If you own a Ford Escape, a Chevrolet Tahoe or a Toyota RAV4, take special care securing them -- they were the most stolen vehicles in their class over the past five years, according to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The report focuses on sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) for model years 2009 to 2011. Here are the top 10 most-stolen SUVs and CUVs for the nearly five-year period from Jan. 1 2008 to June 30, 2012, according to the NICB:
California is apparently a paradise for car crooks with an eye for SUVs and CUVS -- thefts there accounted for 15 percent of all those across the country.
Here's a breakdown by state of thefts of both SUVs and CUVs, according to the NICB:
To see the theft figures for your state, visit the NICB's website.
NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi says that, in terms of class, entry-level CUVs had the most thefts with 6,357. Up next were mid-range CUVs with 3,560, followed by large SUVs with 2,454.
He also notes that the Cadillac Escalade is not the most stolen SUV, as some news reports have suggested over the years. The NICB report points out that data beginning in 2005 shows that the Escalade "has never attained a ranking higher than No. 11 of the top 25 makes and models stolen each year."
The older Ford Edge crossover models may be the fourth most stolen vehicle, but 2013 Edge models have a happier distinction when it comes to insurance costs. (See: "5 ways to compare car insurance companies.")
According to a recent analysis by Insure.com, the 2013 Ford Edge SE (four-cylinder model) has an average annual premium of $1,128, which makes it the least expensive vehicle to insure. It was followed by the 2013 model Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, with an annual average cost of $1,148, and the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i, at $1,150 a year.
The most costly for coverage? Insure.com says that would be the Mercedes-Benz CL600 (12 cylinders) at an average of $3,357 a year. (See: "The most and least expensive 2013 vehicles to insure.")
One way to make your car safer -- and trim insurance premiums -- is to install anti-theft devices. The money you could save is affected by where you live and your insurer, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says you may qualify for a 15 to 20 percent discount on comprehensive premiums. (See: " Something to hold on to: comprehensive and collision insurance.")
Be aware, though, that your vehicle may already have some safeguards, like alarms and disabling devices, installed as standard features. Check the manual or ask the dealership. These factory-equipped models may also qualify for rate reductions. The NICB also recommends devices that immobilize a vehicle, including kill switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys. (See: "What a steal! Anti-theft devices zap car insurance rates.")
Here are several more ways the NICB says you can dissuade the bad guys, with approximate costs:
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