FREMONT, Mich., June 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The first day of summer arrives later this month and as temperatures heat up, it can be tempting to leave the windows on your car open just a crack to alleviate the heat. According to automobile insurers, however, you may as well leave a sign on the car that reads "Steal Me" as cracked windows are an open invitation to car thieves, providing easy access with virtually no damage to the vehicle. A motor vehicle is stolen every 28.8 seconds in the USA with a price tag of more than $7.5 billion. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Michigan ranks fifth in auto thefts behind only California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona with more than 50,000 vehicles stolen each year.
"It's important for vehicle owners to understand that there are some simple steps they can take to protect their cars from thieves," said Kurt Detmer, vice president of marketing for Fremont Insurance. "When the owner is armed with this knowledge, they can make it much more difficult for the professional thieves who are responsible for most vehicle theft to steal their vehicle or its contents."
Fremont Insurance Company offers these simple guidelines to significantly reduce your risk:
- Don't leave your car unlocked – ever – not even for just a moment.
- Never leave your car running, especially while unattended or unlocked.
- Do not leave a spare key in or on your vehicle. Many people keep a spare under the car in case they get locked out. Thieves know exactly where to look. Getting locked out of your vehicle is a pain, but think of the hassle of having your car stolen.
- Never leave your windows open when you aren't in the vehicle, not even a crack.
- Park in well-lit, public areas. Avoid poorly lit areas or places not readily visible by the public. This not only keeps you safe when you exit the vehicle, it will keep your vehicle safer since thieves tend to avoid highly visible areas.
- An audible alarm system and visible anti-theft device are well worth the investment. Car thieves tend to avoid cars that attract attention.
- Install a vehicle immobilizer system such as a fuel cut-off or smart key. Without such devices, thieves can bypass your ignition by "hot-wiring" your car.
- Consider installing a GPS tracking system. The system emits a signal that police can track to determine its location. This may help police recover your vehicle more quickly as well as minimize damage.
- Don't leave valuable personal property in your vehicle. It only takes seconds to smash a window and grab purses, phones, laptops, stereos, CDs, etc. Keep valuables out of sight in the trunk or under the seat.
- Trust your instincts. If you are wary of a location or see someone loitering in a parking lot, park elsewhere.
Michigan residents also are encouraged to participate in H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts), Michigan's statewide auto theft prevention program that coordinates citizen action with law enforcement agencies for reporting information on stolen vehicles, chop shops, and suspected auto theft activities including insurance fraud, identity theft and carjackings. H.E.A.T. offers tipsters rewards for accurate information, which is received through the confidential, 24/7 toll-free H.E.A.T. tip line 1-800-242-HEAT or online at www.1800242HEAT.com. For more information about this program, visit www.1800242HEAT.com.
About Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc.
Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc. is the holding company for Fremont Insurance Company. Headquartered in Fremont, Michigan, the company provides property and casualty insurance to individuals, farms and small businesses exclusively in Michigan. Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp's common stock trades under the symbol "FMMH."
SOURCE Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc.