Cadillac Escalade A Beacon For Thieves, Says Insurance Data

August 2, 2010
2010 Dodge Charger SR8

2010 Dodge Charger SR8

If you plan to purchase a Cadillac Escalade, Ford F-250 Crew Cab, Infiniti G37, or Dodge Charger Hemi, you might want to check in with your insurance agent first.

Why? Because these vehicles have the highest theft rates (from inside, or of the vehicle itself) of any models one to three years old.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), the affiliate organization of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which released its annual list of vehicles with the highest theft losses, it's a significant difference; each of these vehicles have losses that are three to five times higher than for the average vehicle.

The Cadillac Escalade is quite the target, in fact. For six out of the past seven years, the Escalade has topped the list, with average losses at about seven times that of the average passenger vehicle. And specifically for the Escalade EXT 4WD, insurers pay out an average $146 in theft losses per year—ten times the average theft payout across all vehicles. Now that's a number that no doubt figures into insurance premiums.

One out of every four Escalade theft claims runs $40,000 or more. Onboard theft deterrents (except possibly tracking devices) don't so much matter, with sophisticated, determined thieves often simply loading them up on a flatbed truck and hauling them away. The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is also an expensive one when the entire car is stolen, with totals averaging $41,229 for that. But the HLDI ranks it far below the Dodge Charger Hemi, which despite a $10,118 average claim is stolen so frequently that it has the fourth highest losses.

Large luxury SUVs like the Escalade had the worst theft losses overall, averaging $82 per year, while large pickups were the next highest at $57 per vehicle per year. Two-door minicars, like the Smart Fortwo, were the lowest, at just $4 per insured vehicle per year. It seems that either buyers of small, frugal cars are very careful about leaving things in view, or that thieves simply look to the larger, more luxurious vehicle.

Family cars and vehicles with high fuel economy figures are missing from the most-targeted list, according to the Institute. "Thieves are after chrome, horsepower, and Hemis," commented HLDI senior VP Kim Hazelbaker in a release.

Large pickups are the group to watch, according to the HLDI, with theft rates having risen sharply from 1999 to 2006 with the booming of the housing and construction business. These trucks are targeted because of the expensive tools or cargo they might carry, Hazelbaker said.

The Volvo S80, Saturn Vue and Nissan Murano were among those with the lowest average theft losses. And the Toyota Prius continued to rank among the lowest in theft claims. Another surprise is the fashionable Mini Cooper; while it's no doubt desirable, thieves tend to avoid it.

Click on to the next page to see the Highway Loss Data Institute's vehicles with the highest and lowest theft losses.

[HLDI]

INSURANCE THEFT LOSSES, 2007-09 PASSENGER VEHICLES

 

Vehicle size/type

Claim
freq.

Avg. loss
payment
per claim

Overall
theft
losses

HIGHEST LOSSES
Cadillac Escalade large/very large luxury SUV

10.8

$11,934

$128

Ford F-250 crew 4WD (2008-09) very large pickup

9.7

$9,636

$91

Infiniti G37 2-door (2008-09) midsize luxury car

7.1

$10,324

$71

Dodge Charger HEMI large family car

7.1

$10,118

$69

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 midsize sports car

1.7

$41,229

$68

Hummer H2 4WD very large SUV

6.2

$10,324

$62

Nissan Pathfinder Armada large SUV

4.5

$12,458

$54

Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 very large SUV

7.4

$7,571

$54

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew large pickup

8.0

$6,814

$53

GMC Yukon large SUV

5.7

$9,499

$52

 
LOWEST LOSSES
Volvo S80 large luxury car

0.8

$619

$1

Saturn VUE 4WD (2008-09) midsize SUV

0.7

$1,445

$1

Nissan Murano (2009) midsize SUV

0.7

$1,790

$1

Saturn VUE (2008-09) midsize SUV

0.6

$2,340

$1

Honda Pilot 4WD (2009) midsize SUV

0.8

$1,927

$2

Subaru Impreza (2008-09) small station wagon

0.9

$1,858

$2

Toyota Prius small car

0.8

$2,203

$2

Mini Cooper minicar

0.8

$2,134

$2

Toyota Tacoma double 4WD small pickup

2.8

$619

$2

Toyota Sienna 4WD very large minivan

0.8

$2,203

$2

 
AVERAGE ALL PASSENGER VEHICLES

2.1

$6,883

$14

Note: Claim frequencies are per 1,000 insured vehicle years; overall theft losses are average loss payments per insured vehicle year; results are for 2007-09 models unless otherwise noted.

 source: Highway Loss Data Institute

2019
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2019
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.