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Car theft and auto insurance in Columbus. Is your car at risk?

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By: Kade Phillips, contributing writer at

It may surprise you to know that the hottest cars out there in Columbus for auto thieves, aren't necessarily the latest newly redesigned and flashy high-end vehicles that just rolled off the assembly line. Instead, professional auto thieves in Columbus and elsewhere tend to see the auto industry in somewhat more practical terms; for the professional car thief, it's a business. 

That's not to say that automobiles like the Cadillac Escalade EXT and the Nissan Maxima aren't popular with thieves, because they are. But the auto theft business is a big one, costing car insurance companies multi billions of dollars per year (roughly seven and a half billion in 2003), and older popular cars, produced in large numbers and having few dramatic changes that affect internal parts, seem to be a favorite among thieves. A high exchangeability of parts across model years, makes for a very attractive target. This is because the parts can be worth a small fortune when stripped out of a vehicle, especially as they become more scarce over time. 

Obviously some auto theft is conducted by small time amateur thieves, who stumble upon a crime of opportunity, or by thrill seeking teenagers who have neither the sophistication nor the connections to fully capitalize on their crime. But there do exist sophisticated crime networks who have made auto theft their bread and butter. 

The latest statistics in 2003 suggest that a motor vehicle is stolen roughly every 26 seconds nationwide. The odds of your car being stolen increase if you live in a highly urban area like Columbus, and are put at roughly 1 in 190 overall, across the nation. 

Do you own a vehicle that car thieves love?
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the 10 vehicles most frequently reported stolen in the U.S. in 2004 were:

· 1995 Honda Civic 
· 1989 Toyota Camry 
· 1991 Honda Accord 
· 1994 Dodge Caravan 
· 1994 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup 
· 1997 Ford F150 Series 
· 1990 Acura Integra 
· 1988 Toyota Pickup 
· 1991 Nissan Sentra 

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau, Hot Wheels, Do You Know Where Your Car Is? (November 7, 2005)

If you own one of the above mentioned automobiles, you may be paying more for your auto insurance than if you owned a less popular (with thieves) make and model. 

Is there anything you can do to reduce your insurance rates if you own one of these vehicles?
Actually, there is. Taking steps to make your vehicle less vulnerable and a more unattractive target can go a long way to getting you an insurance rate reduction, even for a vehicle on the "most stolen" list. Consider installing an alarm or other anti theft devices. Also, it may be possible to store and park your car in a safer area. A locked garage is best, but a well lit area close to the home is way better than out on the street and down the road. Inquire with your auto insurance company about possible savings when implementing some of these measures. 

Kade Phillips is a contributing writer at,
Serving Columbus car insurance quotes / Auto insurance quotes Columbus.
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