While most of us think of July 4th as the day to celebrate our Independence, at the FBI the date is considered “kick-off” for car theft season.  Knowing the economic effects of car theft, LoJack recently put together an interesting fact sheet in regard to the problem that includes:

  • In 2010, a car was stolen every 42.8 seconds – Recovery rate was only 56.1%
  • While the Cadillac Escalade is more than six times as likely to be targeted by thieves than any other vehicle, most cars taken are common/plain ones:  Honda Accord & Civic; Toyota Camry; Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150.

And, don’t think you are exempt from this issue.  Four years ago, Sgt. Emil Kokesh, currently of  the San Bernardino Auto Theft Task Force, watched as a man stole a car right in front of him in less than 10 seconds – and Kokesh didn’t even realize what was happening!  This is a multi-billion-dollar a year problem and, obviously, the thieves know what they are doing.  This is but another reason that you should have auto insurance in Arizona!
Fortunately, for those who live in the Greater Phoenix area, in the past decade Phoenix has gone from being the auto theft capital of the United States to dropping all the way out of the top 20! While this, in itself, is good, it doesn’t mean that we are out of the water yet.  As a result, the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority has compiled a comprehensive “ 4 Layer” list of Prevention Tips” to help protect you and your car that include but are not limited to:

Layer 1 – Common Sense

  • Lock your car – half of those stolen are not locked
  • Take your keys – nearly 20% of those cars stolen have keys in them
  • Do NOT leave car running and unattended
  • Completely close car windows

Layer 2 – Warning Devices

  • Audible Alarms
  • Steering wheel locks
  • Brake locks

Layer 3 – Immobilizing Devices

  • Smart Keys
  • Fuse cut-offs
  • Kill switches

Layer 4 – Tracking Devices

  • Often emits a signal to police or monitoring station

The AATA has several general tips as well:

  • Notify police immediately when your car is stolen
  • Make you car easy to identify
  • Etch VIN number on all window glass on the vehicle

With as many thefts that occur annually, as we have discussed, it is obvious that you car can be stolen.  At that point, of course, is when you will need to rely on your auto insurance.
“While all men may be created equal,” Jim Bivona of Bivona Insurance Group, an insurance brokerage firm in Glendale, Arizona, began, “not all insurance policies are.  For example, MetLife, one of the companies we work with, has done extensive studies in this area.  For your own protection, you should   make sure you review your insurance at least once annually to see about your car theft coverage.”
The AATA concur.  They suggest you review what you must have, what you should have, and additional coverage you may just plain want.  If you have notreviewed your policy recently, get hold of your agent and do so.  Or, if you prefer, you can contact Jim Bivona at 623-256-1000 and he and his staff will be happy to review your policy and advise you whether or not you are properly covered should your car be stolen!
To learn more about the BIVONA INSURANCE GROUP go to www.bivonainsurance.com

To learn more about this topic, visit the sites below:
June Online Auto Insurance News Wrap-Up

Inland Empire auto thefts rise

Would you rather have your car stolen or…?

Car Theft Season Kicking Off


Arizona Automobile Theft Authority