Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

Easy ways to protect one of your vehicle's most commonly targeted and expensive parts.

New exhaust system with catalytic converter. Preventing catalytic converter theft.

When the country falls on hard times financially, theft incidents rapidly increase. The same goes for parts of your car, most notably catalytic converters. But why do thieves target these pieces, and more importantly, how can you prevent it?

To begin with, it's essential to work together with an independent insurance agent to equip your ride with enough car insurance to protect you. They'll help you get reimbursed for catalytic converter theft and much more. Until then, here's a guide to preventing catalytic converter theft.

Why Does Catalytic Converter Theft Happen So Often?

Catalytic converters aren't stolen because folks need to replace the one in their vehicle, but because the metals the device is made of can fetch a lot of money when sold. Especially at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the metals in catalytic converters, rhodium, skyrocketed in price from $5,000 per ounce to more than $25,000 per ounce. Even bottom-of-the-line catalytic converters can sell for around $300 at junkyards. 

Unfortunately for victims of catalytic converter theft, it's also expensive to replace this part of your vehicle, and catalytic converters aren't only stolen during pandemics, but any day, any time around the clock. A new catalytic converter can set you back more than $1,500 depending on the type and value of your car's parts. That's just one reason it's so important to be covered with the right car insurance to help protect you.

How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

Fortunately, there are a couple of methods you can take to prevent catalytic converter theft in the first place, including:

  • Keeping your car in a garage: Parking your car in a garage when it's not in use is the number one way to protect all of its components against theft, including catalytic converters.
  • Park in a well-lit area: If you can't access a garage and must park your car outside, aim for a spot that's well-lit to help deter thieves.
  • Install a motion sensor alarm: Certain alarms are designed to sound when they sense movement or vibration and then emit extremely loud frequencies, which can be incredibly helpful in scaring off a catalytic converter thief. 
  • Weld the equipment in place: Catalytic converters can also be welded to your vehicle to make them more challenging to remove.
  • Engrave your VIN: If you get your vehicle identification number engraved on your catalytic converter, it'll be easier to track if theft occurs.

Taking the extra time to prevent catalytic converter theft from ever happening can help you ultimately save more time, stress, and money in the long run.

How Common Is Catalytic Converter Theft?

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, catalytic converter thefts are at an all-time high in the US. Just two years before the start of the pandemic, catalytic converter thefts occurred at an average rate of 108 per month. But last year, this number had increased more than 12 times, to an average of 1,200 catalytic converter thefts per month.


Currently, an average of 1,200 catalytic converters are stolen every month

Knowing these startling stats can further inspire you to take the necessary steps to prevent catalytic converter theft and ensure that your car insurance is up to snuff.


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Prius Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

Priuses are one of the biggest targets of catalytic convert theft because their parts are made with a higher percentage of precious and expensive metals. A catalytic converter theft prevention device is the best way to protect your Prius against this common crime.

Some popular catalytic converter theft prevention devices are:

  • Cat Shields: These devices are aluminum plates that fit over the top of your catalytic converter to protect and house it and prevent theft.
  • Steel cages: These devices are difficult to cut through and house your catalytic converter in a cage made of steel.
  • Locking steel cables: These devices also use steel but in the form of solid cables to wrap your catalytic converter in place under your vehicle. 

While these catalytic converter theft prevention devices can be a bit pricey up front, they're much more affordable than having to shell out a few thousand dollars to replace a stolen part.

How Does Car Insurance Help Protect against Catalytic Converter Theft?

According to insurance expert Paul Martin, if you purchased comprehensive car insurance, you're likely protected against theft of your catalytic converter. Aspects of your vehicle that are permanently installed are guarded against theft, including catalytic converters, meaning your policy can reimburse you if they're stolen. Your car insurance might also be able to reimburse you for physical damage to your vehicle that resulted from the theft.

What Else Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?

Your comprehensive car insurance offers much more protection than just for stolen catalytic converters. Comprehensive coverage is also essential to guard against:

  • Flood damage
  • Vehicle theft
  • Broken windshields
  • Collisions with large animals
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects

Be sure to speak with your independent insurance agent to get your vehicle equipped with comprehensive car insurance to help increase peace of mind about catalytic converter theft and many other disasters.

Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?

Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut the jargon and clarify the fine print, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best car insurance, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.

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