• Aug 3, 2010
The Highway Data Loss Institute has churned out its official list of vehicles with the highest and lowest insurance claims for theft. The study combines the rate of insurance claims per vehicle as well as the cost of those claims, helping companies that supply coverage determine exactly how much to charge us poor saps. The Cadillac Escalade took top honors this year with $146 in theft loss payments per insured vehicle, per year. On average, insurance companies pay out around $11,934 per theft claim when it comes to the Escalade with 10.8 of the SUVs stolen per 1,000 vehicles. That's more than 10 times the theft rate of the vehicle with the lowest theft losses – the Volvo S80.

In fact, of the top 10 vehicles on the Highway Data Loss Institute's list, six were of General Motors origin. How do the thieves get around the bad-guy battling OnStar vehicle immobilization? Easy. They load the coveted SUVs onto a flat bed and drive away.

The 2008-2009 Ford F-250 crew cab four-wheel drive took the silver when it came to vehicles with the highest theft loss, followed by the 2008-2009 Infiniti G37 coupe. Hit the jump to see if your vehicle's on the list.

[Source: Highway Data Loss Institute]

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Cadillac Escalade, Ford F-250 pickup, and Infiniti G37 top list of highest insurance claims for theft

ARLINGTON, VA - The rate at which people file insurance claims for theft is highest for versions of the 2007-09 Cadillac Escalade, a luxury SUV, followed by the Ford F-250 crew pickup, Infiniti G37 luxury car, and Dodge Charger with a HEMI engine. Theft rates for these vehicles are 3 to 5 times as high as the average for all vehicles. These are the latest theft loss results for passenger vehicles 1 to 3 years old published by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"Sedate family cars and fuel sippers aren't on the hot list," says Kim Hazelbaker, HLDI senior vice president. "Thieves are after chrome, horsepower, and HEMIs."

Overall theft losses take into account not only the rate at which insurance claims are filed but also the size of the payments for claims, and most of the vehicles with the highest overall theft losses are SUVs and large pickups. The Escalade has ranked worst in overall theft losses in 6 of the past 7 HLDI reports. In fact, all 4 versions of the Escalade head the list of the worst overall losses for theft, with average yearly losses more than 7 times the average for all passenger vehicles. The Escalade EXT 4-door 4-wheel-drive has the highest theft losses of all, with $146 in theft payments per insured vehicle year. This is more than 10 times the $14 average theft payments per year for all passenger vehicles.

The vehicle group with the highest overall theft losses ($82 in theft payments per year) is very large luxury SUVs. Losses for these vehicles are nearly 6 times as high as the $14 average for all passenger vehicles. Very large pickups have the second highest overall theft losses, at $57 per insured vehicle year, and 2-door minicars have the lowest at $4 per insured vehicle year.

Almost 1 of every 4 Escalade theft claims is for $40,000 or more. These vehicles are equipped with standard antitheft ignition immobilizers that are supposed to prevent them from being started without a proper key. The problem, Hazelbaker says, is that "even though Escalades have the latest immobilizer technology, thieves still can put them on flatbeds and haul them away."

HLDI's are the only reported theft results based on the number of insured vehicles on the road. Information on theft losses published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau doesn't take into account the number of each vehicle insured, so the most popular vehicles on the road tend to top this organization's list of most-stolen vehicles. This doesn't tell an individual owner how likely a particular car is to have a theft claim. To answer that question, HLDI identifies vehicles with the worst theft losses by counting the number of insurance claims by make and model relative to the number of each make and model insured. This indicates the vehicles that are most likely to be theft targets, taking into account their exposure on the road.

New to the worst list: The Chevrolet Corvette Z06, a high-performance midsize sports car, isn't stolen nearly as often as the other vehicles on the worst list, but claims are expensive when the Z06 does go missing. The average size of an insurance claim payment is $41,229. This compares with $10,118 for a Dodge Charger with a HEMI engine, a large family car that makes the worst list mainly because of how often it's stolen.

