The Pine Tree State is home to some of the Nation’s lowest insurance rates. When looking at Maine’s lower population density and minimal crime, it’s easy to see why motorists pay an average expenditure of only $600. But according to a report from The Portland Press Herald, the Maine Department of Public Safety announced on Tuesday that the amount of crime in virtually every category—including motor vehicle theft—went up between 2010 and 2011. What many residents may not know is that the number of vehicle-theft claims filed in their area can have a noticeable impact on the price of comprehensive car insurance.
Public Safety Commissioner John Morris reported that crime in the Pine Tree State as a whole increased 5.4 percent between 2010 and 2011. These statistics include a 5.5 percent increase in motor vehicles thefts. Unfortunately for vehicle owners, these statistics could potentially translate into higher premiums. If property crime and auto theft in a specific area begins to climb, it typically leads to more comprehensive insurance claims.
When a coverage provider pays out more claims, it means greater losses for them, which usually translates into higher premiums for drivers living in the same territory. The reason for this is auto insurance costs are based on the probability that a policyholder will file a claim. If a Maine resident lives in a territory with a higher number of motor vehicle thefts, insurers will compensate for this added risk by charging a higher premium for comprehensive coverage.
Overall Maine Crime Statistics Are Getting Better
But despite this recent report, residents should know that over the past ten years the rate of car thefts has actually decreased considerably. In 2001 there were over 1,600 reported thefts, but only 1,039 reported cases in 2011. Overall, this amounts to a 10-year crime trend showing a 37 percent decrease in vehicle thefts.
While property crime and auto thefts in a surrounding area can lead to higher rates, there are steps that residents can take to help keep their Maine vehicle insurance rates affordable by properly securing their automobiles. Purchasing a car that is equipped with an active or passive security system is a great way to thwart criminals, and it can also amount to significant savings.
Most insurers in the Pine Tree State reward policyholders who actively work to protect their cars with special discounts. Common features like car alarms or VIN etchings are considered passive security measures that can help deter potential thieves. More advanced systems, like GPS tracking and ignition-disabling devices can also help drivers qualify for insurance discounts that can drive down policy prices and counter any increasing crime trends like those in Maine.