Canada is now known as a source nation for stolen vehicles: Industry expert Bryan Gast
Auto theft has become so frequent in Canada that insurance companies are taking on some extra costs to protect the vehicles they insure.
According to a recent report from the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association, a car is stolen every six minutes in Canada, amounting to a billion-dollar industry. In Toronto, vehicle thefts climbed 300 per cent between 2015 and 2022, the report found.
Insurance companies have taken steps to protect against theft-related losses, including charging higher premiums for frequently stolen vehicles, -- and now they are now paying to install tracking devices on cars.
According to Ratehub.ca, insurers are subsidizing aftermarket devices known as the Tag System to combat car theft and recover stolen vehicles. Installing one will not immediately change insurance premiums, however.
“As less vehicles are stolen and more are recovered, the Tag devices may help to lower insurance premiums in the long run,” Morgan Roberts, director of RH Insurance at Ratehub.ca, said in a news release.
“Unlike telematics devices, which track and assess your driving history to provide a discounted rate, the Tag device is only meant to prevent and recover high-theft stolen vehicles.”
When it comes to high-theft vehicles, insurance companies may add a $500 surcharge if the policyholder decides against installing the device, though installing it is often subsidized or discounted, Roberts said.
According to Équité Association’s latest Vehicle Theft Trend Report, the top stolen vehicles in Canada include the Honda CR-V, the Lexus RX Series and the Ford F-150, though the list of most stolen vehicles varies by insurance company.
“Other proactive steps drivers can take currently to help prevent their vehicle from being stolen include; parking in a private locked garage, use a steering lock, keep your smart key fob in a Faraday box, and use port blocking devices,” Roberts said.
“Drivers who currently have an approved anti-theft tracking device or system installed in their vehicle, should contact their insurance broker for information on qualifying for a discount.”