Premiums for commonly stolen vehicles have increased between 25% and 50% over the last two years, according to data from RatesDotCa.
Insurers are bumping up rates after the Canadian P&C insurance industry paid out a record $1 billion for auto theft claims in 2022.
So far, auto theft claims during the first three months of 2023 have exceeded those of 2022 Q1. “And last year was the highest year that we’ve ever seen, so 2023 is shaping up to be a very bad year,” Équité Association’s Bryan Gast told Canadian Underwriter earlier this year.
In an effort to recoup losses due to auto theft claims, some insurers across Canada have introduced a $500 high-theft vehicle surcharge to owners of high-risk vehicles, RatesDotCa says. The surcharge will be removed if drivers provide proof of installing an anti-theft device.
For example, TD Insurance made headlines recently when they asked policyholders to install anti-theft tagging devices in their insured vehicles for savings on premiums.
After an increase in auto theft claims last year dramatically surpassed Aviva Canada’s totals from all of 2021, the company started to support the installation of anti-theft tagging devices as a low-cost method for reducing auto theft.
According to Aviva, thanks to theft, its bulk fleet claims losses increased to just over $2.7 million in 2022 from $660,542 in 2021, and its non-fleet theft claims to more than $5.7 million in 2022 from just over $1 million in 2021.
Anti-theft device company Tag Tracking said it is increasing its presence in Ontario after a record year for theft. The device is meant to make the resale of parts harder, and the stolen cars easier to track.
Insurers aren’t the only ones concerned about auto theft. Nearly 47% of Ontarians say they are “very concerned” about auto theft, according to a recent CAA survey.
That number increases to 57% for those living in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. In contrast, those who live in either Northern (14%) or Southwestern Ontario (10%) were significantly less worried about auto theft.
Although many are concerned about the increase in vehicle theft, only 30% are worried about their own vehicle getting stolen. This suggests many Ontario drivers have an inflated sense of confidence in the security of their car.
Some drivers are more at risk of theft than others. Trucks were the most-stolen vehicle types in Western Canada, while SUVs are in demand by thieves in Ontario and Quebec. Sedans are more commonly ripped-off in Atlantic Canada, according to Équité Association.
Honda CR-V owners have the most reason to be concerned, since their cars are the most stolen across the country, according to Équité. High-end Lexus, SUV owners and F-150 drivers have reason to be careful, too.
Here’s how the provinces with data stack up when it comes to vehicle theft increases in 2022:
- Ontario, 48.3%
- Quebec, 50%
- Alberta, 18.3%
- Whole of Atlantic Canada, 34.5%
- New Brunswick, 35.6%
- Nova Scotia, 26.7%
- Newfoundland, 55%
- PEI, 56.5%.
Feature image by iStock.com/dardespot