Texas Theft-Related Auto Insurance Claims Decline

Metropolitan areaAllstate Insurance reported fewer vehicle theft claims for its customers in Texas in 2009.

However, the cars that are being stolen are becoming harder to recover, because more are being taken across the border and overseas, said police.

Stolen vehicles have been tracked as far as Guatemala and Honduras, and many are being used for drug smuggling, human trafficking, and terrorism, said Sergeant Trinidad Salazar with the Houston Police Department.

Thefts in a few major Texas cities grew, including Austin (up 12.9 percent) and Houston (15.6 percent). Yet the overall number of thefts in the state dropped 2.5 percent, with several cities experiencing dramatic decreases, including San Antonio (down 21.9 percent) and El Paso (20.2 percent).

Police and insurance officials encouraged drivers to take steps to protect their cars. Parking in well-lit populated areas, hiding valuables in the car, and installing audible alarms are all methods that can deter thieves.

The price of  Texas auto insurance is expected to rise in 2011 due to increased minimum liability requirements, consumers doing their part to lower claims can help offset the increase. Vehicle thefts cost Americans $200 to $300 in raised premiums every year, said an Allstate agent.

The Laredo, Texas metropolitan area had a rate of 742.22 thefts per capita last year, the highest such rate in the nation, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.ADNFCR-3298-ID-19854515-ADNFCR

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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