Get money-saving tips in your inbox.

Stay on top of personal finance tips from our money experts!

News & Resources

How to protect yourself from carjackings and vehicle theft

Oct. 18, 2022
5 mins

Vehicle theft is on the rise. After dipping in 2020 during the pandemic, insurance fraud watchdog Équité Association estimates that roughly 80,000 vehicle thefts took place across Canada in 2021, a 1% increase from the year before. And in Toronto alone, data from The Toronto Police Service show vehicle thefts are up 42% year over year.

The reasons vary, whether due to the approximate 29% of car thefts in Saskatchewan that occur when keys are left in the vehicle, or carjackings, like this year’s incident in Brampton, it’s something that car owners need to be aware of.

Vehicle theft costs everyone when it comes to car insurance

Let’s start with the impact vehicle thefts can have on your wallet. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a vehicle is stolen every six minutes in Canada, on average. And this auto theft costs Canadians millions of dollars each year.

As these thefts increase, experts are warning this upswing could increase car insurance rates across the sector. Rather than being primarily focused on individual drivers, most of the concern is that rates could rise across the board as claims increase. If your vehicle is at a higher risk of being stolen, it could have an impact on your auto insurance rate, as could simply living in a neighbourhood where your insurance provider has paid out a lot of theft claims.

Prevention-wise, your insurance company may have its own guide to avoiding a theft. All that advice boils down to three key takeaways: protect yourself as best you can, make sure you know what your insurance policy covers when it comes to theft, and be prepared to file a police report.

How to protect yourself from car theft

But what actions should you take when protecting yourself from car theft?

The Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP) recommend the following:

  • Take your belongings with you when you leave your car
  • Make sure you have an alarm system (and that it works)
  • Install a GPS tracker (which can help you locate the vehicle should it be stolen)
  • Lock your car

Similarly, the IBC recommends installing a tracking or immobilisation device to reduce your risk, while also suggesting less obvious strategies, like keeping your key fobs in a “protective box or bag that blocks the signal,” similar to an RFID-blocking wallet that can protect your credit card information from being stolen.

Will my auto insurance policy cover vehicle theft?

The short answer is: not automatically. You’ll be covered for vehicle theft only if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. This coverage is optional and different from collision insurance, which protects you in the event of a single- or multi-vehicle collision and goes beyond the mandatory third-party liability insurance you’re required by law to carry.. If you already have an additional policy, make sure to check if it does cover theft.

If you do end up needing to make a claim for a stolen vehicle, your first step is to report the theft to police. Your insurance company will require a police report. From there, you can begin your claim. Check with your provider to see what options they have in terms of placing a claim online or over the phone.

In the meantime, be mindful of how to prevent vehicle theft. It will help ensure you (hopefully) won’t have to make such a call to your insurance provider anytime soon.

Interested in creating content with RATESDOTCA? Reach us at

car mascot.png

Don't waste time calling around for auto insurance

Use RATESDOTCA to shop around, and compare multiple quotes at the same time.

John Loeppky

John Loeppky is a disabled freelance writer and editor who currently lives on Treaty 6 territory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. His work has been published by the likes of CBC, FiveThirtyEight, Teen Vogue, Insider, and a host of others. His goal in life is to have an entertaining obituary to read.

Latest life insurance articles

10 Life insurance myths debunked
Life insurance is for someone older or has kids, right? Wrong. Let’s debunk life insurance myths and learn why everyone needs some form of coverage.
6 mins read
Do you need life insurance? A primer for Canadians
Life insurance isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. But if you have dependents, it can be an important financial safety net for those you love.
7 mins read
Why life insurance should be part of estate planning for new parents
Life insurance is one of the best ways new parents can protect their family and help loved ones in the event of your unexpected death.
5 mins read

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay on top of our latest offers, relevant news and tips!

Thanks for joining!

You'll be hearing from us shortly - stay tuned.