If you own a car, you know just how important it is to keep your car safe from poor maintenance habits and adverse weather. You also know that it’s critical to have auto insurance in the event that an accident occurs. But did you know that auto insurance is also beneficial to have if your car is stolen?
According to the FBI, there were an estimated 721,053 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2012, and more than $4.3 billion was lost in the U.S. to motor vehicle thefts that year. In fact, every 44 seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the United States. These alarming statistics make it seem as if you’re bound to be a victim of car theft at some point along the figurative road.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent your car from being stolen. Follow these 8 tips below to keep your vehicle safe!
Turn It Off – It’s so tempting to just let your car remain running when you need to run into the post office or grocery store for a quick minute, but you’re essentially giving a potential car thief the green light to steal your car, keys and all. Even if it’s just for a moment, shut off your car when you have to leave it unattended. Besides, stalling will cost you a bit more money and gas in the long run, so shutting it off will save you a few bucks, too!
Put It In the Garage – Do you have a garage? Put it good use! Thieves are typically looking for cars that are parked outside of the garage or out on the streets. If you live in the city, try renting a garage. Sure, it costs you a bit of money, but it’s well worth the investment for your car’s safety and your peace of mind. Plus, a garage will keep your car safe from the effects of inclement weather.
Park It In a Safe Spot – This might seem like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said regardless. If you park your car in a sketchy area, don’t be surprised to see it vandalized or stolen upon your return. Be sure to park your car in a well-lit and safe location that is frequently trafficked by pedestrians and other drivers. The volume of activity will deter thieves from stealing your vehicle.
Lock It Up – This tip is so simple yet so frequently ignored. A thief is much more likely to steal a vehicle that is unlocked; after all, it’s much easier to steal something that isn’t locked up! Lock up your car, including the doors and trunk, and remember that all of your windows are completely closed as well.
Install a Kill Switch – Usually, the greatest challenge a car thief will run into is trying to get your car to start without the key. While the thief has knowledge in how your ignition works, he can’t do too much if you have a starter interrupter switch (a “kill switch”) installed. Put one of these devices in your vehicle so that you can disable it and prevent the thief from stealing your car!
Hide Your Valuables – Let’s pretend you’re the car thief for a moment. You see two cars. Inside one is a simple tissue box and nothing else. Inside the other car, you see an iPod, a fancy navigation system, and some loose change. Which car are you more tempted to break into? Probably the 2nd car, right? Remember to put your valuables away, or better yet, take all valuables worth stealing out of your car in the first place.
Put an Alarm Sticker on It – Burglars tend to be deterred from houses that have signs stating that they’re protected by certain alarm systems. Apply this logic to your vehicle. In a row of cars, the vehicle that has blinking LED indicating an alarm is installed is much less likely to be tampered with, regardless of whether an alarm is present or not.
Keep Your Car Maintained – A well-maintained car can be a big deterrent to car thieves. If they see that you care about and take good care of your car, they deduce that you will more than likely have an alarm, be able to locate the car if it is stolen, and notice its presence. Keep it clean inside and out, wax it, replace missing hubcaps, attend to the cracked windshield or broken windows – make it look shiny and new to keep potential thieves away!
The ultimate protection for your vehicle comes in the form of superior auto insurance. Madison Mutual is dedicated to protecting you and your vehicle. Stop by one of our many offices, call us at 1-888-766-MMIC, or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com to see why you should choose us!