Insurance Ideas

Hot Months
July and August are the top two months for automobile thefts.

Summertime Means Hot Cars
It's second nature. You pull your car into your driveway, turn off the ignition, and leave the keys in place while you go into the house for a quick stop. The thought that your car really might not be protected while it's parked in front of your home never even occurs to you. But the truth is, your car is just as susceptible to theft there as it is in a parking lot, parking garage, on a road, or in an alley.

According to FBI reports and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three out of four stolen vehicles are taken from these types of locations, and more than half of the thefts occur in areas where there are no attendants. Even more interesting is the fact that the majority of the auto thefts are not high-end sports vehicles—most are passenger cars.

Unfortunately, one of the main reasons a car is stolen is simply because it's easy to steal. This is often due to an error on the driver's part, such as leaving the car running while making a quick stop or leaving the keys on the seat. Even hiding a spare key in the car for an emergency can result in its theft, because thieves know all the hiding spots. Many thieves are well organized, spending time canvassing homes, parking garages, etc., looking for an opportunity to steal a car. Some will even break into homes and steal the car keys so they can take the car.

Sometimes, it's not even the vehicle the thief's the parts. Thieves can strip a car in less than 30 minutes and sell the parts for a profit, often for as much as two to four times what the car is worth. That's why the NHTSA requires that several car parts have the vehicle identification number (VIN) marked on them. But even that measure can't guarantee your car won't be stolen and the parts resold.

So what can you do to protect your vehicle?
Here are some tips from NHTSA:

  • Lock your car doors and make sure your windows are closed.
  • Remove and take your keys with you.
  • Park the car in your garage as much as possible.
  • Avoid leaving anything valuable in your vehicle.
  • nstall an anti-theft device, preferably one that's audible, visible or immobilizes the car.
  • Park in areas that are well-lit.
  • Don't leave the original vehicle registration or title in your vehicle.

Some anti-theft devices could qualify you for an insurance discount, so talk to your AAA Insurance Agent about your comprehensive coverage. To speak to a licensed AAA insurance agent about your coverage, call 1-877-222-5023 or stop by your local AAA office.

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