10 states where your car is most (& least) likely to get stolen

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10 states where your car is most (& least) likely to get stolen

New technology has made car thefts less likely, but they still happen. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about $6 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in 2017, or $7,708 per theft. A car theft can leave you waiting weeks or months before your car is recovered or your insurance pays out.

“It’s a supreme pain in the neck if your vehicle gets stolen,” Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, said.

Certain cars are more likely to get stolen. Top targets include the Honda Civic and Honda Accord. Where you live can also affect the likelihood your car gets broken into or stolen.

Here are the 10 states where your car is most (and least) likely to be stolen according to 2017 FBI data, ranked by thefts per person.

The states where your car is most likely to be stolen

10. Missouri

Number of vehicles stolen: 19,921
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 325.9

9. Hawaii

Number of vehicles stolen: 5,269
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 369.1

8. District of Columbia

Number of vehicles stolen: 2,587
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 372.8

7. Washington

Number of vehicles stolen: 28,796
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 388.8

6. Colorado

Number of vehicles stolen: 21,861
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 389.9

5. Oregon

Number of vehicles stolen: 17,140
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 413.7

4. California

Number of vehicles stolen: 168,391
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 425.9

3. Nevada

Number of vehicles stolen: 12,812
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 427.3

2. New Mexico

Number of vehicles stolen: 11,772
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 563.8

1. Alaska

Number of vehicles stolen: 4,258
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 575.6

The states where your car is least likely to be stolen

10. New Jersey

Number of vehicles stolen: 12,170
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 135.1

9. Wyoming

Number of vehicles stolen: 779
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 134.5

8. Idaho

Number of vehicles stolen: 2,146
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 125

7. Virginia

Number of vehicles stolen: 10,172
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 120.1

6. Massachusetts

Number of vehicles stolen: 7,540
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 109.9

5. Pennsylvania

Number of vehicles stolen: 12,985
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 101.4

4. New Hampshire

Number of vehicles stolen: 915
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 68.1

3. New York

Number of vehicles stolen: 13,410
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 67.6

2. Maine

Number of vehicles stolen: 793
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 59.4

1. Vermont

Number of vehicles stolen: 194
Vehicles stolen per 100,000 people: 31.1

Insurance & car theft

Most car insurance policies cover car theft or vandalization. But sometimes a plan only pays up to a specific amount if your car is stolen. Make sure you read the fine print when looking for coverage. (Policygenius can help you with this.)

If your car is stolen, report it first to law enforcement. Then file a claim with your insurance company. Scafidi said the recovery rate of stolen vehicles is around 60%, so you may receive your car back before the claim is even processed.

If your car is not recovered, expect a waiting period of a couple of weeks for the insurance company to confirm the car was actually stolen. Then, Scafidi said, you’ll receive a payout based on current market value of that make and model, which may not be the same amount you paid for your car.

“Even if your vehicle is insured against theft, your company is obviously going to pay based on the market,” he said. “You have to make sure you know exactly how much you’re going to be getting.”

Purchasing gap insurance beforehand can help close the space between what the insurance company offers and what you paid for the car. You can learn more about gap insurance here.

You can also take measures to protect your car, like installing a GPS monitor or wheel lock. Your auto insurance company may give you a discount for installing one of these anti-theft systems. Contact your provider to see if you can score a lower premium. (See what other car features can lower your premium.)

If you drive an expensive or exotic car, consider purchasing special insurance to protect your asset. Here’s a guide to finding the right policy.

Scafidi said most drivers shouldn’t be that concerned about their car being stolen. It's a “possibility not a probability,” he said. But, he said, simple measures can protect you from being a target to car thieves.

“You’d be surprised how many people leave their keys under the wheel or near the car, which then gets stolen,” he said. “It’s simple. Use the safety features that come with the car and you’ll likely be fine.”

Has your car ever been stolen? Let us know how you handled it in the comments below.

Image: djedzura