A bulletin from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) notes that the country's car insurers announced that "the 1999 and 2000 Honda Civics SiR 2-door hold the dubious distinction of topping this year's most stolen vehicles list. The two models also had the highest theft claims cost per vehicle. In addition, the Honda Civic 1994, 1995, and 1993 models are also found in the 4th, 6th and 10th spots respectively on the list of most frequently stolen vehicles."
Canada's "Top Ten Stolen Vehicles" are listed as follows:
1. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
2. 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
3. 1996 4 wheel drive Chevrolet/GMC Blazer/Jimmy S Series 2-door
4. 1994 Honda Civic Si Hatchback 2-door
5. 1993 Volkswagen Corrado 2-door
6. 1995 Honda Civic Si Hatchback 2-door
7. 1992 Chrysler/Dodge Caravan and Voyager
8. 2002 all wheel drive Subaru Impreza WRX, 4-door
9. 1999 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback 2-door
10. 1993 Honda Civic Si hatchback 2-door
The IBC noted that "none of the vehicles making the top ten most frequently stolen vehicles list had an Insurance Bureau of Canada-approved immobilizer system." Rick Dubin, IBC VP - Investigations, observed: "Now that IBC-approved theft deterrent systems or immobilizers are commonly in place in newer vehicles, auto thieves have been turning increasingly to older vehicles. We've seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it."
The IBC explained: "Electronic immobilizers are systems that prevent a vehicle from starting unless a specific electronic code is used. IBC, along with vehicle manufacturers, after-market manufacturers, and other interested stakeholders, developed a Canadian standard for automobile theft-deterrent systems that was approved by the Standards Council of Canada in 1998."
The bulletin also noted that "many insurance companies provide premium discounts on automobile policies to customers whose vehicles are equipped with an IBC-approved, factory-installed or aftermarket immobilizer system."
"Immobilizers are highly effective at deterring car thieves. In terms of this year's stats, you have to go down the list to the 81st most-frequently stolen spot to find a vehicle, the 2001 Audi Quattro 4-door, that registered thefts despite the fact that it is protected by an immobilizer. It just underlines the reality that theft is much more likely when a vehicle is not equipped with an immobilizer," Dubin added.
In contrast, vehicles that were the least stolen last year included models that featured immobilizer systems. Those vehicles that were best insurance bets as far as auto theft is concerned included the following:
-- 1998 Lincoln Continental 4-door
-- 2001 Pontiac Bonneville 4-door
-- 2002 Oldsmobile Silhouette
The IBC said: "Data on stolen vehicles is taken from this year's release of IBC's How Cars Measure Up, which compares the insurance claim records of the most popular models of cars, passenger vans, SUVs and pickup trucks across the country. This information can be extremely useful to consumers before they actually buy either a new or used car. The brochure is designed to help consumers understand how theft, collision and other claim costs affect insurance premiums. To download a copy of the brochure, visit our web site at www.ibc.ca .
"The statistics contained in the brochure are based wholly on actual insurance claims data collected from nearly all automobile insurance companies in Canada. These companies write almost 100 percent of all automobile insurance in Canada.Theft of vehicles (and their components) costs Canadian policyholders more than $580 million annually in insurance premiums."