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As car thefts continue, insurance premiums are likely to rise

Insured vehicle theft losses in Toronto alone hit $57 million in 2020 — up 232 percent from 2016

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A sharp rise in car theft and vehicle theft could have an impact on how much people pay for insurance, with “significant” losses over the past 5 years, according to the insurance industry.

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“All indicators show that claims costs are rising everywhere,” said Anne Marie Thomas, director of consumer and industry relations, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

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“There has been a significant increase in car theft claims.”

According to the IBC, from 2016 to 2020, car theft claims in Toronto increased by 232%.

Losses were $17 million in 2016.

In 2020, they rose to $57 million.

“That’s a significant increase in claims over those five years,” Thomas said.

And they do not reflect 2021 and the rapid rise in 2022.

Vehicle thefts are up 43 percent in Toronto this year.

Police said there were 182 car thefts through October 4.

That compares to 102 for all of 2021.

The latest carjacking in Toronto happened Thursday night near Kipling Ave and Albion Rd.

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One suspect was involved, a firearm was seen and a vehicle was stolen, police tweeted.

In a separate incident Thursday, York Regional Police charged three men after an armed carjacking in Markham.

The victim pulled into her driveway around 4:30pm in her black Mercedes G-Class SUV near Elgin Street and Henderson Ave with her young child in the back.

Just then, a silver vehicle pulls up behind her.

An armed male suspect exited the vehicle and demanded that she exit the SUV.

The victim grabbed her child from the vehicle before it was stolen.

Three suspects were arrested shortly after.

The fourth remains pending.

Police also announced Thursday the arrest of four boys — ages 14 to 16 — for three carjackings and eight armed robberies at pharmacies between Sept. 19 and Oct. 4 in the Toronto and York regions.

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“One or two boys would approach the vehicle and point a gun at the passenger and demand their keys, vehicle and property,” the Holdup Squad said in a statement.

Investigators say the boys used stolen vehicles to rob pharmacies of money and narcotics.

The four were arrested Oct. 6 while getting into a vehicle that had recently been pulled over in a carjacking.

He faces 83 charges.

According to the IBC, provincial auto theft claims increased by 149% from 2016 to 2020.

The IBC says that not all companies are affected to the same extent – so it cannot say which ones might move to increase premiums.

“What that actually does to rates all depends on the insurer’s experience,” Thomas said.

slaurie@postmedia.com

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