If you’re a car owner in Ontario, you’ve likely heard about the rising risk of vehicle theft throughout the province. Car thieves often target specific makes and models, often in particular locations, making preventive measures a necessity to protect your valuable asset.
The Rising Epidemic: Car Theft in Ontario
Vehicle theft had been surging in the few years prior to the pandemic across the country. Ontario and Quebec, however, have become the hotspots. According to a report by the Canadian Financing and Leasing Association (CFLA), auto thefts are up 300% in Toronto since 2014. More recently, Équité Association found that, year over year, in 2022, vehicle thefts in Ontario rose 48.3%. Organized crime has been identified as a prominent culprit – with their focus being on new and luxury vehicles that are stolen to be sold overseas.
Knowing if your car is a target for car thieves is the first step in protecting it. Once you’re aware of the risk, there are simple measures that can be taken to prevent your car from theft
Top 10 stolen cars in Ontario in first 6 months of 2023
|Dodge Ram Trucks
In the first 6 months of 2023, Toyota Highlanders have become a sought-after vehicle among car thieves. According to CTV News Kitchener, In Kitchener-Waterloo 29 Highlanders have stolen already, resulting in Waterloo regional police issuing warnings specifically to owners of those vehicles.
Car Theft Hotspots in Ontario: Where Should You Be Extra Cautious?
Car theft in Ontario tends to be more prevalent in urban centers, with certain cities and towns experiencing higher rates of auto theft than others. Toronto, being the most populous city in the province, unfortunately, sees a significant number of car theft incidents. Other major urban centers like Ottawa, Hamilton, and London also have relatively higher rates. And, across the province, areas with a mix of higher crime rates and less secure parking facilities have a tendency to be the hotspots for reports of stolen vehicles.
Suburban neighborhoods, too, are hardly immune. Vehicles are often parked in driveways, or on the street, and can also be easy targets for thieves.Regardless of your location, there are risks – and they have been growing.
Tips for Preventing Car Theft
It’s no secret that car thieves look for easy targets. Taking a few simple precautions can go a long way in deterring them. Here are some practical car theft protection tips to keep your vehicle safe:
- Installing Anti-Theft Devices: Invest in high-quality anti-theft devices, such as car TAG tracking system, electronic immobilizers, GPS tracking systems, and car alarms. These devices can discourage thieves from targeting your car and can help in recovering the vehicle if it does get stolen.
- Parking in Well-Lit Areas: Always park your car in well-lit and populated areas, especially during nighttime. Thieves are less likely to strike in well-lit locations as there’s a higher chance of being caught or noticed.
- Using Steering Wheel Locks: Steering wheel locks act as a visible deterrent and make it challenging for thieves to drive away with your vehicle quickly.
- Keeping Valuables Out of Sight: Never leave valuables inside your car, especially in plain sight. Personal items like laptops, smartphones, or bags can tempt thieves to break into your vehicle.
The Importance of Comprehensive Car Insurance
Even with the best prevention measures in place, car theft can still occur. That’s why having comprehensive car insurance is vital to safeguard your financial interests. You’ll have coverage for car theft, so, in the event of a theft, you’ll be able to recover the value of your stolen vehicle.
- Comprehensive insurance covers not only car theft but also damages caused by other non-collision events, such as natural disasters, vandalism, and falling objects.
- In the event of car theft, it’s essential to understand the claims process thoroughly. Contact your insurance provider immediately to initiate the claim. Be prepared to provide all necessary documentation and cooperate with the investigation process.
Steps to Take if Your Car is Stolen
If you find that your car has been stolen, taking action quickly and efficiently will improve the chances of recovering your vehicle and minimizing losses. Keeping these simple steps in mind, especially during a stressful time, will be helpful:
- Call the police: The first step is to file a car theft report with the police immediately. Provide them with all the necessary information and details about your stolen vehicle.
- Inform your insurance company: Once you’ve filed a police report, contact your insurance company to report the theft and ensure you’re covered for vehicle theft.
- Initiate your insurance claim: The process of informing your insurance company will likely initiate your claims process. Your agent, or insurance company contact, will walk you through the claims process.
Car theft is an unfortunate reality, but being vigilant and proactive can significantly reduce the risk. Invest in anti-theft devices, park in well-lit areas, use steering wheel locks, and avoid leaving valuables in your car. While no safeguard can completely prevent theft, having the appropriate insurance coverage will help minimize the interruptions, stress, and out-of-pocket costs in the event your car is stolen.
Let’s discuss your auto insurance coverage
We would be happy to discuss your current coverage and how protected you are against car theft. Give us a call at 1-800-516-6275, or book an appointment with one of our experienced insurance agents, and we will ensure you have the right amount of coverage for your needs.