Nationwide, catalytic converter thefts have increased significantly over the past year. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, an average of 282 catalytic converters were stolen every month in 2019; the average jumped to 1,203 in 2020. Church Mutual Insurance, S.I. (a stock insurer)1, saw a 350% increase in catalytic converter theft claims in 2020 among its customers. Church Mutual anticipates an additional jump in 2021.
Nonprofit organizations, houses of worship, schools, camps and senior living facilities should take actions to protect their vehicles and prevent potential costly damage and disruption. Guy Russ, assistant vice president – Risk Control, at Church Mutual offers the following measures and considerations for catalytic converter security:
- Always keep vehicles locked.
- Park vehicles near building entrances and well-lit areas when indoor parking is not available.
- Install surveillance cameras where vehicles are kept.
- Consider additional security systems and procedures such as welding the converter in place or placing a protective cover where the catalytic converter is housed.
- If your vehicle’s catalytic converter has been stolen, your car will make a loud roaring sound when it’s turned on. It will become louder when the gas pedal is pushed.
- Thieves will target taller vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, because they provide easier access to the undercarriage.
1Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.
Guy A. Russ Assistant Vice President — Risk Control
Guy can speak to impacts on houses of worship during COVID, armed intruder prevention, cyber risks & sexual abuse prevention.