Love My Ride - Vehicle Theft Prevention
Every 43 seconds a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States.
- Motor vehicle thefts and thefts from vehicles can happen anywhere, any time and to any type of vehicle.
- Billions of dollars are lost to motor vehicle theft each year – this may mean higher auto insurance rates for victims and, in some cases, others in their communities.
- Many vehicle thefts are made easier due to driver error, such as leaving doors unlocked or keys in the ignition.
- Summer is the worst season for vehicle theft.
In addition to the vehicles themselves, thieves target vehicle parts - catalytic converters, engines, transmissions, wheel covers, radios, GPS units - and personal valuables, such as cell phones, tablets, laptops and purses inside the vehicle.
- In 2021, 11,470 motor vehicles were stolen in Virginia, according to the Virginia State Police.
- Vehicle thefts nationwide were up 16.5 percent in 2021 compared to 2019, according to National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
- More than 40 percent of stolen vehicles are never recovered, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Virginia's Love My Ride campaign is a multi-agency effort to help reduce theft of and from vehicles. A few simple behaviors can have a big impact.
YOU can do your part!
- Use common sense to reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen. Pay attention to where you park. Never leave your keys in your car. Lock your doors. Roll up your windows. Park in well-lit areas.
- Don't leave valuables in your vehicle; try not to leave anything in plain sight that might tempt a would-be thief.
- Use a visible or audible warning device such as an alarm or steering wheel lock, brake lock, or VIN etching to indicate to would-be thieves that your vehicle is protected.
- Install an immobilizing device to keep thieves from stealing your vehicle. Smart keys, kill switches, fuse cut-offs, fuel pump disablers are available.
- Install a tracking device on your vehicle.
- Contact the police and file a stolen vehicle report. You will need to provide this report or a case number to your insurance company if you file a claim.
- Contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. When it comes to stolen vehicle parts or belongings stolen from inside the vehicle, consider your deductibles before you file an insurance claim.
- Understand your insurance coverage and know what it will cover. Will it cover vehicle theft? How about vehicle parts or belongings stolen from your vehicle? What if your car is vandalized? Ask yourself: What are my deductibles? Are there any limitations to what my insurance will cover? If my vehicle is stolen and I left my cellphone and laptop in it, how will my insurance cover this?
- If your auto insurance policy includes other-than-collision (or comprehensive) coverage, it may help pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged in an incident that is not a collision. This can include damage from fire, wind, floods, vandalism, animal strikes or falling objects such as trees or hail. If you have a loan on your vehicle, the lender will require you to have this coverage, which pays actual cash value and carries a deductible (the portion you pay on a claim before the insurance kicks in).
- Personal property stolen from your vehicle may be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Review your homeowners policy and deductibles when determining whether to file an insurance claim. Your homeowners insurance may have limits for personal property stolen from a vehicle. In addition, separate deductibles may apply for your auto and homeowners insurance policies.
- See if you have rental coverage in the event your vehicle is stolen. Understand what your insurance company will pay if your vehicle is not recovered, or if it is recovered and has sustained damage as a result of being stolen.
- Keep in mind that any reported insurance claim for a stolen vehicle may increase your auto insurance premiums.
- If you live in a high-crime area, you may also pay more for car insurance due to the increased likelihood of vehicle thefts.
- Parking your car on the street rather than in a garage may increase what you pay for car insurance.
- Always keep your auto insurance card handy, especially when you’re on the road. This will have contact information for your company and your policy number.
- Ask your insurance agent or company about possible discounts for vehicle safety equipment/measures.
- If your car has anti-theft features, you may be able to get a discount off your other-than-collision/comprehensive coverage.
- The Bureau of Insurance offers a variety of free insurance resources, including auto and homeowners insurance consumer guides.
- For insurance questions and concerns, call the Bureau’s Property and Casualty Consumer Services Section at 1-877-310-6560 (toll-free) or 804-371-9185 (Richmond).
- If you have a complaint about your insurance agent or company, visit our complaints page for information on what to do.