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Auto Theft Skyrocketing in Ontario

Auto theft has been on the rise in our province. The latest stats are out for Ontario and the rise in vehicle theft is dramatic… skyrocketing in fact. In 2022, Canadian auto insurers paid out more than ever before for vehicle theft claims.

Things were particularly bad in Ontario. The province saw a 48.3% increase in car thefts from 2021 to 2022. According to the Equite Association’s latest report, in Ontario the insurance industry paid more in the first half of 2022 for car theft than it did for the entire year of 2020.

And the data suggests that theft is going to continue climbing across the country. Already in 2023, Q1 numbers are trending higher than the same time period in 2022. (Check out the full 2022 Vehicle Theft Trend report from the Equite Association here).

Why is vehicle theft rising?

We are all familiar with the supply chain issues that have arisen over the last few years. The auto industry is no exception and this has translated to an increased demand for stolen vehicles. With newer cars being particularly targeted, as well as SUVs in Ontario. Domestic and international crime organizations are taking advantage of the high profit margins of export and domestic sale of stolen cars. 

What is Ontario doing?

The Ontario government announced that it was taking steps to mitigate the high rate of auto theft in the province. $51 million was allocated in the budget to tackle this problem, including funds directed towards an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Organized Crime Towing and Auto Theft Team and a response team for prosecution of auto theft, amongst other measures (source: Canadian Underwriter).

Why does this matter for auto insurance?

While typically your car insurance rates won’t go up because your car was stolen, the reality is that if the industry is facing astronomical costs for theft claims, these increases will eventually trickle down to the consumer.

And if you have taken steps to protect your car from theft, be sure to let your insurance provider know. Some insurers will offer discounts for having particular anti-theft devices installed.

What you can do

We’ve listed out ideas for theft prevention before in this post with a comprehensive list of the things big and small you can do to protect your car.

A few highlights from the list include…

– Leverage anti-theft deterrents, such as car alarms and ignition disablers. They could ever get you cheaper car insurance!

– Have a newer car with an onboard diagnostic port (ODP)? Thieves can hack them to gain access to your car’s electronic systems. An ODP lock can help to prevent this.

– Keep tabs on your car with a tracking system so that you can always locate your vehicle.

– Don’t be a victim of “warm-up theft” – learn more about that here.

Thieves are getting savvier and savvier when it comes to stealing cars. It’s important to do what you can to protect your vehicle and to safeguard your car insurance rates.

Click here to contact someone from our team to further discuss how auto theft can affect your auto insurance rates. And if you’re looking for a quote for coverage, head over here to our online tool.

Resources referenced for this post:

Resources from the Insurance Buddy Blog:

Curious about which cars are the most popular for thieves? Check out these lists of the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Ontario published in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023.

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