MEDIA RELEASE: CAA Insurance Company Addresses Escalating Auto Theft Crisis Across Canada

MEDIA RELEASE: CAA Insurance Company Addresses Escalating Auto Theft Crisis Across Canada

January 30, 20243 min read

CAA Insurance Company is deeply concerned with the auto theft crisis unfolding across Canada. According to industry experts, in 2022, auto theft exceeded $1.2 billion in claims, a number that is only expected to rise if things do not change quickly.

“Consumers are at a tipping point, and they will soon feel the tangible effects of the auto theft crisis,” says Elliott Silverstein, Director of Government Relations CAA Insurance. “If the rate of vehicle theft does not decrease, it will lead to an increase in auto-related costs that could become unbearable for drivers in Ontario, many of whom are already struggling with affordability.”

Current Impact on Consumers

The ongoing shortage of microchips and vehicle availability is intensifying the situation, making vehicle rentals and replacements both time-consuming and costly for consumers, with wait times for new vehicles sometimes exceeding a year. With interest rates remaining high, the cost of purchasing or leasing a new vehicle will further burden consumers.

However, what is most troubling is that as consumers take necessary precautions, thieves are exploring other more aggressive ways to steal cars, which include home invasions.

"Getting your car stolen will not only disrupt your daily life but there is also considerable emotional distress it takes on your life as well. We believe the surge in auto theft cases demands a united front," adds Silverstein.

Call to Action

CAA Insurance believes everyone has a role to play in combatting auto theft and is urging stakeholders – including government, insurers, and vehicle manufacturers – to collaborate and develop a plan to combat this issue.

“The impacts of auto theft are significant. For the insurance industry, it is the equivalent of addressing a year-round catastrophic incident (like a flood or tornado) with no visible end in sight,” adds Silverstein.

Technology advancements have far surpassed vehicle standards, which haven’t been updated since 2007 in Canada, making it more difficult to reinforce technology-based solutions like immobilizers and mandate their inclusion in new vehicles.

Preventive Measures and Tips for Consumers

However, our data shows that consumers can make simple adjustments to safeguard their vehicles. To help mitigate the risk of vehicle theft, CAA Insurance recommends the following preventive measures for consumers:

  • Secure your parked vehicle with a steering-wheel lock, brake pedal lock, or wheel lock, such as “The Club” to secure your parked vehicle.
  • Secure your car key fob by storing it in a Faraday box or pouch to prevent signal hacking.
  • Consider a professionally installed after-market immobilizer.
  • Lock your doors (both car and home) and park your vehicle inside if you have a garage.
  • If you own more than one vehicle, it's recommended to park the less valuable one nearer to the street.
  • Install motion sensors and a camera on your driveway to capture any activity.
  • Cover the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) so it's not visible on the dashboard.
  • Store a GPS tracker (ex, Air Tag) to track your vehicle should it be stolen.
  • Ensure items are out of sight, and do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Always avoid leaving your vehicle unattended while it is running.

CAA Insurance urges individuals to report any suspicious activity to police and avoid confrontations with thieves.

Connect with:
  • Elliott Silverstein
    Elliott Silverstein Director, Government Relations, Insurance

    Elliott manages and executes key elements of CAA’s provincial advocacy role, and overseeing municipal advocacy efforts.

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