American car owners and auto insurance providers bought breathed a sigh of relief over recent data regarding car theft. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), 2008 saw a record drop in reported car thefts. Researchers also bared that the figures, less than one million incidents, is the lowest in more than 20 years. Insurance experts say that the latest data is good news for many motorists living in risky areas, as well as for insurance companies looking for ways to reduce expenses.



The NCIB submits any and all data regarding car theft to the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) National Crime Information Center or NCIC. The information center is expected to release a full report of last year’s performance in terms of numbers of cars stolen and recovery rates. Experts say that the report, which will be released next month, will most likely confirm analysts’ assumption of lower car crime incidents. 2008 is expected to be the fifth consecutive year with declining car thefts in the country.

Representatives of insurance providers were elated with the recent development, saying that having fewer cars stolen will eventually mean less expenses for the insurers and lower premiums for policyholders. On average, industry losses amount to between $7 billion and $8 billion every year. With the most recent data, 2007’s, suggesting a dismal 58 percent recovery rate, car owners may have to prepare for the fact that they have just lost a considerable investment.

The NCIB also reported that of all the car brands in the U.S., the Honda Accord was stolen more times than other car models. In fact, some 55,000 Accords were stolen last year. Experts say that the absence of a security system to deter thieves is the primary reason why so many Accords are stolen each year. The cars’ various parts like the tires, headlights, and catalytic converters are also hot items on the black market. Insurance specialists explain that any parts with copper are sought after by most car thieves.

The Honda Civic, Dodge Ram Pickup, and the 2000 Dodge Caravan are also high on the list of cars favored by most car thieves and hooligans. Their numbers provide for a large black market in need of cheap parts.

Experts recommend installing anti-theft and security devices to help reduce the likelihood of cars being stolen. Data suggests that cars with good anti-theft equipment can improve the recovery rate significantly, with some devices able to deliver 90 percent recovery rate.