HARTFORD, CT (August 20, 2020) - In the wake of multiple violent offenses in Connecticut involving stolen vehicles, including at least two deadly crashes and a shooting, AAA is reminding motorists that car theft is almost always a crime of opportunity, urging them to never leave keys or key fobs in their vehicles.
As these fatal crashes illustrate, the cost of stolen cars often goes beyond the expenses incurred by the owner.
"We know that stolen vehicles are often involved in more serious, violent crimes and we also know that most stolen vehicles had keys left in them," says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford."Locking your vehicle and taking the keys may not only save you time and money, it could literally save lives."
According to statistics provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Connecticut has a higher rate of stolen vehicles (38th) than any surrounding state – with Massachusetts (48), New York (49), Vermont (50), New Hampshire (51) and Maine (52) having the lowest stolen vehicle rates in the country. (Data includes Washington, DC and Puerto Rico).
According to the NICB, there were almost 6000 vehicles stolen in Connecticut last year, but that is actually the lowest number of vehicles stolen in Connecticut in the last five years, and a 17% drop from 2018.
Does Insurance Pay When Keys are Left in the Car?
Maybe. Maybe not.
“Only comprehensive Insurance policies cover stolen cars” says AAA Insurance spokesperson Sonia Medina. “AAA encourages vehicle owners to do everything they can to protect what is likely one of their most significant investments”.
Auto liability insurance is required in all 50 states, but, AAA says, coverage against theft – the comprehensive coverage – is optional.
AAA Insurance Tips for protecting your car against theft:
- Never leave your keys in the vehicle – the convenient ‘keyless’ feature is not only convenient for the car owner, it’s convenient for the thief who can steal your car with the touch of a button.
- Lock your car – even without the keys, thieves are more likely to steal a car left unlocked
- Park your vehicle in a garage or a well-lit area – at home, at the mall or on the road, always try to park in an area where suspicious activity would be noticeable.
- Keep valuables out of sight