Across Canada, rates of reported carjackings are rising. According to Équité Association, around 80,000 carjacking cases were reported in the past year. As a precaution, police are warning drivers to stay diligent and take extra measures to protect themselves, when parked and when on the road. To reduce your risk of experiencing a carjacking, consider these preventative measures to keep yourself safe:
- Park in a high-visibility area. Avoid parking beside dumpsters, in wooded areas, or close to large vehicles that can obstruct views of your vehicle. Instead, try to park your car closer to sidewalks or busy walkways, or in a private parking garage where vehicles are watched closely by security.
- Stay alert when getting into or out of your vehicle. When exiting or approaching your vehicle, try to keep an eye out for anyone hanging around nearby, and if you think you’re being followed to your car, go in another direction and call 911.
- Try to drive in the middle lane to prevent thieves from easily accessing your car from the side of the road.
- Keep windows closed and make sure all doors are locked when you’re stuck at a standstill in traffic.
- Always trust your instincts. If something is making you uneasy, it’s better to err on the side of caution and leave the area or call the police to report suspicious activity.
The vehicle you drive, where you live, and the locations you park in can all increase your risk of experiencing a carjacking. As rates of carjackings rise, take these steps to protect yourself when you’re on the road.
Know what puts you at greater risk of experiencing a carjacking
Besides being in the wrong place at the wrong time, there are certain specific factors that can increase your risk of experiencing a carjacking. For example, certain vehicle makes and models are more susceptible to carjacking, including Honda Civics, Honda CR-Vs, Lexus RX 350s, Toyota Highlanders, and Dodge RAMs, due to their low profile and ability to blend in easily in traffic.
Where you live can also increase your risk of experiencing a carjacking. As reported cases continue to increase in urban centres across Canada, city residents should be extra vigilant in their efforts to prevent carjacking.
Does my insurance policy cover carjacking?
The short answer is yes — your car insurance policy will cover theft by carjacking if you have the right coverage in place. Vehicle theft is typically covered under optional specified perils, comprehensive, or all-perils coverage, and this includes theft that occurs as a result of a carjacking.
If there were valuables in your vehicle when it was carjacked, it’s unlikely that your car insurance policy will cover your stolen belongings. In this case, contact your home insurance provider to see if the stolen items will be covered under your home insurance policy.
How to file an insurance claim if you experience a carjacking
If your car has been stolen in a carjacking, make a police report before submitting a claim with your car insurance provider. To submit a claim, contact your insurance company’s claims department, or contact your broker if you have any questions about the process.
Reach out to your licensed insurance broker if you need help reviewing your car insurance policy and making sure you’d be covered in the event of a carjacking.