As the holiday season approaches, it’s natural for people to start thinking about their Christmas preparations. But for some unfortunate individuals, the joy of the season can be ruined by car thieves. At CSIA, we understand how devastating it can be to have your vehicle stolen, especially during the holiday season. That’s why we want to remind our customers to take extra precautions to protect their vehicles and prevent auto theft.
According to recent reports, car theft is rising in many areas across the country. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that more than 773,000 vehicles were stolen in the United States in 2020. That’s a staggering number, and it’s important for drivers to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect their vehicles.
The holiday season can be a particularly risky time for car theft, as people tend to be more distracted and may not be as vigilant about protecting their vehicles. In addition, thieves may be more active during this time of year, as there are often more valuable items in cars during the holiday season.
There are several steps you can take to reduce the chances of your vehicle being stolen. One of the most effective measures is to install a car alarm or other security system. These systems can deter thieves and alert you if someone attempts to break into your vehicle. Many newer vehicles come equipped with alarms, but if your car doesn’t have one, it’s worth investing in a system. Just be sure to always keep the remote with you, as a lost or misplaced remote could defeat the purpose of the alarm.
You should also consider using a steering wheel lock or another visible deterrent, as these can make it more difficult for thieves to steal your car. These devices can be easily installed and provide an extra layer of protection for your vehicle. Just be sure to remove the lock when you’re driving, as it can be dangerous to have it in place while driving.
Another important precaution is to never leave your car running and unattended, even for a short period of time. This is especially true during the colder months when many people leave their cars running to warm them up before getting in. Unfortunately, this also makes it easy for thieves to steal your vehicle. Instead, consider using a remote starter or invest in a good set of winter tires to make your morning commute easier and safer. If you do need to leave your car running for a brief period, make sure it is in a well-lit, secure area and always keep an eye on it.
It’s also a good idea to always lock your doors and close your windows, even if you’re just stepping away from your car for a moment. Many car thefts occur when thieves take advantage of an opportunity presented by an unlocked vehicle. By taking the time to secure your vehicle, you can reduce the chances of it being stolen.
In addition to these precautions, there are several other things you can do to protect your vehicle. One option is to park in a well-lit, secure area, such as a garage or a well-trafficked parking lot. This can make it more difficult for thieves to operate unnoticed. If you don’t have access to a garage or secure parking lot, try to park in a busy, well-lit area where there are a lot of people around.
You should also be cautious about where you leave your keys, as it’s easy for thieves to steal them if they’re left in an unsecured location. This includes hiding them under the mat or inside a fake rock or other seemingly secure location. Instead, always keep your keys with you or store them in a secure location inside your home.
It’s also a good idea to take inventory of the valuables in your car and remove anything that could be tempting to thieves. This includes items like electronics, cash, and designer handbags or other high-value items. The fewer valuables you leave in your car, the less likely it is to be targeted by thieves.
If You Fall Victim to Car Theft
Despite taking all these precautions, it’s still possible that your vehicle could be stolen. If this happens, it’s important to act quickly. Here’s what you should do:
- Report the theft to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible: This will help increase the chances of your car being recovered and will also ensure you receive the necessary coverage for any damages or losses.
- Make a list of the items that were in your car: This will be helpful for the police and your insurance company in their investigations.
- File a claim with your insurance company: If you have comprehensive coverage, you may be able to get reimbursed for any damages or losses resulting from the theft. It’s important to note that some policies may have a deductible for this type of coverage, so be sure to understand the terms of your policy before filing a claim.
- Consider replacing your car: If your vehicle is not recovered, or if it is recovered but is damaged beyond repair, you may need to consider replacing it. If you have gap insurance, this can help cover the difference between what you owe on your car loan and what your insurance company pays out.
At CSIA, we offer a range of coverage options to help protect our customers against auto theft and other related losses. If you have any questions about your coverage or want to learn more about protecting your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Car theft is a serious problem that can ruin your holiday season and cause a lot of stress and inconvenience. By taking precautions and being aware of the risks, you can help protect your vehicle and reduce the chances of it being stolen. At CSIA, we are committed to helping our customers protect their vehicles and stay safe on the road. So, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season.