Pickups are a group to watch: "In many cases it's tough to pinpoint exactly why a vehicle becomes a theft target," Hazelbaker says. "Investigators tell us big work trucks like the Ford F-250/350, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Dodge Ram 2500 are attractive not only because of the vehicles themselves but also because of the tools and cargo they carry."
HLDI results take into account theft of a vehicle and also vehicle content. Overall theft losses for pickup trucks climbed steadily between 1999 and 2006 as the US economy boomed but now are decreasing. Still, as a group these vehicles have losses that are at least twice those of cars and SUVs.

Best theft losses: The Volvo S80, a large luxury car, leads the best list with overall losses equal to 4 percent of the average for all passenger vehicles. Next best are the Saturn VUE 4-wheel-drive midsize SUV and Nissan Murano midsize SUV. The Toyota Prius, a hybrid car, also ranks among the top 10. The 10 best vehicles have overall theft losses less than 15 percent of the average. Average payments for a theft claim are less than one-third the average.

Long-term trends: Since 1998 the frequency of theft claims for cars and SUVs has declined while average insurance payments per claim have increased. Frequencies have dropped the most for SUVs, declining from 4.9 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years in 1998 to 2.4 in 2008. (An insured vehicle year is 1 vehicle insured for 1 year, 2 for 6 months each, etc.)
For pickups, the downward trend in claim frequencies that began in 1998 reversed in 2001 and increased through 2006. Meanwhile, average insurance payments per theft claim have risen the most for pickups. SUVs had the highest average payments per claim until 2005, when results for pickups overtook those for SUVs.



HIGHEST LOSSES

Cadillac Escalade
Ford F-250 crew 4WD
Infiniti G37 2-door
Dodge Charger HEMI
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Hummer H2 4WD
Nissan Pathfinder Armada
Chevrolet Avalanche 1500
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
GMC Yukon

LOWEST LOSSES

Volvo S80
Saturn VUE 4WD (2008-09)
Nissan Murano (2009)
Saturn VUE (2008-09)
Honda Pilot 4WD (2009)
Subaru Impreza (2008-09)
Toyota Prius
Mini Cooper
Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Sienna 4WD


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess people got tired of stealing Hondas and Toyotas?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I believe GM should contact HLDI and have them issue an apology. This report is very misleading.

      Here are the 10 most stolen vehicles as reported by the NICB — the number in parentheses is the model year most stolen:

      Honda Civic (1995)
      Honda Accord (1991)
      Toyota Camry (1989)
      Ford F-150 (1997)
      Chevrolet C/K 1500 (1994)
      Acura Integra (1994)
      Dodge Ram Pickup (2004)
      Nissan Sentra (1994)
      Toyota Pickup (1988)
      Toyota Corolla (2007)
        • 4 Years Ago
        So?

        HDLI is comparing theft claims, not the actual proportion of cars stolen. Read the press report yourself.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whoever's stealing these things should sweep through my daughter's preschool around 9 AM. Every other soccer mom there drives an Esky.

      Btw, has anyone else noticed that the majority of Escalade (and Land Rover) drivers are petite women, and that they almost always are driving around solo? Not sure if it's just a SoCal thing, but since I started paying attention to it, it seems like 80% of the people driving these giants are women (not knocking it, people can drive what they want, just wondering why so many 95 pound chicks need a 6000-pound truck to get to the mall).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Same here in Florida. Sumo SUVs and CUVs being driven around by a single passenger woman to the mall, for lunch with the girlfriends, etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ 2fast4all

        Plus, most likely the lady in the civic is not high maintenance... meaning you can afford to keep here around... without a a wad of cash.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not to sound sexist, but women are more into the status symbol part of it. It's the samething if they buy a Dulce purse and pair of sunglasses.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bad news for rappers....;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      "How do the thieves get around the bad-guy battling OnStar vehicle immobilization? Easy. They load the coveted SUVs onto a flat bed and drive away. "

