Huge theft surge in the US – and it's costing insurers big

State Farm reveals the impact

Huge theft surge in the US – and it's costing insurers big

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

A new report by State Farm has uncovered that there has been a significant surge in the number of auto claims made for catalytic converter theft in the US within the past couple of years – and it is costing insurers a lot of money.

The catalytic converter is the part of an automobile’s exhaust system that helps reduce the contaminants emitted by the exhaust. These components are typically comprised of rare metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium, which makes them worth between several hundred to several thousand dollars. This makes them a popular target of thieves, who could go as far as selling the metals on the black market, State Farm explained in a blog post.

Based on its own auto insurance claims data, State Farm found that between July 2021 and June 2022, catalytic converter theft has grown 109% nationally. Also within the period, over 43,219 of these parts were stolen and reported by State Farm customers, compared to just above 20,600 in the previous 12 months.

The insurer also ranked the top US states with the greatest number of recorded catalytic converter theft claims from July 2021 to June 2022 – California leads the list with a jaw-dropping 10,577 theft claims, followed by Texas (5,867), Illinois (3,299), Washington (2,390), and Minnesota (1,976).

Catalytic converter theft cases are also expected to rise if State Farm’s latest data is to be believed. The insurer noted that in just the first half of 2022, it received more than 23,000 catalytic converter theft claims.

In an interview with Arizona news station CBS 5, State Farm revealed that these converter thefts are spiraling out of control and are costing the entire auto insurance industry millions of dollars. The insurer noted that in 2019, it paid out only $9,900 for converter theft claims, but in 2021 the amount the insurer paid for such claims spiked to $1.4 million.

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