The Anti-Vehicle Crime Association of Minnesota (AVCAM) is a non-profit organization formed to prevent vehicle crime through community awareness and education. Our members come from law enforcement, insurance companies and other organizations and businesses interested in preventing vehicle crime. AVCAM has no paid staff and operates solely with member volunteers. The AVCAM message is clear and succinct:  Lock Your Car.  Take Your Keys.  Prevent A Theft.
Items filtered by date: March 2013
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:35

Top Auto Theft Myths

Myth: Most Thefts Occur in Unprotected Areas. Despite conventional wisdom, parking in an unprotected area does not mean your vehicle is more likely to be stolen. An FBI report on "Crime in the United States" indicates that more than one-third of all vehicle thefts occur at a home or residence, compared to only two of every 10 vehicle thefts occurring at a parking lot or parking structure. Vehicles that are stolen from highways, roads or alleys, including carjacking, account for the least number of thefts.

Myth: Stolen Vehicles Are Usually Found. Drivers who believe their stolen car will eventually be found also may be making a false assumption, especially if their vehicle has been missing for more than six days. Although about one-half of all stolen vehicles are recovered, the first few days are critical. Even if the vehicle is recovered, it may be completely totaled. The longer the vehicle is in the possession of criminals, the less chance of recovery. Interestingly, Fridays and Saturdays are the days with the highest frequency of motor vehicle theft and Mondays and Tuesdays have the highest recovery rates.

Myth: Insurance Always Provides a Rental Car. Another common misconception many insured drivers have is that once they report a stolen car, their auto insurance will automatically cover a rental car until their vehicle is found or they are authorized by their insurance company to buy a new one, which can take several weeks. Unfortunately, although insurance for theft is included in the comprehensive part of an auto insurance policy, this coverage may not automatically include coverage for a replacement rental car for a stolen vehicle. Since replacement rental car coverage is only a couple dollars a month, it can cost more for a one-day car rental than for a full-year of coverage.

Myth: Anti-Theft Devices Are Easy to Install. Pay a competent professional to wire, install and test the anti-theft system because there is too much complexity in today's vehicles for an untrained person to cut into a vehicle's electronics. Don't select the installer on price alone; check with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) for a report to see if the business is reputable. Also, ask if the alarm system technician is certified by the Mobile Electronics Certification Program (MECP). If not, you may want to look elsewhere. And, make sure the shop provides a written warranty and will take the time to show you how the anti-theft system works so that you are comfortable with its operation.

Myth: Thieves Are Not Interested in Older Vehicles. Those who believe that older vehicles are of no interest to thieves should think again. "Older vehicles are most often taken for their parts which are no longer manufactured and are too difficult or expensive to obtain," said Robert M. Bryant, president and chief executive officer of NICB. Unfortunately, motorists with older vehicles who have dropped comprehensive coverage to save money are not covered for theft and do not qualify for replacement rental car coverage. NICB also publishes annual lists of the top thefts by region and by year, make and model, as well as most popular colors stolen and other information, including tips to help avoid theft using its "Layered Approach to Protection" at www.nicb.org.

Supported by 1,000 major property and casualty insurance companies, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (www.nicb.org), based in Chicago, and is a not-for-profit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting insurance fraud and theft through criminal investigations, industry training and public education programs. For more information on fraud and how it affects everyone, please visit www.nicb.org.
Published in AVCAM Blog