TULSA - It seems as though nothing gets the new year off with a bang more than a new car, especially if it belongs to someone else.
KRMG recently obtained a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau which says New Year's Day is the most popular holiday for car thieves.
New Year's Eve comes in third, behind Labor Day.
In 2012, victims reported 2,228 vehicles stolen on January 1 nationwide.
For the year, thieves made off with approximately $4.3 billion in vehicles.
They averaged 2,066 stolen cars per day, but some holidays saw a spike in thefts.
Here's the tally for holidays in 2012:
1. New Year’s Day (2,228)
2. Labor Day (2,158)
3. New Year’s Eve (2,152)
4. Memorial Day (2,078)
5. Halloween (2,053)
6. Christmas Eve (2,034)
7. Independence Day (1,955)
8. President’s Day (1,925)
9. Thanksgiving (1,656)
10. Valentine’s Day (1,654)
11. Christmas Day (1,432)
At least most of the thieves took a break on Christmas Day.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department offers several simple tips, including parking in a well-lit area, locking your vehicle, and hiding any packages, purses or other valuables in the trunk.
Owners should also consider anti-theft devices, such as:
• Immobilizers (e.g. starter cut-off switch, fuel cut-off system)
• Steering column shield
• Window ID system
• Vehicle recovery system
• Brake locks
• Transmission lock
• Anti-hot-wiring circuit
In Case of a Theft (from the Oklahoma Insurance Department):
If you find yourself a victim of auto theft, inform the police and obtain a police report. You will need this before you can make a claim with your insurer. Having roadside assistance on your insurance policy can be useful when away from home, should your car be broken into and damaged so you cannot drive it. After filing a police report, gather information such as your vehicle's title and any leasing or finance information about the automobile to make an insurance claim. The insurance company may also want to know if there was any personal property in the vehicle or the extent of the damage if the vehicle was not stolen. If the car is not recovered after a given length of time, your insurance will pay the depreciated amount of the vehicle. If the car is recovered but heavily damaged, they will assess that damage and pay for repairs or declare the car a total loss.
Rental coverage is an add-on to your auto policy that may save a considerable amount of money while you wait for the claim to be settled. The coverage is often a small, additional expense, but will pay for itself when needing a vehicle for a length of time after a theft.