The Price of Car Parts Drive Car Theft

One of the factors driving the cost of a car insurance claim higher is the increasing cost of parts for most late model cars and trucks. This is also one of the driving factors behind car thefts according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) study posted in Insurance Journal on February 15th of this year.

According to NICB, thefts of vehicles in the United States rose again in 2017 by more than 4%. For the vehicles that were recovered, many were missing parts such as wheels, rims, and other valuable parts. Those that weren’t recovered, probably ended up in chop shops where they were dismantled, and their parts sold on the black market.

The NICB study evaluated the cost of replacement parts for the top 10 stolen vehicles in 2016. The cost for the parts were obtained from a database of 24 million damage appraisals generated from insurance claims which occurred in 2016 and 2017. The parts included in the study included bumpers, fenders, hoods, headlights, doors, wheels, trunk and hood, grille, tail lights, fenders and liners, body panels and moldings. It excluded transmissions and engines.

  • The Toyota Camry was number 1 on the “Hot Wheels” list of most stolen vehicles from 2016 with 15 commonly replaced components valued at almost $11,000 as compared to a used market value of $15,438. The higher value parts included doors ($3,027 for 4), wheels ($1,642 for all 4), hood and trunk ($1,251), and body panels and molding ($2,411).
  • The Nissan Maxima had a used market value of $20,621 while its commonly replaced components totaled $14,236. This included doors ($3,374 for 4), headlights ($2,027), wheels ($1,745) and body and side moldings ($3,751).
  • Number 3 on the list was the GMC pickup truck with a used market value of $28,230 and a commonly replaced part value of $21,332. Its high value parts included the doors ($3,260 for 4), bumpers and tailgate ($3,676), fenders, liners and step pad ($3,421), headlights ($2,289), wheels ($2,373 all 4), and body panels and side moldings ($2,716).

If we throw in additional parts such as seats, airbags, computer components, engine and transmission, the value of the parts in these three vehicles will probably eclipse their market values.

Car owners can best protect themselves by maintaining comprehensive coverage on their car insurance policies as this covers theft of the vehicle and its parts. The real question is how do we reduce or eliminate vehicle theft and make it more difficult for thieves to sell parts? What do you think? Share your suggestions, comments, and questions with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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