Vehicle theft rates continue to put pressure on the personal auto insurance market.

CCC Intelligent Solutions said in its year-end report that the number of vehicle thefts in the U.S. increased 2 percent in the first half of 2023 after rising 7 percent in 2022. Total losses as a result of thefts peaked at 4 percent of total losses in the fourth quarter of 2022 and have exceeded 3 percent of total losses since the fourth quarter of 2001, CCC said. Total losses from theft were less than 2 percent of total losses in 2018 and 2019, according to the report.

CCC’s report called out auto thefts as “a concerning trend.”

The report says thefts accounted for about 3 percent of total loss value in the third quarter of 2023, but varied by type of vehicles. For domestic pickups, thefts accounted for 6 percent of total losses, but for pickups built in Asia, thefts were the cause of only 3 percent of losses.

Related articles:

Thefts of Asian and European-built cars also were lower: The percentage of total losses was 3.5 percent for domestic cars but about 3.2 percent for Asian cars and about 2.4 percent for European, according to the report.

CCC said while 85 percent of stolen cars were recovered, the vandalism needed to break into those vehicles was also a cause of loss. Repairable claims volume for vandalism was up 22 percent year-over-year in 2022 and was on pace to increase another 10 percent in 2023.

Thefts of catalytic converters also drove claims. Citing data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the report said there were 64,701 catalytic converter thefts in 2022, four times as many as in 2020. CCC said its data shows that more than 70 percent of catalytic converter thefts were from cars seven or more years old. The average repairable catalytic converter claim had an average total cost of $1,415.

According to a recent AM Best report, claim severity trends in general were rising for personal auto in 2022. The average claim jumped to $11,102 from $9,542 for the prior year, an 11 percent jump. The average defense and cost containment expense also increased by 29 percent, while adjusting and other expenses increased by 18 percent.

This article was originally published by Claims Journal. Reporter Jim Sams is the editor of Claims Journal.