IIHS Names Vehicles With Most Auto Insurance Theft Claims

Cadillac EscaladeVersions of the Cadillac Escalade, Ford F-250 pickup and the Infiniti G37 top the list for the highest frequency of insurance claims stemming from auto theft, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), a subsidiary of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The theft rate for such vehicles is reportedly three to five times as high as the average rate for all vehicles. Theft losses in the study were calculated by the rate and size of insurance claims.

The Cadillac Escalade topped the list this year for being worst in overall theft losses, as it has done in six of the past seven such reports by the HLDI. According to the study, a quarter of Escalade theft claims are $40,000 or more.

Very large SUVs have the highest overall theft losses — almost six times higher than other vehicles, the report says. The type of car with the lowest overall theft losses was the two-door minicar.

“Sedate family cars and fuel sippers aren’t on the hot list,” says HLDI senior vice president Kim Hazelbaker. “Thieves are after chrome, horsepower, and HEMIs.”

The study found that the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, although not stolen as often as other vehicles on the highest-losses list, has an average insurance claim payment of a whopping $41,229.

Car theft safety devices don’t seem to deter criminals from going after some vehicles. Even with their immobilizer technology, Escalades are sought after by thieves, who have been known to load and haul away the large SUVs on flatbed trucks, Hazelbaker said.

People looking to obtain the cheapest car insurance rates possible may want to stay away from cars that have such appeal for thieves.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than $6.4 billion was lost due to vehicle thefts in 2008.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

No comments yet.

Comment on this article