New Data Shows Severity Of Canada’s Worsening Auto Theft Crisis


Canada’s auto theft crisis is showing no signs of slowing down, according to new data released by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). In 2023, the cost of insurance claims for replacing stolen vehicles in Canada skyrocketed to a record-breaking $1.5 billion. This marks the second year in a row auto theft claims costs have topped $1 billion. To put this into perspective, between 2018 and 2021, auto theft claims costs averaged $556 million annually.

“These numbers indicate that the auto theft crisis persists, disrupting the lives of Canadians and causing them concern and trauma. It places a heavy burden on law enforcement and courtroom personnel who work tirelessly to address these crimes,” said Liam McGuinty, Vice-President, Strategy, IBC. “Canada’s auto theft crisis is also placing pressure on drivers’ insurance premiums – as auto theft continues to increase, so do the associated costs. Auto theft is not a victimless crime.”

Between 2018 and 2023, auto theft claims costs have increased significantly across the country:

  • Nationally, auto theft claims costs increased by 254%.
  • In 2023, auto theft losses amounted to over $1.5 billion, an increase of nearly 20% from 2022 (the year that held the previous record).
  • The previous four-year national average, between 2018 and 2021, was $556 million.
  • The crisis is most significant in Ontario, where auto theft claims costs increased by 524% between 2018 and 2023, surpassing $1 billion for the first time in 2023. IBC will be releasing province-specific data on auto theft claims costs in the coming weeks.
Nationwide Auto Theft Insurance Claims

Claims Count

Claims Costs



















2018 to 2023 Increase

56 %

254 %

2022 to 2023 Increase

10 %

19 %

New, high-end luxury vehicles are often lucrative targets, due in part to their desirability in illegal international markets. In many cases, stolen vehicles are exported to these markets by domestic and international criminal organizations. The proceeds are then used to finance drug trafficking, arms dealing and international terrorism.

Despite important federal and provincial investments aimed at mitigating the crisis, this new data suggests more action must be taken to make vehicles more difficult to steal, transport and export. To that end, IBC has been calling for immediate action to stop stolen vehicles from being shipped overseas and to prevent vehicles from being stolen in the first place.

“Insurers have taken proactive steps to help consumers combat auto theft, but they can’t do it alone. We need a whole-of-society approach,” added McGuinty. “IBC recognizes the efforts undertaken by governments to date to fight auto theft, but more needs to be done, including at the national level. Attention needs to be paid to modernizing Canada’s outdated vehicle safety standards, which were last updated in 2007, and stopping the outflow of stolen vehicles from Canada’s ports. IBC and its members look forward to the important next steps anticipated in the federal government’s action plan to combat auto theft. Our industry remains committed to working alongside all levels of government and stakeholders to address the national auto theft crisis.”


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