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Safety & Accident

Insured Tailgate Theft Declines 6%

June 15, 2016

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports today that insured tailgate thefts declined 6% in 2015, reversing a consecutive five-year escalating theft trend. In 2014, 1,895 claims for tailgate theft were identified in ISO ClaimSearch, an insurance industry claims database. That number decreased to 1,787 in 2015 for a drop of 6% — the first decline in claims since NICB began reviewing them in 2010.

This report is based on insurance claims; therefore, the actual number of tailgate theft incidents may be considerably higher since many thefts do not generate an insurance claim.

The top five states for tailgate thefts — 2014 and 2015 combined — were: Texas (1,421), California (875), Florida (252), Arizona (204), and Pennsylvania (68). The top five cities for tailgate thefts during these years were: Houston (300), Dallas (276), San Antonio (141), Phoenix (68), and Fresno, Calif. (51).

Replacing a tailgate is expensive. A new one from the manufacturer of a popular 2015 pickup truck is about $1,300 with even higher costs for some variants. That helps explain why there is a thriving underground market for vehicle parts, a market fed with parts removed from stolen vehicles.

The underground market is driven by demand for items that can be acquired at a fraction of their legitimate cost. Tailgates are no exception.  While many of these stolen tailgates end up on similar vehicles, others are simply sold for scrap, which contributes to the nationwide problem of metal theft.

Tailgate thefts can occur anywhere; several episodes of multiple thefts have occurred in single locations, such as auto dealers' lots and shopping malls.  Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.

This table shows the annual tailgate theft claim numbers from 2010:

Year

Claims

2010

430

2011

472

2012

831

2013

1,090

2014

1,895

2015

1,787


See the complete report here.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword "fraud" to TIP411 (847411), or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.

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