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How to Protect Your Vehicle Against Theft

According to Statistics Canada, approximately 500 vehicles are stolen every day in Canada. An incident of vehicle theft can increase your insurance premium and result in unanticipated financial losses. As a car owner, it is your responsibility to reduce the chances of your vehicle being stolen by taking the necessary precautions. It is important to educate yourself on vehicle theft and protection prior to experiencing an unfortunate event.

Ask Yourself, “Is My Car Prone to Theft?”

Start off by understanding the likelihood of your car being stolen. According to the Insurance Bureau Canada, here are the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada in 20201:

Just because your car isn’t listed above, doesn’t mean your car is immune to theft. Unfortunately, all car owners must take precautions when navigating the probability of theft.

Lock Your Doors

Did you know you may get ticketed for forgetting to lock your doors? Under the Quebec Highway Safety Act, it is an offense to leave your automobile doors unlocked. In accordance with c. 91, s. 381, which states, “No person may leave unattended a road vehicle that is in his custody without previously removing the ignition key and locking the doors.”2

If you leave your key in the ignition, a thief may break your window and drive off with your car easily.

Close Your Windows and Sunroof

Ensure all windows are shut before leaving your car. If a potential thief finds an open window, they can easily grab whatever they can reach or unlock the car doors and gain access to your vehicle.

Mind Where You Park

When driving at night, choose to park in a well-lit section of the parking lot, preferably near a surveillance camera.

Consider Anti-Theft Devices

If your car doesn’t come with one, install an audible alarm system or steering wheel lock. Visible devices may deter a thief from breaking into your vehicle out of fear of getting caught.

Another tool to consider is a vehicle immobilizer system, which prevents a thief from “hotwiring” your car. With this system, you need the correct key to run the car’s engine. Also, consider installing a tracking system that uses wireless and/or GPS technology to emit a signal to the police where your vehicle may be located.

Clear up The Space

It is easy for us to get in the habit of using our car as an extension of our closet, but it’s important to remove any valuable items from your car. If you have any valuable belongings, consider storing them in the trunk of the car before you step away.

In the case of theft, contact the police and speak to your insurance broker immediately. Ensure you have comprehensive coverage to protect you from costs to repair damage made to your vehicle due to theft, fire, vandalism or natural disasters.

Review Your Insurance Policy Terms

Did you know? The peril of theft is included in “Specified Perils” or “Comprehensive coverage.” It is important to note that protection against auto theft is not included in basic policies. If you have basic policy limits, you many are not included. As a vehicle owner, you may add protection against auto theft adding some of the following modifications to your insurance.

Comprehensive: This covers the costs to repair or replace your automobile as a result of unforeseen situations.

All Perils: This provides protection against loss if your vehicle is taken by someone living in your home.

Specified perils: If your intention is not to add comprehensive coverage, but want theft protection, you can add a specified peril.

Gap insurance: This shows the difference or gap between how much a vehicle is worth and how much you owe.

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