      A flatbed will not stop Onstar's ability to track the vehicle's location via GPS. Not even disconnecting the battery will do that. The thief would have to get the vehicle underground or into a building pronto. Knowing they can't safely drive it and can't keep it above ground, I imaging a lot of thieves would pass up a GM for a car that does not have OnStar.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Usually the owner will not report the vehicle stolen till its too late. Most people leave there cars on the street for many hours at a time, not checking on it every minute. Theres a big window for the thieves to transport it, and strip it out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gotta love those Volvo theft loses...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess this explains why the insurance on my G37 is more tha the insurance on my GT-R..
        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean the GT-R you infact don't own but are claiming to to make your e-penis look bigger?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hate to disappoint you Groza, but I'm an actual GT-R owner since Nov 2009. Besides the 09 G37 coupe, we also just picked up a 2010 F150 6.2L Raptor.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I had one, I'd want it to get stolen too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      HLDI’s are the only reported theft results based on the number of insured vehicles on
      the road. Information on theft losses published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau
      doesn’t take into account the number of each vehicle insured, so the most popular vehicles
      on the road tend to top this organization’s list of most-stolen vehicles. This
      doesn’t tell an individual owner how likely a particular car is to have a theft claim.
      To answer that question, HLDI identifies vehicles with the worst theft losses by counting
      the number of insurance claims by make and model relative to the number of each
      make and model insured. This indicates the vehicles that are most likely to be theft
      targets, taking into account their exposure on the road.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ha. Just wait till the gas prices go up. Then it'll be acura integras and civics stolen all over the place again, haha..

        • 4 Years Ago
        Remember, this list was comparing losses dollar per dollar, which overstates claims from expensive vehicles like F-250s and Escalades, versus F-150s and older Accords. The later are stolen much more often, though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the headline is wrong. Is this list is really of cars and trucks that thefts result in the highest claims, not the top theft targets?
      • 4 Years Ago
      No one wants to steal the Prius?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Good luck fleeing quickly in a Prius..
        • 4 Years Ago
        I guess they can't figure out how to hot wire a car and start it up when the engine in the car doesn't start till after your already driving away. :-]
        • 4 Years Ago
        would you really want to go jail for stealing a prius (it would be quite embarrassing)? Then again, it would be silent when you first drive off...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd burn one
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thieves probably aren't the smartest bunch, but I am pretty sure they're still smart enough to know that if they steal a Prius they'll surely be unable to get away in time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The list makes some sense. The Escalade, H2, Yukon, and Avalanche are all popular with the ghetto-fabulous crowd, usually with 24"+ gaudy aftermarket wheels on them and ridiculously expensive subwoofers and amps. Due the the demographics of their owners these vehicles are likely often parked in bad neighborhoods where crime rates are higher and either get stolen or get the aftermarket stuff ripped off.

      The pickup trucks make sense due to the tools and things in the beds being jacked, plus many trucks are left relatively unguarded on construction sites at night, so they likely make easy targets for thieves.

      The Z06 is a bit surprising, but I suppose it might be a target for joyrides.

      The Charger and G37 leave me scratching my head.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Interesting because where I live the only one's who drive those vehicles are overweight caucasian soccer moms.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Haha at all the people getting butt hurt over a joke.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I drive a Charger R/T (Hemi) and I am not overweight nor a woman, nor do I have children; if I did, it'd be hockey and not soccer that "Hemi" would be taking them to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "ghetto-fabulous crowd"

        And who are you that you feel you have to group people?


        Theres a group for people like you too..
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yo Idiot boy. The Caddy tops the list because items like the headlights, airbag assembly are so damned expensive.

        You wreck your Escalade and take it to your neighborhood body shop, they are not going to GM to buy the replacement parts. They'd just as soon place an order to have an Escalade nicked.

        See? Your stupid racist angle makes no sense at all. Most of the brothers that I know who happen to drive Escalades, have never even seen under the hood.

        P.S. : Almost all of the non dealership body shops in Essex & Morris county NJ are owned and operated by Guidos (excuse me I-talians).

        • 4 Years Ago
        I do believe the G37 is quite popular among the same crowd that are fond of Escalades, although probably more towards those who are import fans.

        I've seen too many of them turned into blingmobiles
        • 4 Years Ago
        And I own my own house in "Suburbia", I don't have 24" rims (18" stocks), don't have a stereo system aside from stock etc; my mods are go-fast.

        Thought I'd add that to dispute the "In that same demographic" category. I have seen Chargers that look ugly with 24"+ wheels, but mine is not a ghettomobile.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't know about you but where I live Escalades are owned by rich people, families, and old people. The cars I see in the ghetto are 1986 Monte Carlos, Impalas, riced Civics, beater vans, ect.
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