Catalytic Converter Thefts…..am I covered?
I’m sure you’ve seen the news. Catalytic converters are being targeted by thieves at an alarming rate. There are national crime rings specifically targeting the theft of catalytic converters. The insurance Information Institute noted that catalytic converter thefts rose from 1,298 in 2018 to 52,206 in 2021. The precious metals inside the converters make them very valuable. They typically have palladium, platinum & rhodium. Rhodium has been used for corrosion resistant coatings and when the catalytic converter was invented in 1976, the demand increased significantly. The current price for a troy ounce of Rhodium is $20,250. A big reason why these car parts are being targeted by thieves.
While there may be nothing you can do to stop a determined thief, here are some suggestions that might deter a would-be-thief:
- Parking in a well-lit area with a lot of traffic
- Etching your vehicle serial number into the converter may help recover your item if it was stolen
- There are catalytic converter locks, shields & cages that help prevent thefts
But what if my converter is stolen? Do I have coverage under my insurance policy? You would need to determine if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy. Also referred to as “other than collision”, the comprehensive coverage typically covers your vehicle for things like theft, fire, vandalism & acts of nature. This coverage normally comes with some type of deductible. Comprehensive is a vehicle specific coverage. So, it’s possible you have the coverage on one car & not another. You would need to verify your policy to confirm whether or not you have the coverage.
A lot of people choose to remove the comprehensive coverage as the vehicle is older. If you do remove the coverage, a theft of the catalytic converter would not be covered. And Unfortunately, the cost for a new catalytic converter may be more than what the value that your old vehicle is worth. The average cost to replace a catalytic converter can be between $1,000-$4,500.
Be sure to review your insurance policy & make sure you have the appropriate coverage!