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Car theft in Canada

Car theft is a serious problem in Canada, and one that entails a cost for everyone. In fact, if you are a car owner, approximately 10% of your insurance premium is due to theft alone. The indirect costs go even further; in 1998, car theft in Canada cost Canadians $250M in health costs, judicial fees and policing costs.

Consequences for Insured Drivers
The main consequence of car theft in Canada is the increase in insurance costs for car models that are the most popular targets for thieves. Before you choose a specific vehicle model, it’s worth consulting with your insurer or insurance broker, who can advise you on which models to avoid if you want to minimize your insurance costs. 

Can extra security features help reduce my insurance premiums?
Some insurers will offer a reduction in insurance premium to drivers who install extra security features in their vehicle. The Insurance Bureau of Canada has instituted an antitheft program called PATNET, and strongly recommends installing an interlock system. Any type of security system that you install will serve to save you money in the long run. As all insurance claims entail increased premiums, prevention is an excellent way to save in the short, medium and long terms.

Tips To Help Prevent the Theft of Your Car

In addition to installing an interlock or other security system, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid having your car insurance premiums increase due to a theft:

  • Engraving mechanical parts, alarm systems and tracking systems contribute to reducing the risk of theft. Antitheft bars and locking wheel nuts can also be highly effective;
  • If you need to leave your vehicle unattended,  turn off the motor, close your windows and lock your doors;
  • Overnight, park your vehicle in a well-lit place;
  • It is of no use to hide your keys anywhere in your car – thieves know about all the potential hiding spots!;
  • Some thieves will resort to towing a targeted vehicle. When you park your car, turn the vehicle to a 45-degree angle, and activate the hand-brake.
  • Your car insurance covers the theft of objects in your car. If you are transporting valuable objects in your car, they should not be visible from the outside.

As serious an issue as car theft is in Canada, there are steps we can all take to help reduce it. The important thing to remember is to remain vigilant and consult your insurer about ways to reduce the risk of theft.

If you’re considering buying a used car, consult our sections on buying a car and on car insurance for information on how to make sure the car you’re buying is not a stolen vehicle.