Chronicling insurers' continuing challenges combating auto theft, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)  today released its annual list of most frequently stolen vehicles.

The industry association, which represents 90% of Canadian P&C insurers, says that in 2010, the significant number of high-value, all-wheel/four-wheel drive models on the list demonstrates that sophisticated, organized crime rings are involved. IBC says that these types of vehicles are frequently targeted by criminal organizations, which then strip them for parts, resell them to unsuspecting consumers or export them to countries where there is a high demand for upscale vehicles that can handle rugged terrain.

The top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada are:

    1. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door

    2. 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door

    3. 2002 Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD

    4. 2004 Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD

    5. 2005 Acura RSX Type S 2-door

    6. 1997 Acura Integra 2-door

    7. 2000 Audi S4 Quattro 4-door AWD

    8. 2003 Hummer H2 4-door AWD

    9. 2006 Acura RSX Type S 2-door

    10. 2004 Hummer H2 4-door AWD

Working in concert with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and local law enforcement agencies located at the ports of Montreal and Halifax, IBC says they have seized 600 stolen vehicles worth $18 million so far this year. Including vehicles that were repatriated from overseas and those recovered using licence-plate reader technology, IBC says the value of stolen vehicles recovered in 2010 rises to $30.7 million.

Some good news for insurers is that auto theft waned in 2009. According to Statistics Canada, 108,172 vehicles were stolen in Canada in 2009—a 15% drop from 2008.

However, that optimism is tempered some when looking at insurers' actual costs related to theft. IBC says auto theft cost Canadian insurers $419 million in 2009, which, when emergency response, court, policing, legal and out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, the total cost of auto theft each year approaches $1 billion.

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