The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) was established in 1964 and is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto, and business insurers. They consolidate information from customers and industry, and government representatives, to help provide a full picture of insurance in Canada.
Every year the IBC puts together a list of the top stolen vehicles in Canada and each of the provinces. Auto theft is an obvious concern to the insurance industry, and for those trying to hunt down professional criminals. Vehicles are targeted for auto theft for certain reasons, the main ones being:
- To be packed intact and shipped abroad for sale at many times their actual value.
- To be sold to an unsuspecting customer with an altered Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is why it’s very important to check the VIN when buying a vehicle.
- To be used for a joyride and then discarded.
- To be used to commit additional crimes.
Auto theft varies nation-wide, with Atlantic Canada reporting their most stolen vehicle as the Chevy Silverado, Ontario as the makes of Lexus and Honda, and Alberta as the usual Ford F-series and Dodge Ram trucks. The top 10 most stolen vehicles in Canada for 2020 were:
- 2018 HONDA CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
- 2017 LEXUS RX350/RX450h 4DR AWD SUV
- 2017 HONDA CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
- 2018 LEXUS RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD SUV
- 2018 FORD F150 4WD PU
- 2019 HONDA CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
- 2018 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 4DR 4WD SUV
- 2017 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 4DR 4WD SUV
- 2019 LEXUS RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD SUV
- 2017 DODGE RAM 1500 4WD PU
If you own any of the types of vehicle in these lists, it is most likely reflected in higher car insurance payments. Owning one of these vehicles places you in a higher risk group, which insurance companies must recognize and address through premiums.
In 2020, the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Alberta were:
- 2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD
- 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD
- 2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD
- 2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD
- 2017 DODGE/RAM RAM 1500 4WD
- 2014 DODGE RAM 1500 4WD
- 2003 FORD F350 SD 4WD
- 2018 FORD F150 4WD
- 2013 FORD F150 4WD
- 2013 DODGE RAM 1500 4WD
The Ford F-series trucks make up the majority of the most stolen vehicles in Alberta because they are readily available due to being heavily used in the oil and gas industry, says this December 2020 CBC article. There are just a lot of them here, they have size and power, and their parts are also very popular on the black market.
In most cases when a vehicle is stolen is has been left unlocked with the keys inside, perhaps running in a driveway or outside a store during a cold day. During February, Calgary Police Services (CPS) announced the ramping up of Operation Cold Start, an initiative in place since 2016 meant to help address the significant instances of auto theft in Calgary. To prevent auto theft, CPS reminds Calgarians to never leave a running vehicle unattended, lock all doors and close all windows, use a remote starter during the cold months, never leave valuables in view, and use a steering wheel lock.
More ways to prevent auto theft
Additional ways to prevent auto theft include:
- Parking in well-lit or secure areas, such as a garage.
- Installing a tracking device so you can tell where your vehicle is.
- Installing an immobilization device that will prevent thieves from hot-wiring your vehicle.
- Storing electronic key fobs in a protective box or bag to prevent thieves from scanning for the signal and using it to access your vehicle.
What to do if you are a victim of auto theft
Being a victim of auto theft is an awful feeling of violation. It’s upsetting, but remember that there is a lot of support and assistance out there for you.
First, contact your local police department ready to provide the year, make, and model of your vehicle, your vehicle’s VIN, and the time and location you last saw your car. Photos are helpful as well.
Then call your car insurance company with the police report number. They will immediately start a file and advise you of the following steps to take. If you had valuables in your vehicle, you may be able to make a claim for those under your home insurance policy.
Keep following up with the police department and your insurance provider. As a good deal of stolen vehicles are eventually recovered, it’s possible yours could be found.
Insurance brokers can help you find car insurance savings
In addition to extensive customer resources, outstanding claims support and value-added service, insurance brokers such as us at Lane’s are experts at accessing the best possible car insurance policies at the lowest rates available. Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage working out of Calgary, Banff, Edmonton and greater Alberta.