Make Your Car Less Of A Target

When was the last time you heard a car alarm go off down the street, and got up off the couch and away from the latest episode of [insert favorite show here] to investigate?

Me neither.

Even though most cars come with a built-in alarm system, over $6 billion is lost every year to motor vehicle theft. Thieves are becoming better at their job, and depending on the make of your vehicle, it may just take seconds to break into. 

Some of the tactics thieves use include: Switching vehicle identification numbers (VIN), using stolen identities to secure loans for expensive vehicles, and obtaining smart keys or fobs, which effectively eliminated the need to “hot-wire” a car. 

Between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018,  the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) found that there were 229,339 vehicle thefts with smart keys or fobs left in the vehicles. That works out to 209 vehicles every day during those three years.

Obviously, stats like these are concerning. Fortunately there are some ways to make sure you are less likely to be a target of car thieves. 

  • Don’t leave your keys in the car

It sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people not only forget the keys in the car, but also leave their vehicle running while they pop into the store for a bag of chips. It’s like a gift for car thieves.

  • Lock your doors and close your windows

Your neighborhood may be nice and safe, but car thieves don’t steal from areas with crappy cars. They travel to you, and if your vehicle is left unlocked, or if the windows are left down, it is an easy target for thieves. Any valuables left in the car will be gone. 

  • Do not leave valuables in your car

Imagine you’re a thief, and you walk by a nice SUV and notice that: a) it’s unlocked, and b) there’s a new laptop on the passenger seat. Now, you’re a thief with a new laptop. Avoid keeping any valuables in your vehicle. Even small things like loose change in your cup holders can be tempting to desperados. 

  • Pay attention to where you park

When parking in an area you’re not familiar with, it’s a good idea to look for well lit areas with high foot traffic. This will increase the risk level of your vehicle for thieves. Parking lots with attendants and/or security cameras offer protection, and so do garages or underground parking lots…just try not to think about the many, many horror movies that start in them.

  • Install home security cameras

One of the easiest and most effective ways of making your car less of a target is to install home security cameras. A decent system will be an investment of a couple hundred dollars, but as Jordan Frankel, vice president of security consulting firm Global Security Experts Inc. explained in a recent USNews article, cameras are a great addition. “ …primarily because they’re a psychological deterrent. A bad guy sees the camera and may skip your home and move on to an easier target.”  

Having the right insurance coverage can help protect you in the event of a break in, or theft. 

Your automobile insurance policy does not cover items that you are carrying, such as portable computers, mobile phones, purses, or sports equipment. To protect these items, you need a complete home insurance policy. We can help you review your auto insurance policy to make sure you have everything you need.