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How often is a catalytic converter stolen from Luxury cars?

How often is a catalytic converter stolen from Luxury cars?

Luxury cars are a prime target for catalytic converter thieves, as the parts are typically made of higher-grade metals and can fetch a higher price. Over the years, the theft of catalytic converters from luxury cars has drastically increased due to the rising value of the precious metals — such as palladium, rhodium, and platinum — used to make them.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), catalytic converter thefts from luxury cars have risen from around 3,389 reported thefts in 2018 to 14,443 in 2020. The NICB found that, on average, 108 catalytic converter thefts occurred each month in 2021.

Thefts of the auto part, which is tucked along the exhaust system to turn fumes from a car's engine into less harmful gasses, jumped from 11,809 in 2019 to 14,443 in 2020. When the American economy dips, thefts rise, and so the instances of catalytic converters being stolen from luxury cars has skyrocketed.

The catalytic converter thefts have increased largely due to the financial and supply chain problems left in the wake of COVID-19. They also are rising because the important part can be fenced for more money due to the recent price spikes in the precious metals used to make them.

It doesn't take long for a thief with simple tools to snatch a catalytic converter, the NICB stated, and recyclers usually pay between $50-$250 for one. But the precious metals that come from hybrid vehicles can bring a thief up to $1,500 per catalytic converter.

Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost more than a thousand dollars. It can take less than five minutes for a thief to crawl under a luxury car, saw off the converter and be gone.

Criminals are even stealing catalytic converters from luxury cars parked on busy streets during daylight. So they don’t hesitate to hit cars on a body shop lot as well. That makes it extra important for body shops to buckle up.

When it comes to insuring body shops against thefts like catalytic converter rip-offs, owners must first decide how fully they wish to be protected by policies. Direct primary insurance covers anything that happens to a customer’s vehicle while in a shop or on the lot. Legal liability insurance does not.

But the only way a shop owner with only legal liability would be on the hook for the replacement/repair of a catalytic converter theft is if he/she was found to be negligent. Shop owners can help hold down their insurance costs by better lighting and better loss prevention control.

Communication with customers is also important, as shop owners with legal liability policies should let customers know before they ever park on their lots that thefts of catalytic converters are a concern and that their insurance probably won’t cover the possible loss.

In conclusion, catalytic converter thefts from luxury cars have been drastically increasing over the years due to the financial and supply chain problems left in the wake of COVID-19, as well as the recent price spikes in the precious metals used to make them. Luxury cars are a prime target for catalytic converter thieves, as the parts are typically made of higher-grade metals and can fetch a higher price. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost more than a thousand dollars, and shop owners should take steps to ensure their customers are aware of the risk and the limitations of their insurance policies.

You may also want to consider installing a catalytic converter guard, which is designed to make it harder for a thief to remove the converter.

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