ARLINGTON, Va. — The Mercedes S class, a very large luxury car, heads the list of passenger vehicles with the highest insurance losses for theft. Overall losses for this car are 10 times higher than the average for all passenger cars. This is the first time in five years that a SUV hasn't topped the list of vehicles with the worst theft losses, which are published annually by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
"The Mercedes S class has appeared on the 10 worst list for 5 years. It's obviously an attractive target for professional thieves because of its value," says Kim Hazelbaker, HLDI senior vice president.
The two-door Acura Integra has the second-worst result, with losses also 10 times higher than the average among 1997-99 passenger vehicles. These high overall losses are produced by different factors, Hazelbaker explains. The Mercedes has extremely high average loss payments per claim, while the Acura's claim frequency is very high.
The four-door Integra has the third-highest overall theft loss result. Now Honda, which manufactures Acuras, has equipped all Integras for the 2000 model year with passive immobilizing antitheft devices.
During the 1980-99 model years, theft claim frequencies have declined significantly, but this trend has been mostly offset by increasing theft losses per claim. In 1999, the last year for which information is available, the average theft loss payment per claim also declined.
Worst overall theft losses
|Make and series||Model years||Size and type||Result|
|Mercedes S class long wheelbase||1997-99||very large luxury four-door car||1001|
|Acura Integra||1997-99||small two-door car||996|
|Acura Integra||1997-99||small four-door car||757|
|Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4 wheel drive||1997-99||midsize four-door SUV||616|
|Mercedes SL class convertible||1997-99||small sports car||539|
|Nissan Maxima||1997-99||midsize four-door car||509|
|Lexus GS 300/400||1997-99||large luxury four-door car||421|
|BMW 3 series||1997-99||midsize luxury two-door car||409|
|BMW 7 series long wheelbase||1997-99||very large luxury four-door car||387|
|Lincoln Navigator 4 wheel drive||1998-99||large four-door SUV||387|
|Note: Results are relative average loss payments per insured vehicle year; 100 represents the average for all cars.|
Insurance theft claim frequencies and average loss payments per claim, 1980-99