I spoke to a client this week...
I spoke to a client this week who just came back from a week-long vacation, and as they pulled into their driveway, she noticed that her 2016 Mercedes was not where it was supposed to be. The vehicle had been stolen right off of her driveway. After consoling and assuring her that the insurance company, as well as our office, would be with her to handle every step of the process. She couldn't believe that this happened to her. I explained that, unfortunately, she's not the only one to whom this happens.
Today I would like to talk about five steps to take to help prevent auto theft:
1. Lock you car
We all know we should lock our cars when we come out of it, but just like the next guy, we're probably all guilty of leaving our cars unlocked, even for brief moments because we said, "Oh, I'm just running in to pick something up." With the technology today, that excuse is kind of gone out the window. As long as you can remember, to lock your car door, you can push the lock button on your fob and be assured that your car is locked, even if you can't see your vehicle.
2. Make sure your valuables are not openly visible inside your car
Wallets and purses left on the front seat is an invitation for the opportunistic criminal to take advantage of the situation. The best place to keep gifts or valuables would be to have them locked in the trunk or in a hatchback that has a cover to conceal what is in the back of the vehicle.
3. Park your vehicle closer to others
When I had a new car, I used to park far away from the other vehicles. I wanted to avoid getting scratches or dents if someone opens their door and hits my vehicle. However, when you do this, you isolate your vehicle and make it a target for theft as well as vandalism. So parking closer to the other vehicles or parking under the light post, if it happens to be at night, will help to reduce the possibility of theft or vandalism to your car.
4. If your vehicle comes with anti-theft devices, educate yourself on how they work
This way, you can best utilize the technology to help prevent your vehicle from stolen, and if it is stolen, to have it recovered as quickly as possible. Tracking devices can be installed in your car if your vehicle doesn't come with it from the showroom.
Leave your key fob at a good distance from your car, especially when you are at home for the evening. Thieves have been known to be able to copy the code that is emitting from your fob and use it to steal your vehicle.
5. Have the VIN, inscribed on your vehicle, in a few places
This will help prevent some theft, but not all. When the VIN is etched on a window or another part of the vehicle, this will deter some thieves. However, some still may want your vehicle for parts, to commit a crime, or just for a thrill ride.
Car theft in Canada has a lot of social cost that comes with it, and is not just an insurance problem. It is policemen used hours to solve the crime, total court costs to try the perpetrators, personal anguish, and heartache that is caused to the victims of car theft. Hopefully, some of this information will help you prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
Feel free to contact our office and speak with our licensed representatives about this information and get other valuable advice on how to protect personal possessions and property.
We are here to help!