Brampton residents gripped by concerns of a growing auto theft crisis | Insurance Business Canada

Vehicle thefts outpace there outpace other parts of the province

Brampton residents gripped by concerns of a growing auto theft crisis

Motor & Fleet

Mika Pangilinan

Some eight out of 10 Brampton residents perceive their community to be in the midst of an auto theft crisis, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

In a survey of over 1,000 individuals residing in Ontario, IBC found that while auto theft is a concern across the province, the sentiment is most pronounced in Brampton, as 73% of the city’s residents expressed worry about the potential theft of their vehicles.

Amanda Dean, IBC’s interim vice president for Ontario, said the poll’s findings are unsurprising given that the number of auto theft claims in Brampton increased 133% between 2018 and 2022. Costs associated with these claims also soared by almost 400% during the same period.

“Vehicle thefts in Brampton outpace the auto theft rate in other parts of Ontario by about 20%,” she said in a news release. “That’s saying something considering Ontario has the highest rate of auto thefts in the country.”

According to IBC’s figures, auto theft costs Ontario drivers an average of $130 each year. The crisis also has broader societal costs of over $1.6 billion, encompassing expenses related to law enforcement, legal proceedings, emotional distress for victims, and other economic implications.

To prevent vehicle thefts, IBC advised individuals to use Équité Association’s layered protection approach, which includes utilizing anti-theft devices, vehicle immobilizers, and tracking devices.

“While we need a whole-of-society approach that includes all levels of government, insurers and auto manufacturers to solve this crisis, there are steps you can take to prevent your vehicle from being stolen,” said Dean.

Équité Association is a national organization dedicated to assisting insurers in combating fraud and other insurance crimes. Earlier this year, it released a report highlighting how auto theft in Canada has reached crisis levels, with theft claims surpassing $1.2 billion in 2022.

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