UPDATED: Nov 28, 2011
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Good news for insurance companies and customers alike, 2010 boasted the lowest car thefts since 1967. The total thefts dropped just over 7% from 2009, when there were almost 800,000 total auto thefts in the United States.
Industry experts cite increases in anti-theft technology and tracking equipment like LoJack systems as a big driver in the reduced losses.
Many major insurance companies like Farmers Insurance and State Farm offer customers discounts on their auto insurance policies if they come equipped with factory or aftermarket theft deterrent products. Tracking devices and ignition disablers like Ravelco offer the best protection for car owners.
Cities like Dallas have been cracking down on grand theft auto crimes over the past few years by heightening their awareness of “baiting” programs. Baiting is a process where cops leave unlocked cars in high crime areas in hopes that someone will try and steal it. Once the person begins to drive away, the car is remotely shut down and in some cases locked from a remote. This keeps the perpetrator from fleeing the vehicle.
Bait programs have not been without their share of criticism. Many people believe these bait programs is a form of entrapment, since the cops are setting up a make believe crime and not actually catching them doing a real one.
Regardless of public opinion, these programs have contributed to the nationwide reduction in auto thefts over the past few years. This news is both good for the consumer and insurance companies because it reduces the overall liabilities and allows for cost savings to be passed to the policy owners.