A significant increase in vehicle theft and vandalism in California has led to an increase in comprehensive auto insurance claims in the state, according to a new report from Mercury Insurance.
Comprehensive auto insurance claims have increased 40% from pre-pandemic levels, according to the report. Northern California has reported nearly double the frequency of overall Southern California auto claims, according to the report, with areas with lower population density reporting a much higher rate of theft than areas with larger populations. .
Based on Mercury Insurance’s comprehensive claims data, the top five claims vehicles during the pandemic were:
- Toyota prius
- Honda accord
- Honda Civic
- Toyota tacoma
- Toyota camry
“Thieves love the Toyota Prius,” said Randy Petro, vice president and claims manager, Mercury Insurance. “The frequency of claims for this vehicle compared to the other vehicles on the list is almost double. If you own a Prius, be very careful about where you park and what you keep there. “
The report also cites data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which found California to be the top US state in terms of auto theft. Motor vehicle thefts in the state have increased nearly 24% since 2019, the office noted.
Mercury Insurance also noted that although the increase in car theft and vandalism began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theft of audio and other auto parts continues to increase as restrictions pandemics are lifted. The insurer has also observed that nearly 22% of multi-risk claims occur at night.
“The thieves were waiting for this moment,” said Petro. “Staying alert and keeping good practices in mind when leaving your vehicle can help reduce the likelihood of your car being stolen or damaged. Comprehensive coverage provides added peace of mind knowing you’ll be protected against theft or vandalism. “