DC carjackings, inflation contributing to rising car insurance rates

Two days after a man told FOX 5 his brand new Honda Accord Hybrid was stolen from a tow truck in southeast DC, a Georgetown woman says something similar happened to her.

Home surveillance video from February 28 shows a dark-colored tow truck carrying the Chevy Corvette away from 27th St. NW just before 3:40 a.m. The car alarm is sounding in the background.

Jaclyn Baker, the car’s owner, tells FOX 5 she bought the Corvette brand new in 2016. The car was recovered in May, according to a police report.

These types of crimes, both auto thefts and the wave of carjackings the DC area has been facing since late 2020, don’t just impact public safety — they can also hurt wallets. .

“Car theft is on the rise across the country and inflation is the same as anyone who goes to the grocery store can see the impact on inflation,” said Bob Passmore of American Property Causality Insurance. “Car insurance is no different because the cost of things that car insurance pays like medical care and collision repair and the total cost of vehicles have all gone up. So that’s going to have an impact on rates. .”

A recent DC-area politician pointed to this issue, tweeting that even with “a good driving record”, as of September 1, his car insurance was supposed to jump 37% due to inflation and rising carjackings in DC.

DC police statistics show car theft only increased by about 3% compared to the same time last year. Police recorded 329 carjackings so far this year with a 52% increase in cumulative statistics from 2022 to 2021. MPD also notes a 73% increase in carjackings with firearms.

Passmore tells FOX 5 that insurance companies consider car theft and carjacking to be in the same category. Another issue is the fact that used car prices have gone up, which means auto insurance companies have to sell more with the higher volume of auto thefts.

Officials are quick to note that these automotive issues are not unique to the DC area. However, a new Hot Spots Report issued by the National Crime Insurance Bureau shows Washington DC had the second highest overall robbery rate last year.

The report says Washington, DC reported 651 thefts per 100,000 people in 2021, down from 562.98 in 2020.

When FOX 5 asked Corvette owner Baker who she thinks is responsible for doing more to fix the problem, she replied “everyone.”

“People themselves. It’s got to stop,” she said.

More car accidents and more drivers on the road are other contributors to rising car insurance rates.

Passmore says there are indications that inflation is down. However, higher rates may persist as long as other automotive issues continue to occur.

He told FOX 5 that it’s always possible to get a new auto insurance plan, but be sure to compare line by line to make sure you’re getting the best plan.