State Farm has reported a decline in catalytic converter theft claims in the first half of 2023.
According to the company’s latest data, there were approximately 14,500 claims related to catalytic converter thefts during this period, marking a significant drop from the 23,570 claims made in the same period last year.
In the first six months of 2022, State Farm said it paid $50 million in catalytic converter theft claims. This year, however, the amount has decreased to $41.7 million.
This reduction in catalytic converter theft claims marks the first decline for State Farm since 2019, when only 2,500 claims had been reported.
The number of claims has steadily increased over the past years, reaching a peak of 45,000 in 2022.
Catalytic converters are prime targets for thieves due to the precious metals they contain, a report by Fox Business noted. These criminals can remove them from underneath a vehicle in a matter of minutes, with the stolen converters fetching hundreds of dollars on the black market.
State Farm attributed this year’s drop in thefts to increased media coverage, which it said helped educate consumers about ways to protect their vehicles.
The insurance giant also pointed to how several states have introduced stricter legislation with harsh penalties for those convicted of catalytic converter theft.
Additionally, the declining prices of precious metals within the converters have made them less appealing to criminals.
To prevent catalytic converter theft, State Farm offered several recommendations to vehicle owners, including parking inside a garage or well-lit area, installing a sensitive alarm system, and positioning a security camera toward their vehicle's usual parking spot.
It also suggested engraving the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the catalytic converter as an additional deterrent.
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