Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Car theft: insurers and manufacturers disagree on the measures to take

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Radio-Canada

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The number of car thefts is constantly increasing, especially in Quebec and Ontario. Several players in the sector hope that the federal government will soon offer solutions.

The installation of anti-theft devices in vehicles built in Canada has been mandatory since 2007. However, according to an association that represents the country's vehicle insurers, Équité Association, these devices are outdated and the rules must be updated.

In the years that followed [2007], the number of flights in Canada fell by half. […] Unfortunately, this standard has not been updated or modernized since 2007, so criminals have found technological ways to circumvent the current standard, explains Bryan Gast, of Équité Association.< /p>

Insurers are already requiring owners of some of the most stolen vehicle models (New window) to purchase anti-theft devices as well as GPS tracking systems . Equity Association hopes that automakers will be forced to install some of these technologies in their vehicles.

However, other experts are concerned that such measures will increase the prices of cars built in Canada.

Équité Association demands that the Canadian government imposes on manufacturers the standards published by the American company UL Standards & Commitment, says Gast.

For his part, David Adams, president of Global Automakers of Canada, says such rules would be costly. If this is something Canada is going to impose itself – which we certainly don't recommend – then there will be a cost to it.

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Mr. Adams suggests doing this in collaboration with [the US government] and in a way that makes sense for the entire industry and, frankly, for consumers.

However, according to Jesse Caron, of CAA Quebec, the consumer will end up with a higher bill, whether these measures are imposed by the government or not.

[When someone] has a vehicle stolen, everyone tastes it, because insurers spread the additional costs [caused by the theft] across all policies. So we should not be surprised to see [the price of] policies from one year to the next rising by 10%, 15%, while our situation has not changed. […] There's a little bit of auto theft lurking down there. So, on one side or the other, the consumer, the motorist, pays.

Mr. Adams, for his part, relies on the police. This is an organized crime problem. Organized criminals are both technically adept and very well financed.

For Mr. Caron, there is no point in waiting for the government to impose certain restrictions . We at CAA Quebec encourage us to increase the number of means of protection. He suggests using RFID boxes, an anti-theft steering wheel bar and other anti-theft devices to put as many obstacles in the way of criminals as possible.

The federal government's National Auto Theft Summit is in two weeks.

With information from Sarah Tomlinson and CBC

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