Farmers: Rising Temps Leads to More Auto Thefts and Vandalism

August 5, 2015

Theft and vandalism is the leading cause of non-collision auto claims in the summer, according to the latest Seasonal Smarts Digest from Farmers Insurance.

Among Farmers Insurance customers during the two year period of 2013 and 2014, almost 30 percent of national claims filed in July, August or September were related to vandalism, mischief and partial or total theft. California saw the most third-quarter theft and vandalism-related claims; nearly 40 percent of its claims came from vandalism, mischief and partial theft, and another 40 percent were due to total theft. Texas, Oregon, Washington and Arizona also saw higher rates of theft and vandalism claims.

“Warm weather means more people are out and about—and that includes thieves and vandals,” said Paul Quinn, head of claims customer experience at Farmers. “Whether you’re leaving your car at a trailhead or a tourist attraction or just parking it in your home’s driveway, you should always make sure it’s not an easy target for criminals.”

Old tricks as well as new technologies can help consumers better protect their cars, Quinn said. Drivers should consider putting the following tips into practice this summer to decrease the chances that thieves will target their vehicles:

  • Park as close as you can to your destination, in a well-lit area, and make note of where you parked.
  • Thieves are most likely to target engines, airbags, radios, GPS units and portable handheld devices, according to the NHTSA. If your navigation device is mounted to the window, remove the mount and wipe off the ring left by the suction cup.
  • Thieves commonly go after the third-row seat from an SUV. If a car has a removable third row, consider removing it and leaving it in the garage if you know you won’t be using it.
Avoiding Recreational Vehicle Accidents

While theft and vandalism is a major concern during the summer, Quinn also advises consumers to exercise caution when enjoying some of summer’s more common recreational activities. Claims involving boats and RVs increased an average of 26 percent from the second to third quarters in 2013 and 2014, according to Farmers data.

“With more people hitting the water and the road in the summer, there are more opportunities for accidents and injuries,” Quinn said. “If your boat or RV spent the winter hibernating, it’s a good idea to check out all the equipment and review operating and safety processes before heading out.”

The complete Farmers Seasonal Smarts Digest detailing summer’s most common hazards, as well as safety and preparedness tips to help keep drivers and their cars safe, can be found online at

Source: Farmers Insurance

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