Massachusetts signs bill penalizing unauthorized sale of catalytic converters

Legislation met with praise from the insurance industry

Massachusetts signs bill penalizing unauthorized sale of catalytic converters

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts state legislature have passed a new bill that establishes penalties for the unauthorized sale of catalytic converters – a move that has been met with praise by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

Catalytic converters help reduce the contaminants emitted by an automobile’s exhaust. They are typically comprised of rare metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium, which makes them worth between several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Massachusetts’ Bill H.5356 was declared an emergency law to curb catalytic converter thefts in the state. On top of limiting secondary sales of the auto part without proof of ownership, the legislation also imposes additional recordkeeping requirements.

NICB has released a statement lauding the passage of the new bill, particularly as catalytic converter theft incidents continue to heighten across the US.

"We have seen a dramatic 1,215% increase of catalytic converter theft nationwide since the pandemic began,” said NICB president and CEO David Glawe. “Vehicle crime and catalytic converter theft is plaguing our country and more needs to be done. NICB thanks former Governor Baker, the Massachusetts state legislature, and many of our great partners and stakeholders for their work in passing this bill."

It is not only the NICB that is worried about catalytic converter theft; even insurance carriers have taken notice. A study conducted by State Farm published in October found that between July 2021 and June 2022, catalytic converter theft grew 109% nationally. It was also noted that within the same period, more than 43,219 of these parts were stolen and reported by State Farm customers, compared to just above 20,600 in the previous 12 months.

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