Vehicle theft in Canada has been a hot-button topic in the news recently. Ontario has seen a nearly 50-per-cent increase in vehicle thefts in the last year, with other provinces seeing similar trends. This is a high-profile crime that impacts Canadians from coast to coast.
According to the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association’s 2023 report, a vehicle in stolen every 6 minutes on average in Canada, often by organized crime. While the incidents of theft are higher in metropolitan areas, these crimes are not limited to larger city centers.
Historically, it was not unusual for vehicles to be stolen and resold in local markets; however, it is evident that organized crime rings are on the rise and are becoming more and more efficient in stealing and exporting vehicles in Canada. When analyzing how these vehicles are being transported, the answer is simpler than one might expect: vehicles are being stolen and exported out of the country using shipping containers and local ports and waterways.
But, how does this recent uptick on vehicle theft affect Ontarian drivers? Other than the inconvenience of having your vehicle stolen, insurance companies are beginning to take notice of theft claims being filed. This is causing the insurance industry to take steps to mitigate the losses they are experiencing.
In this post, we will review the top ten vehicles being impacted by theft, how Ontario insurance companies are reacting to the recent uptick in vehicle theft, how your auto insurance policy may be impacted, and steps you can take to ensure that you are not a victim of auto theft.
The Équité Association, a Canadian organization that aims to reduce and prevent insurance-related crime, releases an annual report on the year’s top stolen vehicles. The Association’s most recent report released in June 2023, indicates that the majority of stolen vehicles in Ontario are new (2017 or newer). Organized crime rings are targeting new or luxury vehicles, as these would return maximum profits in oversea markets. Recovery rates for Ontario are sitting at around 45-per-cent.
According to the most recent data available, the top ten most stolen vehicles in Ontario are as follows:
The above list is not exhaustive. Insurance companies are utilizing their own data on vehicle theft claims to determine which vehicles are being most targeted.
When you have a vehicle stolen, you can make a claim under your Comprehensive or All Perils physical damage coverage extension for the theft. If your vehicle were to be unrecoverable, your insurance company would provide you with a settlement offer for your vehicle. Your settlement offer will be unique to you based upon your policy. We recommend that you reach out to your licensed insurance broker to discuss your specific situation.
As a result of the increase in theft claims, insurance companies are starting to take steps in order to protect their other policy holders and ensure they stay financially healthy. While each company has a slightly different approach in tackling this issue, the consensus is that something needs to be done.
Some companies will begin to surcharge your insurance policy if you drive a “high theft” vehicle as determined by your company. Each company keeps a list of the vehicles that they deem “high theft” and not all lists are the same.
Surcharging your auto insurance premiums? That sounds awful, doesn’t it? Fret not, there are ways to avoid the surcharge altogether, which include:
If you find yourself driving a “high theft” vehicle, you’re going to want to contact one of our licensed brokers to discuss your options and which insurance company would best suit your needs.
Some insurance companies are offering free or discounted installation of the TAG tracking system ($400.00 value) for customers who own often-stolen vehicles in high-theft areas. Further, most companies are offering an Anti Theft Discount of 10% to 20% for a qualifying device installation.
Auto insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product. Each and every auto insurance policy in Ontario is tailored to your unique situation and circumstances.
If you are concerned about vehicle theft, or drive a “high theft” vehicle, speak to our licensed brokers to discuss the options available to you and how you can avoid having your auto insurance premium surcharged.
Not a current client, but still want to discuss your high theft vehicle? Give us a call today at 1-888-231-2011 option 2, or visit our website to submit a request for a call back.