Chicago, IL – While it appears even car thieves are of good cheer on Christmas Day, as it has the fewest car thefts of the year, new data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows industrious crooks make up for lost time over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) reminds drivers that car thieves don’t take a holiday so take extra precautions to prevent auto theft.
NICB’s Annual Holiday Vehicle Theft Report shows that 64 percent more cars were stolen last year on New Year’s Day compared to Christmas Day. Typically, more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than any other holiday except Labor Day. Although vehicle thefts have declined over the past 20 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that more than $4.5 billion was lost nationwide to motor vehicle thefts in 2014.
“As many Americans celebrate New Year’s Eve and start 2016 by watching parades and football or hitting the mall, others may take advantage of the holiday distractions and do some car shopping where you parked your vehicle,” said Robert Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president for personal lines policy. “With a motor vehicle being stolen approximately every 45 seconds, it is important for motorists to realize that there is a lot they can do reduce their risk and ensure that they are protected if a theft occurs. The first step begins with talking with your insurance company or agent about your vehicle and coverage. If you want insurance to help replace a stolen vehicle, you should consider purchasing comprehensive coverage. Additionally, many insurers offer discounts for drivers who have anti-theft devices. Your insurer can help you understand your coverage options and walk you through the claims process if you are the victim of a car theft.”
PCI’s Holiday Insurance Tips:
If your vehicle is stolen, report the theft to the police and contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Keep a record of your license plate number, and vehicle identification number (VIN) and copy your registration to help identify and locate your car after a theft.
Generally, you will not be held responsible for damages caused by the person who stole your vehicle.
Depending on your coverage, your insurance may cover rental car charges while you are looking to replace your stolen vehicle.
If your stolen vehicle is recovered, insurance may cover the impounding and towing fees. But beware of abusive vehicle towing and storage practice that are designed to make it difficult to gain access to the vehicle in order to charge higher fees.
Avoid making your car a target for break-ins by parking in well-lit areas. Keep shopping, bags, cell phones, tablets, purses, backpacks and other personal property out of sight. If personal property is stolen from your car it may be covered under your homeowners or renters policy.