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Delhi’s dubious distinction: No. 1 city for car thefts in 2023, says ACKO Insurance study

Chennai's share in overall vehicle thefts doubled from 5 percent to 10.5 percent, while Bengaluru was at 10.2 percent. Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata continued to see the least number of thefts.

March 15, 2024 / 01:47 PM IST
Car theft

Delhi tops the list of cities witnessing maximum car thefts, followed by Chennai and Bengaluru

Four out of every five car thefts reported in India last year were from New Delhi.

The national capital saw 105 cases of vehicle theft being reported every day in 2023, which means that a vehicle is stolen every 14 minutes  in Delhi, a study released by general insurance company ACKO General Insurance has said. The finding was based on an analysis of around 2,000 claims received by the company in 2023.

Also readMC explains: Why third-party motor insurance is critical for all vehicles on the road

Vehicle thefts rise in India

Overall, the country saw a spike of 2.5 times in the number of vehicle thefts reported. Bike thefts rose 9.25 times compared to cars. The ‘most stolen’ bike was the Hero Splendor, followed by the Honda Activa.

In the case of cars, “47 percent of all stolen cars are Maruti Suzuki. Cars with the greatest demand and consequently, longer delivery timelines are most susceptible to thefts,” ACKO said in its report. The most popular hatchbacks, the Maruti Wagon R and Maruti Swift, happen to be the most frequently stolen cars in Delhi-NCR. Hyundai Creta, Hyundai Grand i10, and Maruti Swift Dzire occupy the third, fourth, and fifth places, respectively.

Delhi’s unenviable track record

Within New Delhi, Bhajanpura, Shahdara, Uttam Nagar, Patparganj and Badarpur emerged as theft hotspots. The top two reasons for this reputation include lack of organised space in buildings and colonies, leading to vehicles being parked on roads, and the thriving market for used vehicles and spare parts in the adjoining states, the study said. It also cited “free and fair” FIR (first information report) registration in New Delhi, which results in residents reporting more crimes compared to other cities and states, as a reason.

However, the city’s share in overall vehicle thefts declined from 56 percent in 2022 to 37 percent in 2023. Chennai, however, saw a sharp spike in vehicle thefts, with its share going up from 5 percent in 2022 to 10.5 percent in 2023. Bengaluru bagged the third spot in the dubious list with a 10.2 percent share in vehicle thefts, up from 9 percent in 2022.

Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata continued to be the safest cities for vehicles in India in 2023.

Also read: How to file insurance claims for your damaged car

Why car insurance is critical

As per the law, you are mandated to buy third-party liability insurance cover for your vehicles even before they leave the showrooms. This insures the policyholder against compensation that she might have to pay if the vehicle is involved in an accident, harming another individual (the third party).

The cover will also pay for any claims and damages that your car may have caused to such individuals’ assets. The premium rates for third-party covers are controlled by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

The other component of a motor or car insurance cover is ‘own damage’. It is not mandatory to buy this component, but it is critical given the kind of losses it covers – damage due to fire, theft, flooding and so on.

The premiums for own damage cover are not regulated, but are determined by general insurance companies. This apart, affordability permitting, you can also buy add-on covers such as engine protect, zero depreciation, return to invoice and so on, which essentially enhance protection for your car.

If you car or bike is stolen, you should immediately report the incident not only to the police, but also your insurance company. You will need to submit documents such as the registration certificate, licence and original car keys while filing the FIR.

If your car is not found, you will need to collect a non-traceable certificate from the police and share the copy with your insurance company, which will then settle your claims after verifying the details. It will take into account the insured declared value (IDV) of your vehicle, which will be mentioned in your policy document.

Preeti Kulkarni
Preeti Kulkarni is a financial journalist with over 13 years of experience. Based in Mumbai, she covers the personal finance beat for Moneycontrol. She focusses primarily on insurance, banking, taxation and financial planning
first published: Mar 15, 2024 11:50 am

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