With the cost of precious metal rising, we have seen a trend of catalytic converter thefts in the Midwest. It may only take a few minutes for a thief to steal this converter.
Thieves are targeting easy-to-get-to cars and SUVs, because it is easier to slide under the car to steal the converter.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), this type of crime has jumped more than 1,000% since 2019.
Catalytic Converter Theft Protection
To avoid an insurance claim and to protect your vehicle, be prepared and aware of this new trend.
We've compiled some frequently asked questions when it comes to this type of crime, which typically results in an auto claim.
What are the most-targeted cars in the Midwest?
SUVs and Hybrid vehicles are more common in this type of theft, however, certain vehicles are being targeted more heavily. Carfax compiled a list of car models that are most likely to be targeted by catalytic converter thieves:
- 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
- 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
- 2011-17 Chrysler 200
- 2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox
- 2008-14 Dodge Avenger
- 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
- 1997-2020 Honda CR-V
- 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
- 1987-2019 Toyota Camry
- 1989-2020 Honda Accord
How do I know if my catalytic converter was stolen?
Most likely, you'll know that your catalytic converter has been taken by a loud noise coming from the exhaust system. Your car will still run but could sound like your muffler stopped working.
Does my car insurance cover a stolen catalytic converter?
If you have full coverage on your car, your auto insurancewill pay to replace the stolen part. If you have liability only auto insurance, you will pay out of pocket to replace the converter, which typically costs between $1,000-$3,000, if not more. You can look on your auto insurance declaration page to see what your comprehensive deductible is. That is what you will pay out of pocket if you have to turn this type of claim into your insurance company.
How can I prevent a catalytic converter theft?
The NICB suggests the following to prevent a catalytic converter theft:
- Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device. These are available from various manufacturers and can provide a level of security from theft.
- Park fleet trucks in an enclosed area that is secured, well lit, locked, and alarmed.
- Park personal vehicles, if possible, in a garage. If not possible and the vehicle must be parked in a driveway, consider installing motion sensor security lights. While lights may not provide complete security, it may make some thieves think twice, and they may opt to leave the area, and your car, untouched. Whether in the garage or outside in the driveway, set the alarm on your vehicle if equipped.
- Contact a muffler shop that can etch your vehicle’s VIN on the converter, and spray it with a highly visible high-heat paint. Doing so enables the NICB and law enforcement to track the converters which could lead to the arrest of catalytic converter thieves.
What do I do if my catalytic converter is stolen?
If you suspect that your catalytic converter was stolen, we recommend the following steps:
- File a police report
- Schedule a repair with your dealership or mechanic. More than likely, the thieves were sloppy and you may need to repair or replace more than just the converter itself.
- Call your insurance agency or company to alert them. If you are a Troxell client, you can visit our claims page here.
Protect yourself from catalytic converter thefts
For more questions or concerns surrounding this type of claim, it is always best to call your trusted insurance agent or team. If you are not sure if you should file a claim, it is always wise to talk through your options with your agent.
This information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local TROXELL insurance agent for coverage advice and policy service. Neither TROXELL nor its affiliates or representatives offer legal advice. Consult with your attorney about your specific situation.