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Escalade tops auto insurance claims list for theft

Posted On Thu, August 25, 2011

A recent report finds that car thieves nationwide more frequently target some of the most expensive vehicles, with the Cadillac Escalade reported stolen most frequently.

According to an analysis of auto insurance claims by the Highway Loss Data Institute, four versions of the American-made luxury SUV appear on the list of vehicles swindled most often.

The Escalade EXT has the highest theft rate, with 14 claims per every 1,000 insured years. That is more than 8 times the national average, and may be a factor in consumers' auto insurance rates.

The HLDI added that pickup trucks were also a frequent theft target, even though truck thefts dropped as immobilizers became more common. However, officials say they aren't foolproof.

"Immobilizers are a good deterrent against joy-riding teenagers, but professional thieves can easily haul away an SUV on a flatbed truck," says HLDI senior vice president Kim Hazelbaker. "A pickup that can't be driven away is still vulnerable to having tools and cargo snatched from its bed."

The lowest claim rate was seen on the Audi A6, although it's high cost meant that each theft was significantly more expensive for insurers to pay out - more than double the national average for passenger vehicles. 

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