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What Vehicles Have The Highest Insurance Theft Claims? You May Be Surprised.

Posted in auto industry, Car Buying, Car Care, Cars, General, Newsworthy, Police, Safety, Trucks by Kurt Ernst | August 3rd, 2010 | 1 Response |

I wish it were this easy to keep your car safe.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the Cadillac Escalade again tops the list of vehicles with the highest number of theft claims filed. You probably also won’t be surprised that fuel efficient car and minivans don’t appear in the top ten, but you may be surprised to read what vehicles are. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the ten vehicles with the highest insurance theft losses are:

Cadillac Escalade

2008 Cadillac Escalade

Despite having a high tech ignition immobilizer, the 2007 to 2009 Cadillac Escalade is the riskiest vehicle for insurance companies to cover. Thieves don’t waste time in trying to hot-wire these cars; instead, they just flatbed them and move on. On average, 2.1 cars are stolen per 1,000 registered per year; with the Escalade, that number jumps to 10.8, five times the average risk. Worse, the average insurance company payout is $128 for every Escalade insured; compare that to an average of $14 for annual theft claims across all insured vehicles. If you’re going to buy or lease an Escalade, make sure you’re sitting down when your insurance agent throws out a quote.

Ford F250 Crew Cab 4wd

2008 Ford F-250 Crew Cab

Full size pickups are stolen at alarming high rates, and atop the list is the 2008 – 2009 Ford F250 Crew Cab 4wd. It’s theft rate is 9.7 per 1,000 registered vehicles, over four and a half times the average of 2.1 per 1,000. Insurance payouts amount to $91 per F250 Crew Cab insured, six and a half times higher than the $14 average across all insured vehicles. Why the demand for full sized trucks? Their parts are valuable, and owners often keep tools and machinery inside their trucks, adding to their theft appeal.

Infiniti G37 Coupe

2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe

This surprised me, but 2008 – 2009 Infiniti G37 Coupes have a theft claim rate over three times higher than the national average. Their overall theft loss is $71 per vehicle, five times higher than the national average. Maybe that 370Z (which didn’t make the list) is a better alternative after all.

Dodge Charger Hemi

Dodge Charger Daytona

Another surprise, since you don’t see all that many Chargers on the road unless they’re cop cars or rental cars. Since the HLDI didn’t give specifics, I assume they’re referring to both Chargers equipped with the 5.7 litter Hemi motor and SRT-8 Chargers with the 6.1 liter motor. Claim frequency is over three times the national average, and the overall loss per vehicle is almost five times the national average.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06

2006 Corvette Z06

I’ve got good news and bad news for owners of Corvette Z06s; on the plus side, your car has a claim frequency of 1.7, significantly lower than the national average of 2.1 for all cars. The bad news is that when a Z06 is stolen, the insurance payout averages $41,229. Spread across all Z06s insured, this amounts to $68 per car, nearly five times the national average of $14 per car. As with the Escalade, make sure you’re sitting down when you ask for an insurance quote on a Z06.

Hummer H2 4WD

Hummer H2

Popular in Russia and in South America, most H2s are stolen for export. If you live in or near a port city, you may want to rethink your choice in SUVs, but I wouldn’t recommend trading up for a Cadillac Escalade. Hummer H2s have a claim frequency nearly three times higher than the average car, and an overall theft loss amount almost four and half times higher than average. On the bright side, you may be able to buy one cheap on the Eastern European black market, as long as you don’t want a title to your vehicle.

Nissan Pathfinder Armada

2008 Nissan Armada

Again, the HLDI appears to lump two vehicles (the Nissan Pathfinder and the Nissan Armada) into one, but what do you expect? They know insurance claims, not cars. Assuming they’re talking about both vehicles, the Pathfinder / Armada has a claim frequency more than double the national average and an overall theft loss nearly four times higher than average. You may want to shop for a Toyota 4Runner Sequoia instead.

Chevrolet Avalanche 1500

Chevy Avalanche

Another surprise (for me, at least), and another vehicle for export. Avalanche owners have a theft claim frequency three and a half times higher than average, and an overall theft loss nearly four times higher than average. If there’s any good news, it’s that the Avalanche is the first vehicle in the top ten with an average loss per claim below $8,000.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

Chevy Silverado Crew Cab

Like the Ford F250, the Chevy Silverado is stolen both for parts and for what’s inside. If you’re a tradesman, you may want to consider off-loading your tools at night or parking your truck in the garage. Your wife may complain about parking her crossover outside, but you’ve got the list to back up your claim to secured parking. Silverado 1500 Crew Cabs have a claim frequency nearly four times the national average and an overall theft loss nearly four times the national average.

GMC Yukon


Like the Hummer H2, I suspect that a lot of stolen Yukons are shipped out of the U.S. to buyers in Eastern Europe or South America. They’re lucrative to part out as well, since they share components with plenty of other GM and Chevy trucks. Yukons have a claim frequency that’s nearly three times the national average, with a theft loss nearly four times the national average.

The complete study can be found on the HLDI’s website. In case you were wondering about the cars least likely to be stolen (and hence, cheapest to insure), these are:

• Volvo S80
• Saturn VUE 4wd and 2wd
• Nissan Murano
• Honda Pilot 4wd
• Subaru Impreza (not the WRX or WRX STI)
• Toyota Prius
• Mini Cooper
• Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4wd
• Toyota Sienna 4wd

As we’ve reminded you in the past, always make sure you can afford the insurance when shopping for a new car. There are few things worse than finally saving the money for your dream car, only to realize that you can’t afford to insure it.

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  1. […] have little effect, since the pros generally tow or flatbed the vehicles they steal. As we told you here, their favorite target is the Cadillac Escalade, but full sized pickups are also high on thieves […]