You finally decided to treat yourself and buy a new car. You call your insurance broker to get it insured, and you are surprised to learn that your insurer requires that you install an anti-theft device. However, you live in the suburbs where crime rates are relatively low, and the risk of theft seems minimal to you. Think again!
Did you know that according to Statistics Canada, 500 vehicles are stolen across the country every day? Of course, your insurance policy covers you for this type of risk if you have “Section B3: All perils other than collision or upset” coverage. However, 10% of your annual auto insurance premium is used to compensate all victims of auto theft each year. Theft prevention is therefore a good way to limit insurance premium increases, as only one out of ten vehicles stolen in Quebec is found. It is therefore of general interest to prevent auto theft.
TYPES OF THEFT
To adequately protect yourself, it is important to understand the different types of auto theft. First, there is theft linked to organized crime. Vehicles may be disassembled and stripped for parts for resale on the black market, where they could be exported to other countries. This practice mainly affects luxury vehicles and sports utility vehicles, which are highly sought-after internationally. In addition, Quebec is in a prime location for exporters because of the presence of waterways. Finally, there is theft for the purpose of joyriding, which is often committed by young people looking to have fun. In most such cases, the vehicle is found hours after the theft.
Here are some basic rules that help minimize risks of theft:
- Lock the doors at all times.
- Do not leave the car running unattended.
- Avoid parking in badly lit areas.
- Do not leave objects on the seat where anyone can see them.
An experienced thief only needs 30 seconds to steal your vehicle, despite your best efforts. An anti-theft device is therefore an excellent method of prevention. While there are several devices on the market, there are two main devices that are known to insurers and that have proven their effectiveness over time.
- Anti-theft marking, which consists of marking a code on several parts of the car. In doing so, resale becomes almost impossible.
- A tracking system, which allows for the car to be located if it is stolen, through a number of transmission units. In the event of theft, call the tracking centre to report that your vehicle is missing.
Whether it is required by your insurer or whether you choose to do so as a precaution, installing an anti-theft device is always a good option. It allows you to adequately protect your car, and most insurers offer substantial discounts on your insurance premium. Some companies will even give you a discount on the cost of installation. For more information and advice about this subject, contact your Lareau broker.
To learn if your vehicle is at risk, look for it on the list of the vehicles that are stolen most often according to the Groupement des assureurs automobiles: