State Farm auto claims data reveals continued surge in catalytic converter theft
Thefts rise over 400% since 2019
Each day, more and more people across this country are walking out to their vehicles only to be alarmed by a loud, never-heard-before noise coming from them. The initial shock of this noise in many cases turns to inconvenience and often frustration when the root of the problem is discovered.
Their catalytic converter was stolen.
Claims data from State Farm, the largest insurer of automobiles in the U.S., shows that between July 2021 and June 2022 catalytic converter theft has grown 109% nationally, in terms of the number of claims filed, compared to the previous 12 months. During this recent period more than 43,219 of these parts were stolen and reported by State Farm customers compared to just above 20,600 in the previous 12 months (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021).
In the first half of 2022 State Farm has received over 23,000 catalytic converter theft claims. The data from the most recent 12-month period indicates that the ranking of the top 5 states in catalytic converter theft is currently led by California - with more than 2 out of 10 (24.5%) claims being filed in the Golden State- followed by Texas -with roughly 1 out of 10 (13.58%) of these claims- Illinois (3rd), Washington (4th) and Minnesota (5th).
Why the catalytic converter
Many drivers have no idea where this component is on their vehicle. If your automobile is powered by gasoline or diesel, it has at least one catalytic converter under it. A part of the exhaust system required in US vehicles since 1975, it helps reduce the contaminants emitted by the exhaust. Because of the rare metals that are inside catalytic converters – including platinum, palladium or rhodium – this auto part can be worth several hundred to several thousand dollars.. Some thieves go as far as removing these metals to sell them on the black market.
What you can do about it
The bad news is that catalytic converters can be easy to remove, particularly in tall vehicles like SUVs. Once the part has been extracted, drivers will hear the engine without any muffler, letting them know they have become the latest victim of this crime..
The good news is that, as with many things in life, you have options to protect yourself. First of all, by speaking with your State Farm agent, you can ensure that your auto insurance policy covers the theft of your entire vehicle or any of its parts, through comprehensive coverage.
Among other ways drivers can protect their vehicle is to park inside a garage or in well-lit areas, installing a sensitive alarm system, having a security camera pointing at your car in its usual parking spot, or engraving your VIN on your car’s catalytic converter.
Take precautions to not fall prey to auto parts theft, and leave the rest to State Farm.
For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, life, health, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.