If there’s one supply chain Canada’s insurers would like to see disrupted, it’s the national, $1 billion business of auto theft rings supplying clients, unscrupulous dealers and chop shops with cars and auto parts.
Of the $1 billion auto theft business in Canada in 2019, Canadian car insurers paid out an estimated $542 million in theft-related auto insurance claims, according to figures published by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). The balance of the costs went to police services, prison and justice services and health care for victims.
Honda CR-V owners have the most reason to be concerned, given their cars made the top of the list. But high-end Lexus and SUV owners have reason to be careful, too.
“While the Honda CR-V was Canada’s most stolen vehicle (with 4,117 thefts), the Lexus RX series had a higher theft percentage (6.4%) rate,” Equité Association observed in a news release Monday.
Bypassing keyless entry is among several of the top auto theft trends noted in 2022, Equité observed.
“Équité’s latest analysis highlights the following trends in vehicle thefts: all high-end vehicles, regardless of manufacturer, are targets, including pick-up trucks, SUVs, and luxury cars,” the group noted. “Thieves continue to exploit technology through relay attacks and connecting to the on-board diagnostic port, which enables them to reprogram key fobs.
“And organized crime networks are stealing vehicles in greater volume for export internationally, with Montreal being the principal exit port for stolen vehicles.”
Fobs providing keyless entry can create a security vulnerability, IBC states on its website. “Don’t leave a keyless entry fob in a vehicle or unprotected at the front entrance of your home,” IBC recommends. “Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal, giving them access to the vehicle. Consider storing fobs in a protective box or bag that blocks the signal.”
Regionally, SUVs topped the lists of auto stolen in Ontario and Quebec.
Rounding out the Top 10 stolen cars in Canada were: