As today’s economy grows worse, people are becoming more desperate for that extra cash, and this includes car thieves. Today, car thieves are targeting high performance vehicles, like BMW, Jaguar, and Cadillac, as well as the family sedan, and then turning the cars in to make extra money off the parts. According to CBS News, thieves are getting sneakier in acquiring vehicles. Nowadays, all they have to do is look at the Vehicle Identification Number that’s on your windshield and provide a photo identification card in order to get access to car titles and then the car dealer will reissue keys to the vehicle. Breaking car windows is no longer a necessity.
According to an article in USA Today, the Cadillac Escalade and the Lancer Evolution are high-profile vehicles that have extremely recognizable marketing capabilities as well as encouraging thieves. Because both vehicles are favored by many sports stars, actors, and rap stars, and have been portrayed in many music videos as the ride to have, their capability of being targeted by car thieves has increased. From headlights to rear tire spoilers, thieves know what they want. And often the thief wants the entire vehicle, not just its parts, to be exported to other countries for increased sales. According to an article in Reader’s Digest, “In 2003, Strike Force Worth, a covert NSW (Australia) police operation, netted $4 million worth of 4WDs and car parts stowed away in shipping containers destined for Jordan and Lebanon.”
As LeftLaneNews.com has pointed out, “Many modern cars now rely on software entirely for security.” With laptops and specific software geared for bypassing safety measures, thieves have also become cleverer in acquiring high performance vehicles. It can often take up to 20 minutes with the intended vehicle in a secluded area for thieves to utilize this specialty software to get inside. While the car insurance industry and dealers hope that thieves don’t have access to this software, unfortunately it’s being discovered that they already do.
As vehicle thefts increase, so do car insurance claims. With high performance vehicles costing upwards of $40,000, car insurance companies are paying out billions every year. According to HotRodding.US, “A $20,000 stolen vehicle can be stripped and sold into $30,000 worth of parts, insurers say.” This has become a $7.5 billion-a-year-industry, according to the Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org), a trade organization. With the higher risk of theft and repairs, car insurance companies have to charge more for performance car insurance rates.