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Insurance Industry Analyses and the Prevention of Motor Vehicle Theft (From Business and Crime Prevention, P 283-293, 1997, Marcus Felson and Ronald V Clarke, eds.)

NCJ Number
K Hazelbaker
Date Published
11 pages
The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, conducts research into vehicle theft using insurance claims data from a database that covers 73 million vehicles; findings suggest the possible need for prevention measures specific to vehicle models.
HLDI routinely analyses the data to determine trends in auto theft, including the types of vehicles stolen, the geographic areas of high theft, and the factors that may assist theft prevention. HLDI also examines collisions and injuries. Their findings reveal relatively small differences between models for collisions and injuries and much greater variations among models for thefts. The highest-risk vehicles typically have claim frequencies some 20 times higher than the lowest-risk vehicles. Some of the variability in theft is the result of design vulnerabilities. In addition, fashions in attractiveness to thieves vary, among individuals and regions. These findings suggest that effective prevention strategies will need to be more model-specific than are those in the safety field. It may be more efficient to protect only the highest-risk models, although thieves might displace their attention to other models. Criminologists who have studied crime displacement in other contexts might be of assistance in decisionmaking on this issue. 16 references