Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

September 30, 2015

Car

Car Theft and Theft of the Vehicle’s Contents

Article revised on 22 June 2017

Car theft is costly. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Groupement des assureurs automobile (GAA) estimate that car theft costs Canadians $500M each year. Not surprising when you consider that 39,000 vehicles and 40,000 items inside vehicles are stolen every year. It’s better to be prepared and know what to do if you are ever the victim of such a crime!

Preventing the theft of your vehicle and its contents

A few simple measures can help reduce the risk of having your car stolen, no matter which model you own. The IBC and GAA recommend that you:

  • Never leave your car running unsupervised
  • Always lock your doors, even if you’ll be away for just a few seconds…car thieves don’t need much time
  • Park in safe and well-lit areas
  • Not leave items visible and unsupervised in your vehicle
  • Never attach tags with your name or address to your key chain
  • Not hide spare keys inside or outside your vehicle because that is a well-known strategy to thieves
  • Have a tracking system or anti-theft system installed in case your vehicle is stolen, which might also entitle you to a reduction in your insurance premiums

Luxury vehicles: a thief’s favourite target

Even if the number of stolen vehicles has gone down in Quebec over the last few years, the total value of stolen vehicles remains the same. Reported by the Journal de l’Assurance, this interesting fact shows that thieves are now targeting luxury vehicles more often and are working as part of organized networks that are equipped for this type of activity.

Therefore, if you have a luxury vehicle or if your car appears on the Most often stolen vehicles list, having a tracking system installed is highly recommended. It’s the most efficient way to deter thieves and to locate your vehicle if it is stolen. There are many good systems available on the market, like the TAG system.

What to do in case of theft?

If your vehicle or contents are stolen, act quickly.

Stolen vehicle:

  1. If your vehicle is equipped with a tracking system, contact the service provider.
  2. Notify the police immediately and keep the police report number.
  3. Also keep bills and receipts for any additional driving expenses.
  4. Contact your insurer as soon as possible to notify them of the theft.

Contents of your vehicle stolen or vandalism:

  1. Notify the police immediately and keep the police report number.
  2. Avoid aggravating the damage by having urgent repairs done by a specialist and keep the receipts.
  3. Contact your insurer right away to declare your loss.

Your car and its contents are not covered by the same type of insurance!

If your vehicle is stolen, you will be covered by your auto insurer for the vehicle itself, according to the terms set out in your auto insurance contract. As for the contents of your vehicle, they are covered by your home insurance.

There may be a deductible to pay in each case. If your car and its contents are stolen, you will likely have to pay two deductibles for the same event. However, some insurers, like La Capitale, will only charge you for one deductible if you insure both your home and vehicle with them. Just another reason to bundle your insurance with the same company!

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