Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon reported recently that the number of vehicle thefts in Louisiana has declined nearly 42% over a five-year period from 2006 through 2011. The latest figures from the FBI Uniform Crime Report show a steady decline in the rate of auto theft in Louisiana, dropping from 15,640 in 2006 to 9,123 in 2011.
“We are pleased that we continue to see progress since, in addition to the trauma such instances inflict on vehicle owners, motor vehicle theft is one of several factors considered by insurance companies when setting our auto insurance premiums,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Proactive law enforcement strategies, coupled with the effective use of anti-theft technology such as license plate readers and alarm systems, plus increased public awareness about vehicle theft are really paying off through this significant reduction in crime.”
The latest FBI data come as the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI), along with the Louisiana Automobile Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (LATIFPA), launched a statewide public awareness campaign to combat vehicle theft and fraud. That statewide campaign consists of billboard and radio ads that will help spread the message of how to avoid auto theft and burglaries, as well as address the impact of insurance fraud and how to report it.
“While the number of auto thefts in Louisiana has declined, still too many cars are being stolen each year,” Donelon said. “Our new public awareness campaign will address vehicle theft and burglary, as well as insurance fraud, which all impact consumers through higher premiums passed along to policyholders.”
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more than 10% of the insurance claims submitted each year are fraudulent. Insurance fraud accounts for as much as 10% of insurance premiums and the average household spends $950 a year in additional premiums to cover the cost of insurance fraud in America.
The public awareness campaign includes billboards and radio ads. “We want to get the word out to consumers, especially around the busy holiday shopping season, do not leave valuables in your car and remember to always lock your car doors when leaving your vehicle,” added Donelon.