Allstate Canada sounds alarm over dramatic rise in catalytic converter theft

Claims have risen 1,700% since 2018

Allstate Canada sounds alarm over dramatic rise in catalytic converter theft

Motor & Fleet

By Gia Snape

The rise in automotive component theft could throw a wrench in Canadians’ vacation plans this summer, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada (Allstate) said.

The insurer has raised alarm over increasing thefts of catalytic converters, an exhaust emissions control device, as shown by recent claims submitted in 2022.

Its data showed that the theft of such parts has risen by 60% over the previous year. The volume of claims for this type of theft increased by a whopping 1,710% since 2018.

The Allstate claims data also shows the average payout to repair a vehicle with a missing catalytic converter was approximately $2,900 in 2022, an amount that rose 21% over the previous year and is up 81% from 2020.

Arranging the replacement of the catalytic converter could mean disrupting plans to drive for a weekend getaway, catch a vacation flight or visit family and friends this summer, an Allstate press release warned.

Theft of this vehicle part has spread across Canada because catalytic converters often use rare or precious metals like palladium, rhodium, and platinum in the treatment of exhaust gases. Since the metals are valuable on the resale market, the items are often stolen, Allstate explained.

Allstate warned it can be difficult for drivers to notice if their catalytic converter was stolen from their vehicle, until they start it up.

The insurer advised drivers to notice if their vehicle sounds considerably louder both when the engine is turned on and when accelerating. Drivers may also notice a more intense smell of exhaust.

It shared the following tips for preventing catalytic converter theft:

  • Hire a mechanic to apply theft prevention measures, such as a cage or protective plate over the catalytic converter.
  • Contact a professional to etch the unique vehicle identification number (VIN) on major parts of the car, which can help reduce the risk of theft or aid in recovery if found by authorities.
  • Add video surveillance to the area where you park your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas or park the vehicle inside in a garage.
  • If possible, adjust the security system of your car to activate from vibrations.

“Any gasoline-powered vehicle, including pickup trucks, SUVs and luxury cars, regardless of the brand or manufacturer, can be targeted,” said Gene Myles, agency manager at Allstate.

“With the right tools, an individual can steal a catalytic converter in a matter of minutes, but there are a number of steps vehicle owners can take to reduce the risk of this type of theft.”

What are your thoughts on the rise in catalytic converter thefts? Share them in the comments.

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