle protection today!

Data is from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB); and list is based on the February 26, 2004 release of comprehensive 2002 vehicle data. Visit www.nicb.org for more information.

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