Are you doing everything you can to prevent vehicle theft? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July and August are the top two months for vehicle theft. On average, a car is stolen in the United States every 44 seconds. And if you live in one of the National Insurance Crime Bureau's Top 10 Hot Spots, you may face even higher chances of having a vehicle stolen.
The tips in this article may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised by the difference they can make--40-50% of vehicle theft is due to driver error. Here’s what you can do to help prevent the theft of your vehicle and its contents:
When you leave your car...
- Take your keys with you and don't leave them in or on your car. Even if you think you’ve hidden your spare key pretty well in your glove box, center console, door, or change tray, think again; thieves know where to look. Plus, if a car thief finds a key in your car, they could potentially argue that they were simply going on a joyride and intended to return the car. Joyriding is a misdemeanor, not a felony.
- Close and lock your windows and doors. Even leaving the window open half an inch could tempt a thief to take a chance with your car.
- Park in a well-lit area. Dark, secluded locations make it easy for a car thief to work without being seen. Apartment building parking lots and parking garages can also attract car thieves, as they have many vehicles to choose from in a single location.
- Take your valuables with you. Thieves are also interested in your car’s parts and any valuable items within that they might be able to sell. Some of the most popular items stolen are iPods, laptops, and purses. Thieves have also been known to snag a car’s radio, wheel cover, engine, transmission, air bags, and GPS unit. If you must leave any valuables in the car, hide them prior to arriving at your destination. If a thief sees you hide your purse or computer in the trunk, they know it’s there and might be even more inclined to break into your car. Read our step-by-step guide on what to do if your car is broken into for more information.
In life’s busy moments, it can be easy to forget the small things, but the small things help keep your vehicle safe! This summer, don’t let your car be just another statistic. Only about 52% of stolen vehicles are recovered, so it pays to be extra careful!
Wondering what your car insurance company will cover if your car is stolen? It depends. If you have comprehensive coverage, damages from theft or the complete theft of your vehicle is likely covered. If your car is broken into, check your car insurance policy to see if you have comprehensive coverage, and then call your Direct insurance agent to see what items are covered in the event of a theft.
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