Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada
MONTREAL, Aug. 3 2009 - In Quebec, a vehicle is the target of thieves every seven minutes. They either steal them or break in to steal the articles left inside. In 2008, 31,091 vehicles were reported stolen in Quebec (-14% from 2007). To this number, add 40,107 thefts of articles taken from inside cars (+9% from 2007).
We're all victims of this crime
While the number of vehicles stolen has decreased (-21% over five years and -28% over 10 years), car theft remains a scourge that cost Quebec insurers $230 million in claims in 2008. The cost of this is borne by all insureds and represents close to 10% of each policyholder's insurance premium. It's just one more reason to be concerned.
... and it's one that we can all help solve
It takes thieves just a few seconds to steal a car. Unfortunately, we often make it easier for them because we're careless. We don't lock car doors, we leave vehicles running unattended, etc. In fact, about one in five vehicles stolen and then recovered goes missing "temporarily" because of owner negligence. We must remain vigilant.
Here are some tips that could make all the difference.
Prevent the theft of your vehicle
Is your car equipped with an IBC approved anti-theft device (immobilizer)? If not, have one installed! With such a system, only the original chip can start up your vehicle. An effective immobilizer can thwart the plans of opportunistic thieves.
Have the main parts of your car engraved. Extensive antitheft marking discourages professional thieves. Organized crime does not like "marked" car parts since they are too difficult to resell.
Lock car doors and roll up car windows.
Never leave your vehicle running unattended.
Don't hide your spare car key in a magnetic key holder as thieves are well aware of this trick.
Prevent the theft of articles from your car
Thieves steal items left out on car seats. They're especially attracted by items that are easy to resell, such as handbags, wallets, cameras, computers and clothing. Don't tempt them. Don't leave your belongings out in full view on a seat, bench seat or console.
Your car is not a safe! Don't carry valuable objects in your vehicle. If you do have to, then hide them before you leave and not when you get out of your vehicle. Thieves can be watching you from a distance and then break into your car.
Thieves don't take vacations
Thieves are busy all year long: more than 8,000 vehicles will be stolen in Quebec this summer. So, whether you're on holiday or home from the office, keep an eye on your car.
About the Insurance Bureau of Canada
The Insurance Bureau of Canada is a national association that brings together the majority of general insurance companies in Canada. It offers various services to consumers in order to inform and assist them when purchasing car or home insurance or making a claim. www.ibc.ca.
Web site for consumers: www.infoinsurance.ca.