ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - The blinged-out Cadillac Escalade SUV, a favorite of A-listers
like Tiger Woods, is once again the vehicle voted most likely to be
stolen, according to an insurance industry group.
The F-250 crew cab pickup, Infiniti G37 two-door car, Dodge
Charger with its high-power HEMI engine and Chevrolet Corvette Z06
round out the list of the top five vehicles most likely to be the
subject of insurance theft claims. Least likely targets of thieves
are family vehicles like the Volvo S80, Saturn Vue and Nissan
Murano, Honda Pilot and Subaru Impreza.
The Highway Loss Data Institute, which is part of the
Arlington-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, calculated
theft claim rates for vehicles from the 2007-2009 model years. The
data reports thefts per insured vehicles on the road.
The Escalade, which starts at $62,495, has ranked as the
most-stolen in six of the last seven reports. A theft claim is
filed for one out of every 100 insured Escalades, the group said,
and the average insurance payout is $11,934. That compares with an
average of $6,883 for all vehicles.
Almost one in every four Escalade theft claims is for $40,000 or
more. Escalades are equipped with antitheft ignition immobilizers
that prevent them from being started without a special key, but
that doesn't prevent some thieves from hauling them away on flatbed
trucks, said Kim Hazelbaker, senior vice president of the Highway
Loss Data Institute.
"Thieves are after chrome, horsepower and HEMIs," she said.
Large SUVs like the Escalade have the highest overall theft
losses, with large pickups second. Hazelbaker said trucks are
targeted for various reasons. In addition to their looks, large
pickups can be used for work or they might be carrying valuable
tools or cargo.
The Institute said the frequency of theft claims for cars and
SUVS has been declining since 1998. Pickup thefts also had been on
the downswing until 2006, when the Institute noticed an uptick in
Two-door minicars are the least likely group to be targeted.