Cadillac Escalade: A Magnet For Thieves, Report Insurers

August 25, 2011

The Cadillac Escalade is perhaps a little too successful in its mission of flaunting wealth.

Cadillac's big SUV is a magnet for thieves; it has ten times the overall theft losses of the typical 2008 to 2010 model-year vehicle, and it's more than six times as likely to be targeted by thieves.

These new figures come from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), a companion organization to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The ratings are comprehensive, and the totals include both claims from the theft of parts or items on or inside the vehicle as well as claims from theft of the vehicle itself. Data is gathered from a range of insurers that represent about 80 percent of the industry for private-vehicle insurance.

Within the Escalade lineup, the Cadillac Escalade EXT, a variant of the Escalade with a pickup bed, ranked worst this year. For every 1,000 EXTs insured over a full year, insurers are likely to manage 14 theft claims.

The Escalade doesn't only rate high for overall losses and number of thefts; on its own it has one of the highest average losses per claim—a surprisingly high $10,555 per theft. So figured out in terms of overall (average) theft loss per vehicle, it's about $114 per Escalade—a whopper for insurance companies, and a figure bound to increase your rates, no matter where you park or drive.

This sure isn't the first time that the Escalade has topped the charts; although next to last year's average figure of $146 for the 2007-2009 Escalade, there's some evidence that thieves are perhaps moving on to other glamorous targets.

By class of vehicle, pickups are most often targeted by thieves; they cost insurers $24 per vehicle year in theft, on average, versus $9 for cars and $12 for SUVs.

The commercial-duty Ford F-250, F-350, and F-450 Crew Cab truck models, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Avalanche, and GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty trucks, also stand out for their high average loss payment—probably because work tools or equipment are likely to be kept in these rigs. Likewise, the GMC Yukon—which has an Escalade-like Yukon Denali model—is also way more likely than average to be targeted by thieves.

Among cars, the Chrysler 300 is has one of the highest claim frequencies—if you have the Hemi engine. The Dodge Charger Hemi and Nissan Maxima follow.

Both the Mercury Mariner and Audi A6 ranked lowest for claim frequencies. But while thefts might be low for the A6, when they happen they're pricey—an average $16,882 according to the HLDI. Likewise, the BMW 5-Series (xDrive) cost an average of $12,200 in claims per theft. Both of these German sedans averaged a low $8 in overall theft losses, though—not enough along to cause a spike in their premiums.

Click the image below to see the HLDI's full list of 2008-2010 passenger vehicles with the highest insurance theft claims.

[HLDI]

vehicles with the highest theft claims - from the HLDI

vehicles with the highest theft claims - from the HLDI

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