car theftThe FBI estimates that over 699,000 vehicles were stolen in the United States 2013, an average of one every 44 seconds.

You may think car theft can’t happen to you, but if you’re not taking the precautions to keep your vehicle safe then it could only be a matter of time.

Theft Risk

As you may know, vehicle theft is one of the factors that is considered in determining your insurance premium rates. If there is high risk of theft associated with your car, like living in a not-so-safe part of town, your insurance premiums are likely to be higher. The actual method of determining car insurance rates is complicated and varies from one insurance provider to another.

This is bad news for those living in Texas. The state was ranked second for vehicle thefts by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in 2014. According to CoverHound, an online insurance-comparison site, motorists in areas that experience high numbers of theft are likely to be charged higher rates for comprehensive insurance. However, when comparing quotes online for car insurance, Texas residents have options. Doing the research will help you find the best deals and reduce your premiums.

Theft risk also depends on the type of car you own. There are certain cars that are more frequently stolen than others. This is due to the vehicle’s value or a high demand for its parts. Vehicles such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are among the most frequently-stolen vehicles. Insuring vehicles that are attractive to thieves is likely to cost more.

Does Your Insurance Cover Theft?

Standard insurance coverage, no matter how much you have, only covers you for accidents. You’ll need to invest in comprehensive insurance to ensure that your car is covered in case of theft. Even if you are covered for theft, it is important to read the fine print of your policy.

Most insurance companies will not pay claims if you are shown to have been negligent. You therefore need to protect your investment against theft and be vigilant of possible dangers.

How Motorists Put Their Cars at Risk

Are you leaving your car vulnerable to theft and vandalism? If you’re doing any of the following, you’re putting your car at risk of being stolen or vandalized. You’re also putting yourself at risk of not having your claim honored.

  1. Leaving Your Car Unlocked

Ensuring that your car is locked is your first line of defense against theft and vandalism. Leaving your car unlocked makes it a vulnerable target. It is even worse when you leave your keys in the ignition. Make sure your car is locked even when you leave it for a brief moment. Don’t forget to take your keys with you!

  1. Parking in The Street

Cars that are parked in the street are more vulnerable than those parked in secure areas. Some insurance companies have been known to provide motorists who park their cars in secure facilities or garages with substantial credit. Park your car in a garage or a secure facility whenever possible. If you do, be sure to notify your insurance agent about it to receive a discount.

  1. Parking in Dark Areas

Parking your car in a dark alley or a poorly lit area makes it easier for thieves and vandals to work without fear. Pilfers and other criminals are less likely to target a car that has been parked in a well-lit area where they have a greater chance of getting caught in the act. If you don’t have access to a garage or secure facility, ensure that you park your car in a well-lit part of the street and avoid parking in alleys at all costs.

  1. Not Investing in an Alarm

Whether you live in an area with a high crime rate or not, it’s important to have an alarm system installed. This will deter thieves from stealing your car. Going a step further and having a vehicle tracking device installed will make it easier to recover your vehicle if it is stolen.

Many insurance providers are willing to offer discounts to car owners who make the effort to safeguard their vehicles. Taking the extra steps to keep your car is safe will cut your costs in the long run.

About Robert Farrington

Robert Farrington has written 77 articles on this site..

Robert Farrington is the founder and editor of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to young adult and college student finances.

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