The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) warns that there is a shocking increase in catalytic converter theft in the nation. This is because the value of the metals it contains is more valuable that the current value of gold. The metals are rhodium, palladium, and platinum. “As of December 2020, rhodium was valued at $14,500 per ounce, palladium at $2,336 per ounce, and platinum going for $1,061 per ounce. Typically, recyclers will pay $50 to $250 per catalytic converter” (NICB, 2021).
FYI: Catalytic converters for hybrid cars are more valuable so as a result, a higher target.
The catalytic converter in your car converts the exhaust fumes into less harmful gasses. According to NICB, in 2018, there were a total of 1,298 reported catalytic converter thefts whereas in 2020, that number dramatically rose to 14,433. They are unfortunately fairly easy to steal with minimal tools needed. Many times, thieves will target parking garages to get multiple at the same time.
Top 5 states for catalytic converter theft:
Although Colorado is not in the top 5, please still be careful to avoid this. In the last month, I have had 6 personal clients fall victim to this theft. This claim then costs thousands of dollars and time spent in the mechanic shop. Our family mechanic expressed the rising demand for replacements is becoming hard to manage.
Here are 5 tips to avoid this theft:
- Consider having your mechanic install an anti-theft device
- If possible, park in a garage or gated, well-lit area.
- Adding a bright motion sensor light could act as an additional deterrent.
- Ensure your alarm is set and your vehicle is locked.
- Etch your license plate number on your catalytic converter (see below)
Some police departments are recommending and even helping citizens through “Etch and Catch” events to etch your license plate number or a partial VIN number. In Colorado Springs, AAA and local mechanics are working together to prevent future thefts. The are putting on a very adhesive sticker. “But as an added preventative measure, we’re also applying a chemical etching component, so it matches that serial number on your catalytic converter. That number is then registered in an anti-theft database that can be queried by law enforcement by parts yards, by salvagers, you name it.” (KRDO, 2021)
Optional Comprehensive Coverage will cover this theft as it is damage to your car not as a result of an accident.
Call our office (719) 593-9916 to make sure your Auto Insurance policy has Comprehensive Coverage. If not, we can add it for you easily. The additional coverage will be well worth it if your car is unfortunately targeted.
“Catalytic Converter Theft Skyrocket Across the Nation.” National Insurance Crime Bureau, https://www.nicb.org/news/blog/catalytic-converter-thefts-skyrocket-across-nation.
Todd, Jeff. “In effort to ‘disrupt black market,’ auto repair shops & AAA Colorado join forces to stop catalytic converter theft”. KRDO, CNN Newssource, 06 July 2021, https://krdo.com/cnn-regional/2021/07/06/in-effort-to-disrupt-black-market-auto-repair-shops-aaa-colorado-join-forces-to-stop-catalytic-converter-theft/.