According to the FBI, in 2018 a total of 748,841 vehicles were stolen in the United States, a 3% decline since 2017.
It’s great news that car thefts are declining in the US, but that doesn’t mean your car won’t be stolen. What’s more, some types of cars seem to be stolen more frequently than others, some even often enough to make the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) “Hot Wheels” report of America’s 10 Most Stolen Vehicles.
The list may surprise you. If you own one of these vehicles, head’s up! Be sure that you do all you can to protect your car from thieves.
America’s 10 Most Stolen Cars
The NICB’s most recent report lists the 10 most stolen cars in the US for 2020:
||Model Year Stolen /
(# of Thefts)
|Total Model Thefts
||2000 / (5,290)
||1997 / (5,029)
||Ford Pickup (Full Size)
||2006 / (3,173)
||Chevy Pickup (Full Size)
||2004 / (2,097)
||2017 / (1,144)
||2017 / (1,451)
||2017 / (1,034)
||GMC Pickup (Full Size)
||2018 / (1,170)
||Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
||2001 / (1,155)
||Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
||2000 / (646)
Does Insurance Cover a Stolen Car?
Car insurance will cover a stolen car if you have comprehensive coverage included in your policy.
Comprehensive coverage is an optional auto insurance coverage that pays for losses that result from incidents other than a collision, including theft, fire, vandalism or malicious mischief, weather, birds or animals, glass breakage, falling objects, explosion or earthquake, windstorm, hail, and more.
Like collision coverage, which covers physical damage to your vehicle after a collision, it is not required by law in most states, but your lender or leaseholder may require it.
Comprehensive coverage is usually subject to a deductible.
If you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, it can help pay for your stolen vehicle if it is not recovered. If you get your vehicle back, it will cover the damage that has been done to it. (Keep in mind that you may need additional coverage for custom parts, paint, rims, and other aftermarket additions.)
Any personal property or valuables (cell phones, laptops, tools, etc.) stolen out of your car or stolen with your car won’t be covered by auto insurance, but you’ll likely have coverage under your homeowners, renters, or condominium insurance.
Comprehensive coverage only covers the components and features that are permanent, preinstalled parts of the car. If your car was stolen with personal items inside, you would need to file one claim with your auto insurance policy and another with your homeowner’s insurance policy.
How to Protect Your Car from Theft
A few simple practices can help you protect your car from theft and all of the cost and inconveniences that follow.
- Always take your key; never leave it in your vehicle.
- At home, keep your vehicle in the garage whenever possible.
- Never leave your vehicle running when you leave it, even if you think it will only be for a few minutes or that you are in a safe area.
- Always roll up the windows and lock your car, even if it is parked in front of your home.
- Always park in high-traffic, well-lit areas. When possible, park in lots that have security or parking lot attendants.
- Don’t park in the farthest corner of the lot.
- Consider installing a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, steering column, or brakes.
- Consider purchasing a vehicle theft tracking or security system.
- Don’t leave spare keys in your car or in a magnetic box attached to the underside of your car. Thieves are aware of all of the common hiding places.
Content provided by The Big I (Independent Insurance Agents of America)