8 tips to prevent vehicle theft
May 03, 2021
Vehicle theft has exponentially grown in the Greater Toronto Area over the past few years. According to Statistics Canada, nearly 500 vehicles are stolen every day in Canada. As a vehicle owner you can play an active role in reducing the likelihood of it happening to you. Thieves are becoming more sophisticated, and depending on your vehicle, it may just take seconds to steal. Here are some steps that you can take to protect your car from theft.
Lock your car and roll up the windows
Most car thefts are crimes of opportunity. Car thieves look for cars that are easy targets.
Even if you live in a safe neighbourhood, thieves often travel to different areas looking for cars to steal. Ensure that your vehicle’s doors are locked, and the windows closed whenever you’re not in the car.
Don’t leave your car running unattended
A car running with no one in it is an open invitation for a car thief. Avoid leaving keys in the ignition while running a quick errand inside a store or warming up your vehicle in the winter. It’s also best not to keep your spare car keys in the glovebox as thieves will often check it for valuables.
Consider additional anti-theft features
Professional thieves know how to disable most car alarm systems. Additional security features may reduce the likelihood of getting your car stolen. Tools such as a steering wheel lock make it impossible to drive a car away – even if it can be started, while an inexpensive lug nut lock makes it difficult to remove and steal expensive tires and rims.
Hide your valuables
If you have to store valuable items in your car, make sure that you put them in the trunk, or hide them from plain sight. Avoid keeping any loose change in your cupholders. Remember, even though things such as sunglasses or gloves may not seem valuable to you, a thief might be interested in them.
Park in a safe place
Car thieves don’t want to draw attention to themselves Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a garage. If you must park on the street, choose somewhere that is well lit and has foot traffic. When parking in an area you’re not familiar with, it may be worth parking in a lot where there is an attendant or security cameras.
Invest in home security cameras
An exterior home security camera is an easy way to make your vehicle a less appealing target. Make sure that the camera has a clear view of your car and that it can easily be seen from the street. There are many inexpensive models on the market, but it may be worthwhile to purchase one that has motion-activated floodlights.
Keep your keys away from doors and windows
Vehicles that use a key fob activated starter are vulnerable to having the signal from their key fob emulated by sophisticated car thieves. By keeping your keys away from doors and windows or getting a key fob blocking pouch you can protect yourself.
Get the right insurance coverage
Review your auto insurance policy to ensure you have the right coverage. For example, Transportation Replacement coverage can help you get through the time it takes to process your claim.
Remember that your automobile insurance policy doesn't cover items that you are carrying, such as portable computers, mobile phones, purses, equipment (e.g. GPS) or sports equipment. To protect these items at all times, be sure to have a complete home insurance policy.
The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails. Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.