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HLDI News | May 25, 1999Subscribe

Utility vehicles have highest theft losses for 4th year in a row; worst overall theft loss result is 12 times higher than average

ARLINGTON, Va. — Three of the five passenger vehicles with the highest insurance losses for theft are utility vehicles — the Range Rover, Mitsubishi Montero, and Montero Sport. This is the fourth year in a row utility vehicles have dominated the "worst" list. Overall theft losses for the 1996-98 Range Rover are more than 12 times higher than the average for all cars.

Worst theft losses

Of the 10 passenger vehicles (1996-98 models) with the worst overall theft losses, 4 are utility vehicles, 3 are luxury cars, and 3 are small or midsize models. All 10 have results that are more than three times the average for all cars (see attached list, which also shows vehicles with the highest frequencies of theft claims and vehicles with the largest insurance payments per theft claim). These findings are published by the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate organization of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Theft trend over time

During the 1980-98 model years, the frequency of theft claims declined. The 1998 models registered only 2.5 insurance theft claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years during their first year, compared with 3.5 claims per 1,000 for 1997 models. Average loss payments per claim also declined, and the combination of these factors means the average overall theft loss is almost 30 percent lower for 1998 models than for 1997s. "The continuing decline in theft frequency is good news, and some of it is because of the sophisticated antitheft devices that are on more and more new cars," HLDI senior vice president Kim Hazelbaker points out. "On the other hand, professional thieves are more likely to ship the cars they steal out of the country, which lessens the chances for recovery."

Worst theft loss results
Overall theft losses, or relative average loss payments per insured vehicle year (100 = all-vehicle average)
Land Rover Range Rover (long wheelbase)11996-98 model yearsmidsize SUV1,253
Mercedes S class (long wheelbase)11996-98 model yearsvery large luxury 4dr car920
Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4x41997-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr SUV637
Acura Integra1996-98 model yearssmall 2dr car558
Mitsubishi Montero 4x41996-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr SUV528
Lexus LS 40021996-98 model yearslarge luxury 4dr car481
Acura Integra1996-98 model yearssmall 4dr car427
Nissan Maxima1996-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr car424
BMW 7 series (long wheelbase)11996-98 model yearsvery large luxury 4dr car411
Toyota 4Runner 4x41996-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr SUV352
Relative claim frequencies (100 = all-vehicle average)
Jeep Wrangler 4x41997-98 model yearssmall SUV445
Geo Tracker1996-98 model yearssmall 2dr SUV418
Acura Integra1996-98 model yearssmall 2dr car395
Acura Integra1996-98 model yearssmall 4dr car318
Geo Tracker 4x41996-98 model yearssmall 2dr SUV237
Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4x41997-98 model yearsmidsize SUV219
Plymouth Neon1996-98 model yearssmall 2dr car217
Dodge Neon1996-98 model yearssmall 2dr car211
Honda Civic1996-98 model yearssmall 2dr car207
Nissan Maxima1996-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr car203
Relative average loss payments per claim (100 = all-vehicle average)
Mercedes S class (long wheelbase)11996-98 model yearsvery large luxury 4dr car666
Land Rover Range Rover (long wheelbase)11996-98 model yearsmidsize SUV642
BMW 7 series (long wheelbase)11996-98 model yearsvery large luxury 4dr car540
Lexus LS 40021996-98 model yearslarge luxury 4dr car416
BMW 3 series11996-98 model yearsmidsize luxury car334
Mercedes E class11996-98 model yearslarge luxury 4dr car318
Mitsubishi Montero 4x41996-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr SUV302
Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4x41997-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr SUV291
Toyota 4Runner 4x41996-98 model yearsmidsize 4dr SUV254
BMW 5 series11997-98 model yearslarge luxury 4dr car249
1 All model years equipped with standard passive immobilizing antitheft devices
2 Only 1997-98 models equipped with standard passive immobilizing antitheft devices

Theft claim frequency and average loss payment per claim, by model year

Graph image

 Claim
frequency
Average loss
payment
198015.2$1,121
198114.0$1,465
198214.0$1,535
198311.8$1,742
198410.9$1,831
198510.7$1,943
19869.9$1,958
19879.6$2,308
19888.2$2,458
19897.4$2,487
19906.7$2,608
19916.3$3,312
19925.2$3,815
19934.6$4,176
19944.5$4,693
19954.3$5,529
19963.7$5,685
19973.5$5,936
19982.5$5,816
Note: Frequencies are per 1,000 insured vehicle years. Loss payments are in nominal, not constant, dollars. Results are based on 3 years of exposure except 1997 (2 years) and 1998 (1 year).

©1996-2014, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org