Consumers are being warned to take extra care not to draw attention to their vehicles from thieves.
Black Friday auto insurance claims are always higher than the typical end of the workweek. As shoppers rush around trying to find the best possible deals, thieves attempt to grab those discounted items right out of the vehicles.
NICB data showed that there were more than 2,000 reports of stolen vehicles on three days last holiday season.
Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Black Friday auto insurance claims for stolen vehicles broke the 2,000 mark in 2015. This according to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Throughout the 2015 holiday season, which ran from Thanksgiving day through New Year’s Day, there were a total of 9,600 vehicles reported stolen.
The NICB explained that there are still too many people who are leaving their cars unlocked while unattended. They recommend that consumers change this habit or they may be the next ones to return to a parking lot or driveway only to find their car has been stolen.
Black Friday auto insurance claims are numerous because of thefts as well as break-ins.
On Black Friday, thieves aren’t just looking to steal cars. While that is still a concern, many thieves watch parking lots and wait for shoppers to place some of their purchases in their cars before going back into the mall. While they’re gone, the thieves loot the cars, breaking windows, damaging locks and removing the recently purchased items.
Police are warning consumers to take precautions to ensure their cars are not targeted. Locking the doors is only the start. Don’t leave spare keys inside and ensure any valuables – such as smartphones, GPS, cash and other items – are tucked out of sight. If the vehicle has additional security devices such as an alarm, they should also be used. Moreover, it’s best to place newly purchased items in the trunk, where they’re not visible. This is particularly important with hot items and big-ticket gifts.
Thieves will be more likely to break into a car in which they can already see the shopping bags and gifts than one that doesn’t appear to contain anything yet. Consumers can often do a great deal to prevent the need for Black Friday auto insurance claims due to break-ins and thefts.