Risk Alert Update: Tips to reduce your risk of catalytic converter theft
Catalytic converter theft continues to be an issue across the nation, creating unnecessary headaches and expenses for valued customers like you. As of July 2021, we’ve already surpassed the amount of catalytic converter theft claims received in all of 2020 by 120%.
Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that help reduce emissions. They are attractive pieces to steal because they contain precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium that can be sold to metal recyclers for a significant sum.
Taller vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, are often targeted because they provide easier access to the catalytic converter. Using a wrench or saw, a thief can steal a catalytic converter in just a few minutes.
To help you reduce your organization’s risk, our experts have compiled a list of security measures and ideas to consider implementing:
- Park defensively: Keep vehicles locked and parked in a secured, well-lit area when not in use. If a garage is available, park the vehicle inside. Think about parking close to building entrances where someone may be able to spot suspicious activity. Parking close to walls or fences can also impede access to the vehicle from underneath.
- Keep an eye on things: Consider the use of security surveillance cameras in the area where vehicles are parked. Cameras alone can serve as a visual deterrent, but they’ll also provide valuable footage should a catalytic converter be stolen. If you don’t use a vehicle daily, make it a point to check on it regularly.
- Equip vehicles with added protection: Deliberate whether options such as having a catalytic converter welded in place and/or placing a protective cover around it are necessary. Aftermarket products such as catalytic converter-specific locks, clamps, cages and alarms are commercially available.
- Use an existing vehicle alarm to alert of potential theft: Adjust or calibrate the sensitivity of your vehicle’s alarm, if applicable, so vibration will activate the alarm.
- Drive down the sell-on value: Have the vehicle identification number (VIN) engraved on the catalytic converter and/or spray it with high temperature fluorescent paint. This deters theft by lessening the likelihood of the part being resold to scrap metal dealers.
The information contained in these materials is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on these materials. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in these materials.