Catalytic converter theft on the rise

Following a 200% increase in the frequency of catalytic converter theft claims in 2019, Church Mutual is on pace to see twice as many such claims in 2020.

Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that help to reduce emissions. They are attractive to thieves because they contain precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium that can be sold to metal recyclers for up to $200. Thieves often target taller vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, because they provide easier access to the catalytic converter. The thefts typically take just a few minutes, using a wrench or saw.

To lessen the likelihood of catalytic converter theft from your organization’s vehicles, consider the following safeguards:

  • Keep vehicles locked and parked in a secured, well-lit area when not in use. If a garage is available, park the vehicle inside. If this is not available, park in a well-lit area.

  • Park close to building entrances.

  • Consider the use of security surveillance cameras in the area where vehicles are parked.

  • Adjust or calibrate the sensitivity of your vehicle’s alarm, if applicable, so that vibration will activate the alarm.

  • Have the vehicle identification number (VIN) engraved on the catalytic converter. This deters theft by lessening the likelihood of the part being resold to scrap metal dealers.

  • Other options include having the catalytic converter welded in place and/or placing a protective cover around it. Aftermarket products such as catalytic converter-specific locks, clamps, cages and alarms are commercially available.

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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

© 2021 Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. All rights reserved. Protecting the Greater Good is a registered trademark of Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.