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10 costliest cities for auto theft claims

June 13th, 2024  |  Auto Insurance

Toronto takes first place as the costliest city in Ontario for auto theft claims, according to data released recently from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The city has topped the list for 2023 with a staggering 561 per cent increase in claims costs to $371 million over the last five years.

The No. 2 spot was taken by Brampton with $93,186,518 million in costs (719% jump), Mississauga with $89,980,735 million (533% increase) and Vaughan with $62,443,717 million (789%). Markham ranked fifth with $43,633,553 million (989%).

IBC’s list of the costliest cities reveals how much thefts have surged in the GTA.

“Ontario is seeing an alarming increase in auto theft claims and auto theft claims costs,” said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Ontario and Atlantic, IBC. “As IBC’s numbers reveal, the Greater Toronto Area has been hit particularly hard by the auto theft crisis.”

“These claims cost speak to the growing severity of the auto theft crisis in Ontario – a crisis that is having a material impact on auto insurance premiums, to say nothing of the concern and trauma it is causing Ontarians.”

Other GTA cities to round out the top 10 were Ottawa at 6th place with 41,304,357 (513% increase), Oakville at $30,797,597 million (874% jump), Richmond Hill at $25,672,053 (812% rise) and Hamilton at $19,978,117 (170 % increase). London, at $13,823,739 (215%), was cited as the 10th most expensive city.

Mid-size cities increases surge

While these findings show Ontario’s biggest cities — particularly in the GTA — tend to have the highest claims costs, IBC sees even more staggering increases between 2018 and 2023 in mid-sized cities.

Two communities east of Toronto that have seen the largest overall surge over the past five years. Whitby clocks in with an increase of 2,269% and Pickering saw a 1,228% rise. Milton, a community on the west side of the GTA, saw 1,010% increase.

Then, Markham places fourth with a 989% increase over the last five years. It also ranked fifth on the top costliest cities for auto theft list in 2023. And Oakville (which ranked seventh on the top costliest cities list), saw a five-year increase of 874%.

Richmond Hill (812%), Ajax (807%), Vaughan (789%), Clarington (744%) and Brampton (719%) are the remaining cities with the highest claims costs increases over a five-year period.

Nationally, the cost of insurance claims for replacing stolen vehicles in Canada skyrocketed to a record-breaking $1.5 billion, IBC reported earlier this month.

And 2023 marked the second year in a row that auto theft claims costs topped $1 billion.

That’s why Dean says auto theft is a national emergency.

More prevention needed

“We applaud the Ontario government for the significant investments it has made to help mitigate the crisis. However, more must be done to tighten the vehicle registration process to make it harder for criminals to re-VIN and sell stolen vehicles to unsuspecting Ontarians,” she said.

The federal government recently released its National Action Plan on Combatting Auto Theft earlier than anticipated.

“We urge all orders of government — including the province and municipalities — not to delay in working with the federal government to implement the recommendations in the National Action Plan on Combatting Auto Theft,” said Dean.

“This initiative must include measures that make it more difficult to transport and export stolen cars.”

- With files from Canadian Underwriter


Feds highlight anti-auto theft measures

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