July 15, 2011

Why Car Theft Rates Rise In The Summer

It's summer, and car theft rates are again keeping pace with rising temperatures. Statistics show that car thieves are more active during the four or five months after Memorial Day. The reasons for the accelerated thievery aren't too difficult to understand. More people are on the road, schools are out, garage doors are left open and drivers in a hurry don't lock their doors. Vacationers driving rental cars can be careless with their rented wheels. Thieves count rentals as among the easiest to steal, so your comprehensive coverage has to absorb the insurance premium toll.

Car theft rates, at any time of the year, can be substantial. But summer is a special time for thieves because so much of what they want is easily found. The most often stolen cars are Hondas, Toyotas and Acuras. These popular rides have better quality parts than their comparable U.S. counterparts. That makes them a more marketable commodity. Stolen car parts are big business, putting billions of dollars each year into thieves' pockets.

Automobile theft forces policyholders to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in higher insurance premiums. Even if you don't carry comprehensive coverage, count on having to pay a share of what it costs across the board to settle theft claims.

A large majority of stolen cars are recovered within a couple of days. Youngsters will abandon a joy ride about the time a car runs out of gas. Most of the time, these stolen vehicles have little or no damage. A more dangerous kind of automobile theft is car-jacking. The thugs who pick a stopped car, with the driver at the wheel, don't care about your safety. It's either turn over your car, or risk serious injury or death. Play it smart. Nothing inside or attached to your vehicle is worth the risk of getting killed. Do as you're ordered, without comment, and get out safely. Immediately notify the police and wait for them to arrive at your location.

The obvious things to do that make your car less attractive to thieves include locking all doors, roll up windows, don't leave valuables lying in plain sight and never leave keys in the ignition. A professional car thief can boost a car within a matter of seconds. Whether old or new, any car can be broken into. Cars equipped with OnStar, or similar systems, make it easy for law enforcement to track down a stolen vehicle. Professional thieves know about OnStar and are less likely to steal a car equipped with the system.

A car is stolen every 33 seconds—a statistic you want no part of.