Discover how you can easily reduce the risk of auto theft
Do you know what is worse than having your car stolen? Discovering that you are not covered and your car insurance policy won’t pay for your loss.
Only last year, the cost of auto theft reached over $6 billion. Every minute at least 2 vehicles get stolen in America. Think about that – 2 cars a minute! And you will be wrong in thinking that joy-riders are to blame. Most cars, nowadays, are stolen by ‘professionals’. The vehicles are quickly exported oversees or used for parts in garages across the country.
As most things in life, we all think that auto theft only happens to other people. Until it happens to us, that is. If you are taking this seriously, the following points and tips may be useful to you.
Often, the anti-theft device installed by the car manufacturer is just not good enough. For an experienced thief, it is not an obstacle. So what can you do? Get an after-market anti-theft system installed. Yes, it may cost you a bit more, but considering it is far more sophisticated and gives better protection, it is a small price to pay.
Think your car is too old and unattractive to thieves? You are wrong! Often an old clunker is easier to steal than a new vehicle. In some cases, older vehicles are far more valuable for parts simply because they are not being produced any longer. Newer cars become targets if the model becomes popular. According to statistics, 10 to 15 years old vehicles are at the top of the stolen list. The Cadillac Escalade has featured in so many music videos and films, that it soon topped the ‘most stolen cars’ list.
If your vehicle gets stolen, contact the police straight away and try to stay where you last left your car. The longer you wait to make that phone call, the further away your car will be when the police start looking for it. Speed and quick action is vital. You will need to provide more specific information like the vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number, so make sure you know them. It is a good idea to carry such information in your wallet and keep a copy of your documents at home too. It is a common mistake to leave your insurance papers in the car and not know your details when you ring to make a claim.
By default, a basic insurance policy will not cover auto-theft. Make sure you have comprehensive coverage added to your policy. Read the find print and see if you are going to be given a rental car if your vehicle gets stolen. Many people only purchase liability auto insurance with the minimum required limits in order to save money. The truth is that buying full coverage auto insurance is not that much more expensive and its worth every cent. Better save than sorry!
So what if the thief was unsuccessful, but still managed to damage your car so that you can’t drive it? If you have roadside assistance coverage, you won’t have anything to worry about. Comprehensive coverage will take care of the repair bills, but you still have to take your car to the garage. Towing can be expensive, especially if you are far away from your home. You can purchase such coverage not only from your insurance company, but from specialist road recovery companies too.
We can talk about computer devices and modern anti-theft technology all we want, but the fact is that the most useful weapon in your arsenal is common sense. There are simple steps that you can take when parking your car which will dramatically reduce the risk of it being stolen. Avoid parking in dark areas. When parking in a lot, stay away from the exit if possible. And don’t make the mistake of feeling safe just because you live in a nice neighbourhood and your car is in the drive way. Nearly 35% of all stolen cars are taken from outside peoples’ houses. Leaving your car unlocked is just inviting trouble.
Be sensible and get enough insurance, if you want to have a peace of mind.