An industry expert says a surge in carjackings in the Greater Toronto Area along with ongoing car thefts from driveways and parking lots could put pressure on some insurance companies to consider raising their premiums.
“There have been 93 carjacking incidents that have occurred in Toronto so far this year. That’s compared to 21 over the same period last year, so that is almost a 400 per cent increase year-over-year,” said Aren Mirzaian, CEO of My Choice, an insurance comparison website.
The company said in the last 30 days there have also been 404 car thefts in Brampton and Mississauga alone, which is approximately 13 vehicles a day.
According to My Choice, there were 20,767 auto theft claims in Canada in 2020 with payouts of $346.7 million dollars, but with rising theft and carjacking incidents the payouts are expected to be higher this year.
Throughout the pandemic car insurance premiums have remained relatively flat and some companies even gave rebates to their customers, but as car thefts and carjackings increase some companies may need to raise rates to cover their costs.
“If there are more theft claims associated with a particular model or location then insurance companies may have to charge more for that location to offset those claims,” said Mirzaian.
According to My Choice the five most expensive cities for car insurance in Ontario are now Vaughn, Ajax, Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto.
The five cities with the most car thefts are Hamilton, Vaughn, Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto.
With auto thefts on the rise it’s important to know that basic car insurance policies provide liability coverage, but not coverage for theft. For that you’ll need additional coverage such as comprehensive, specific perils or all perils coverage.
“That type of endorsement is going to help replace a stolen vehicle, it’s going to help replace parts of a vehicle that are stolen or damaged and it’s going to help repair damages to your car resulting from theft or break-in,” said Mirzaian.
Criminals have been stealing vehicles from driveways for years, but now they’re becoming more brazen. Even Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player Mitch Marner had his Range Rover carjacked at gunpoint last month outside a movie theater.
The type of vehicle you drive will also affect your rates, especially if you have one that is highly sought after by thieves.
Your rates will also be impacted by your driving history, age and home address. If your premiums do rise substantially you may want to shop around to see if you can find a better rate somewhere else.