Date Published: 2023/04/01
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Canada has seen an alarming rise in the theft of catalytic converters, particularly since the start of the pandemic. In 2021, Aviva Insurance Company saw an increase of 123% more theft incidents than in 2020. This part is being targeted by thieves for the precious metals inside, some more valuable than gold. They're relatively easy to steal, as they can be removed in a matter of minutes.
It’s an important part of a vehicle’s exhaust system. It reduces the harmful airborne engine exhaust pollutants by converting them to less toxic material. They’re found on almost all vehicles, except for electric vehicles. They’re typically located on the underside of the vehicle between the engine and the muffler.
Catalytic converters contain three precious metals: palladium, platinum, and rhodium. This makes them an appealing target for thieves. The value of these metals has gone up significantly—some even quadrupling in value in recent years. Stolen converters can be sold as scrap metal and fetch between $100 to $500 for a car’s and $500 to $1,500 for a van or truck’s.
Depending on the model of your vehicle and the replacement selected, you could be looking at a bill between $1,500 to $2,500.
There are steps you can take to prevent the theft of this high-value car part:
Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has been tracking catalytic converter thefts and has compiled a list of the five most targeted vehicles.
In the U.S., Carfax looked at service reports for catalytic converter replacements from more than 60,000 service shops from 2019 through the first three months of 2022. They’ve compiled a list of the car models most likely to be targeted by catalytic converter thieves.
Catalytic converter theft is typically covered under a comprehensive car insurance policy. Contact your Orbit insurance broker if you have questions about your coverage and to review your policy.