Avoiding Car Theft: Dos and Don’ts

Avoiding Car Theft: Dos and Don'ts
In Florida, auto insurance minimums are $10,000 PIP (personal injury protection) and $10,000 PDL (property damage liability). And you might do well to add such things as collision, uninsured motorist protection, or even buy comprehensive auto insurance coverage.
But one thing you may not have thought much about is the possibility of your car getting stolen. Any high-value, portable property is at risk of theft, including both personal watercraft and automobiles, and you are safer if your insurance policy covers a possible theft.

What to Do to Prevent Auto Theft
Here are some best practices to make it harder on would-be auto thieves:

  • Always lock up your car. Make it a habit. Don’t make exceptions because you seem to be in a safe area.
  • Avoid driving in or parking in known high-crime-rate areas whenever possible.
  • Make it a point to park in well lighted areas if parking at or over night.
  • Have your VIN number etched on the four door windows of your car. Thieves don’t want to replace all the glass before reselling on the black market.
  • Have an anti theft system installed in your car. This will both discourage thieves and, possibly, get you a discount on your auto insurance policy.

What NOT to Do to Avoid Auto Theft
Here are some things to avoid doing in order to minimize the chances of your car getting stolen:

  • Never leave your windows or sunroof open when you park and leave your car.
  • Never leave your keys in your parked car.
  • Never leave your vehicle running and unattended, even for a short period of time.
  • Don’t store your title in the vehicle. That makes it easier for thieves to get away with their misdeeds.
  • Don’t leave valuable items in your car and out in the open where passersby can peer in and see them.

Understand Car Thieves
Not only should you invest in quality auto insurance and take all possible precautions to prevent a car theft. But it also helps if you know what you are up against.

If you own an expensive luxury or sports car, beware of joy riders who may not actually keep your car but, nevertheless, leave it badly damaged when it is finally found.

Next, beware of pro carjackers, who commit the majority of car thefts. They won’t limit themselves to the luxury cars but will look for any popular model they can cut up and sell for parts at a chop shop or export to a foreign country to fulfill orders made for specific makes/models.

And finally, don’t stop and get out to check a fender bender at a traffic light or fail to leave maneuver room between you and the car just ahead at a stop light. Why? Because some cars are stolen by the “bump and rob” method right on the open highway, after the bumped driver gets out to check the damage.

Car thefts and carjackings are much more common than we would like to think. Prudence demands that we take at least basic anti-theft steps to protect one of our largest investments and to keep ourselves and loved ones safe.

To learn more about car safety tips, or for a free quote, feel free to contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today.