Prevent Auto Theft
The biggest misconception about auto theft is that thieves steal only new cars!Thieves look for practicality & not necessarily luxury- used cars are stolen for their parts, & can make money faster, with lesser chances of being traced. But some simple practical steps can go a long way to prevent auto theft.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Prevent Auto Theft
Prevent Auto TheftJust when you have finally been able to buy that long awaited car it gets stolen, leaving younot only with a huge property loss, but also with the balance payments to be settled. Far-fetched as this may sound, the fact remains that there is an incident of auto theft almostevery 40 seconds in the US!As per the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) 794,616vehicles were stolen in 2009 causing losses of almost $5.2 billion. Of these, only 12.4percent could be cleared. Not surprisingly, TX and CA reported the largest number of casesof auto theft.The biggest misconception about auto theft is that thieves steal only new cars, so if youhave an old one, you are safe. Thieves look for practicality and not necessarily luxury. Usedcars, so many of them more than 10 years old, are mostly stolen for their parts, and canhelp make money faster, with lesser chances of being traced.While auto theft is not completely preventable, there are simple common sense measuresyou can take to prevent auto theft:Find a well lit area, which isn’t too lonely, to park your car. The more easily visible itis, lesser are the chances of someone tampering it.Lock your car and keep your keys with you when you step out of it to do some work.Though this sounds obvious, many people not only leave their keys in the car, but also keepthe car running, while they step out for a few moments to do some work. Enough time for alurker to slip in and drive away.Do not keep valuables in your car in open view. Laptops, cameras, GPS systems,handbags, all make you a more lucrative target for those looking to make a quick buck. Asimple way to prevent auto theft is to keep valuables, in an inconspicuous place in yourvehicle.Position your car so that it’s difficult to tow away.Since many cars are stolen by usingheavy duty towing equipment, parking your car in such a way that it’s difficult to tow awayis another simple way to prevent auto theft. If you are parked at a curb, turn your wheelstowards the curb so that it takes time to maneuver the car out from there. When parking ina driveway, a front wheel car should be parked front first while a rear-wheeled drive shouldbe backed into the parking lot.Be prepared just in case:Keep all records of your car at a secure place. Your VIN number, details of your car likemake, model, color, detailed photographs of its interiors and exteriors, all should be kept forrecord purposes in your auto insurance file at home. These will come in very useful in caseyou become a victim of auto theft and need to make a claim. Always keep handy with you,a photocopy of your license, car registration and auto insurance card so you can providerelevant information quickly to authorities in case of a theft.
Remove everything that contains any personal information about you. Bankstatements, check books, debit/credit cards, and other crucial papers that can make yoususceptible to identity theft should never be left in the car in your absence, even if the car isparked in your driveway.Buy the correct auto insurance coverage. Auto theft is covered by comprehensivecoverage on your auto insurance policy. It’s a good idea to buy one. However keep in mindthat your auto insurance company will settle your claim only according to the blue bookvalue of your car, so you need to work out whether your car is worth paying insurancepremiums for, or it would be cheaper for you to replace it out of your own pocket. If thereare payments still pending on your car, buying gap insurance is a good idea, as it pays forthe difference between your claim amount and what you owe to your loan institution in caseof an auto theft.Your stolen car costs you much more than just a missing vehicle. You not only end up with amissing vehicle, but also need to pay the deductible if you are claiming from your insurancecompany; in most cases this gives rise to your auto insurance rates sooner or later. Otherassociated costs include, the cost of a rental vehicle, cost of time off from work, time dealtdealing with authorities like the police, your auto insurance company, State DMV etc. Takingsome simple practical steps now can go a long way to prevent auto theft. Happy Driving!