Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Auto Theft Skyrockets Across Canada, Driving Up Insurance Costs

New data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reveals a significant rise in auto theft across Canada, with insurance claims for stolen vehicles reaching a record $1.5 billion in 2023. This marks the second consecutive year that claims have surpassed the $1 billion mark, representing a nearly 20% increase from 2022. Between 2018 and 2023, auto theft claims have surged by 254% nationally, with Ontario experiencing the most substantial rise at 524% during this period.

IBC’s Vice President of Strategy, Liam McGuinty, highlighted the profound impact of auto theft on Canadians, noting that it not only disrupts lives but also places a heavy burden on law enforcement and increases insurance premiums. The cost of auto theft is ultimately borne by drivers, with average insurance premiums reflecting these higher risks and associated costs.

High-end luxury vehicles are particularly targeted due to their high resale value in illegal international markets. Often, stolen vehicles are exported by criminal organizations, funding various illicit activities including drug trafficking and arms dealing.

The federal government has recognized the severity of the issue and plans to host a national summit to address the auto theft crisis. Officials and industry experts, including those from IBC, advocate for a comprehensive, society-wide approach to tackle the problem, emphasizing the need to modernize vehicle safety standards and implement more robust theft prevention measures.

For those looking to protect their vehicles, steering locks and tracking devices are recommended. Additionally, increasing awareness and encouraging community vigilance are crucial steps in combating this escalating issue.

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