The nearing end of the year has brought the people of Latvia not just pandemic-induced limitations and downtime, but concerns to vehicle owners as well, as there has been a boom in the activity of thieves, specializing on car parts, since autumn. Pictures posted by victims on social networks featuring cars devoid of headlights and the police video footage of thieve capture raids – this activity is confirmed by the statistical data of BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA) – the number of thefts from cars compared to 2019 has more than doubled.
A common thing in recent years, the ones to feel most insecure about their cars are the owners of Volvo passenger cars, as their vehicles are coveted by thieves most. Due to the autumn theft surge the number of Volvos being the theft target has more than tripled over the year, compared to the year 2019. Most often insurance claims have been received for stolen headlights and smashed side or rear windshields.
Unexpectedly, the second most popular car in this respect has become Škoda. The number of theft cases from cars of this brand has become tenfold over the year. Runners up on this potential victims top are cars of Premium class – BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Lexus, as their spare parts are so expensive, therefore the demand for used ones is large and pushing thieves to take care of supplying the “goods in demand”.
“Having a retrospective look, we can easily see that the number of thefts has a trend to grow during times of economic lows. With incomes shrinking, drivers are more likely to skip purchasing new spare parts and be rather looking for cheaper ones, thus often quite unaware serving as recruitment agency for thieves. There will be someone who indeed will get the necessary spare part cheaper, unfortunately it is going to be at someone else’s grief and expense. Therefore I strongly request drivers demonstrate camaraderie, be responsible and purchase spare parts, also second-hand, at reliable, tested shops. By avoiding to make a market for thieves we reduce the risk and likelihood of occurring their victim ourselves one nice day,” urges BTA Insurance Claims Handling Department Director Kārlis Liepiņš.
The total number of thefts from cars during ten months of this year has been 125% larger than at the same period a year ago.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. With about 50 companies in 30 countries and more than 25,000 employees, Vienna Insurance Group is a clear market leader in its Central and Eastern European markets, and takes care of more than 22 million customers. Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of Vienna Stock Exchange (since 1994) with a rating of A+ with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s; its share is also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange. Vienna Insurance Group works in close partnership with Erste Group – the largest retail bank in CEE.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS