Auto insurance

Carjackings on the rise; make sure your car insurance covers you

“Basic standard car policies may not have theft cover – you must specify.”

Content of the article

“Vaughan’s latest carjacking has gone viral doorbell camera.”

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

“Arrests made in alleged violence Oakville Carjacking.”

“The pair face 100 charges after 10 Carjackings in the Toronto area.”

“Carjacking at gunpoint in Neighborhood Burlington.”

When Maple Leaf Mitch Marner had his SUV stolen at gunpoint one evening in May outside a local movie theater, it put a very public face to a crime that seemed to have exploded overnight. It’s not just here. Like the GTA, places like New York are also reporting a dramatic increase in often violent robberies. By the time Marner was relieved of his Range Rover, Toronto police said it had already reached the 2021 annual total, not even six months into 2022.

Could this happen to you? If you are driving a vehicle that appears on Canada’s List most stolen, you are already a target for thieves. You are also probably already paying a higher price for car insurance. Matt Hands, director of insurance at Ratehub, says high-end SUVs are definitely a target for thieves. Carjackers steal what most car thieves steal: popular vehicles destined to be resold abroad for many times their Canadian value. Global shortages of cars and spare parts have exacerbated the problem of theft, and the value of used cars has never been higher.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

A Northumberland OPP SUV with one of three stolen vehicles recovered, seized after a report from York Regional Police, February 7, 2021.
A Northumberland OPP SUV with one of three stolen vehicles recovered, seized after a report from York Regional Police, February 7, 2021. Photo by Northumberland Ontario Provincial Police

When two Ontario teenagers were recently arrested for armed robbery, police report they weren’t actually buying high-end food; instead, the vehicles they stole were “intended to be used in the commission of further criminal offences”. Whatever reason someone wants your vehicle, if confronted, let them have it. But it’s a good time to pull out your insurance policy and make sure you’re properly covered, even if you don’t have a high-end vehicle.

What type of insurance coverage covers a stolen vehicle?

“Theft is a global claim,” says Hands. “Basic standard car policies may not have theft cover – you must specify.” He notes that if you have auto credit or a lease, he’s probably already specified that you have that kind of coverage. Check that you have one of the following as explained by Ratehub:

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

  • Complete — Typically the most popular option among the three, Back to back insurance protects you against risks that are not related to collisions. So if your car is stolen, vandalized or damaged by the weather, you’re covered.
  • All risks — You can think of all-perils coverage as a package of all-perils and collision insurance. Plus, you’ll also be protected in the event a household member, repair technician, or employee steals your car (which all-risk insurance doesn’t cover).
  • Specified risks – Coverage for specified perils is exactly what it sounds like – protection against perils that are specified on your car insurance policy. Typically, this includes most perils except vandalism and drop options, but you should double-check to make sure the theft is covered by your policy.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

  1. Watch: Carjackings soar in area north of Toronto, police say

    Watch: Carjackings soar in area north of Toronto, police say

  2. Lorraine explains: don't just automatically renew your auto insurance

    Lorraine explains: don’t just automatically renew your auto insurance

Making a comprehensive claim is different from an at-fault accident or travel violation, and should not result in an increased rate. “But if you have three claims in a short period of time, for example, that could impact your rates,” Hands says. He takes the example of a chipped windshield. Although technically this would be a blanket claim, most people look at their deductible and only pay for a new windshield.

Since many thieves target expensive vehicles, make sure you have some sort of gap coverage on your policy, or take it out when buying from the dealership. While vehicle values ​​are currently at record highs, that won’t always be the case. In the event of theft, an insurance company will give you the value of your car, not the value of your outstanding loan. Traditionally, there could be thousands of dollars difference and you will be eliminated. They wait 30 days, and if your car isn’t picked up, or is picked up but can’t be fixed, they pay.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

What if your car is taken and it’s full of your sports gear or your laptop or crates of gold bars? This is where your home — not auto — insurance comes in, so make sure you have it. Again, deductibles and premium rates can make most of us accept anything but a large claim. If you know people who are renting, make sure they have this insurance – it’s often overlooked. If you’re used to keeping your expensive golf clubs or equipment in your car all the time, consider what it would cost to replace them if your vehicle were stolen.

Arrests are underway and the ubiquity of dashcams is helping. Some people said they were followed from a location only to be confronted in their driveway. Some thieves use devices like Apple Airtags to track a vehicle they later steal. Don’t fight someone who wants your car, but also be aware of your surroundings. If you think someone is following you, head to a police station instead. Go through the scenario with your kids driving and protect them. Cars can be replaced.


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.