No one wants to have their car stolen, but that is just an unfortunate reality that many Canadians face every year. Interestingly, though, the number of stolen cars that are not found is higher in Quebec than anywhere else in the country. It’s a major problem for which residents and visitors alike must be prepared on an ongoing basis. That means having anti-theft measures installed in vehicles, as well as the right kind of auto insurance to cover any losses that may arise.
In fact, a car is stolen in Quebec once every 14 minutes or so, according to data from the vehicle protection device company Tag. This crime has become so common – and costly – there that insurance companies now see auto theft resulting in about 1 in every 10 claims made to them, making up half of the claims dollars they pay out, about $400 million each year.
Other worrisome trends
In addition, only about 20 per cent of vehicles that are stolen in Quebec are ever found again by authorities, the report said. That’s a shockingly low recovery rate; by comparison, auto thefts in Ontario (another major center of such crimes) result in the return of the vehicle about 75 percent of the time, more or less in line with the national average. It’s further believed that 4 in 5 stolen cars are sent out of the country.
It should come as no surprise, then, that statistics show about 70 percent of all auto theft is carried out by organized crime, the report said. Another 25 percent of stolen vehicles are for auto insurance fraud, and the final 5 percent are miscellaneous crimes such as kids going joyriding.
What can owners do?
With all this in mind, and with the knowledge that thieves tend to target newer cars, it might be wise for consumers to invest in anti-theft security systems such as tag, the report said. Tag is a smartphone app that doesn’t need to be wired into a car itself, and cannot be jammed. It’s also quite difficult for thieves to remove. And with the app, drivers can keep tabs on their vehicles’ movements, among other things that can help to make it safer. Other, more traditional tracking systems are relatively easy for thieves to disable or can be jammed with little effort.
Quebec residents and visitors, as well as many other Canadians, may therefore want to consider auto insurance protection with more robust coverage related to theft. This can help to provide peace of mind and a financial safety net for those who do end up being victimized by auto theft. In turn, this type of coverage can help consumers save thousands if their cars are stolen.
“Although the total number of claims for auto theft in Quebec fell by 60.5% in 10 years, we are all affected by it,” adds National Director Home and Auto Lines at APRIL Canada, Charlotte Malaurie. “Indeed, the most stolen models are those that are most common in the province: Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda 3. So vigilance is definitely required and the best way to combat theft is the installation of an effective alarm system.”