Insurers incentivizing consumers to protect vehicles as claims costs rise

Last year marked the first time ever that insurers in Canada paid more than $1 billion in claims for stolen vehicles. That point was brought forth by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which referenced a press release from Équité Association.

In their own update, the IBC said several regions are at greater risk of auto theft, including the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). And three of those regions in the GTA that have experienced some of the sharpest increases in auto theft insurance claims costs in Canada over the past five years are Durham (up 561 per cent), Halton (up 514 per cent), and York (up 497 per cent).

“All stakeholders, including governments, law enforcement and auto manufacturers, have a critical role to play and must take immediate steps to address the auto theft crisis,” said Amanda Dean, Interim Vice-President, Ontario, IBC, in a statement.

Auto theft claims costs hovered around $700 million in 2022 in Ontario, from approximately $160 million in 2018 — which means costs are up 329 per cent. Insurers are incentivizing consumers to take the necessary steps to better manage their premiums and protect their vehicles from being stolen.

According to IBC, some insurers are now subsidizing the costs connected with installing approved aftermarket tracking devices. Many insurers are waiving the surcharge on vehicles at high risk of theft if the consumer takes proactive steps to protect their vehicle.

“It’s clear that government action is required to combat auto theft in Canada,” said Dean in a statement. “But empowering drivers with information on the steps they can take to protect themselves is also important.”

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