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Ah yes, another day, another car insurance scam. This is not the first time that a car owner realizes they can’t afford the payments. And it’s not the first time they draw the conclusion that getting someone to steal it gets them off the hook. Except that it doesn’t, as you’ll see in this lovely story of greed and ignorance. 

Will car insurance pay off a stolen vehicle?

stolen car
Abandoned stolen car | Getty

The loss is usually covered if you have comprehensive insurance. So that was the reasoning behind Tiffany Ann Littlejohn, in North Carolina, staging the theft of her Chevy Camaro LT. It seems so simple. 

The problem is that insurance investigators have a way of determining what really happens when it comes to theft. Yes, it took a while for the insurance company to figure out it was a scam, but they finally did. The investigation took a year.

Is insurance fraud a felony?

Stolen car
Police inspect a stolen van | Getty

Littlejohn must have concluded she got away with it. Then she was arrested by the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner. She was charged with insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense according to Commissioner Mike Causey. Both are felony offenses. 

According to the report, Littlejohn told police and her car insurance company her ex-boyfriend did it. The reason for the fraud was to have the insurance company pay off the loan, according to the criminal summons. Causey took the occasion to remind people they can help keep insurance costs low by reporting suspected insurance fraud. 

Do they usually find stolen cars?

Car theft warning
Car theft warning sign | Getty

You may be surprised to know that there is a 60 percent recovery rate for stolen vehicles. Of those recovered, about a third of them have some damage. Each day over 200 cars are stolen nationwide. 

As you would expect, California has the highest amount of car thefts and the highest percentage of theft from keys left in cars. Why do people do that? Albuquerque has the highest number of stolen cars per capita for any state in the US. But California has five of the top 10 cities with the highest reported stolen cars. 

Vermont has the lowest rate of car thefts. Per 100,000 residents, Alaska is number one for car theft, with New Mexico number two, and Nevada number three. According to CarInsurance, it turns out that California lands in the 45th sport in this ranking. 

If you live in a high theft area, your car insurance will be higher

Car thief
Car theft suspect arrested | Getty

The hidden downside to higher theft rates is higher car insurance premiums. They are higher in areas with higher vehicle theft. So keeping your car safe not only helps you, but the surrounding area you live in, too. 

With inflation, supply chain holdups, and the fallout over COVID-related issues, cars are more expensive than ever. Which means theft is on the rise. Thieves tend to avoid expensive cars because they have tracking devices and stand out. So the average F-150 or Toyota Camry is the prime target of thieves. In other words, most likely the vehicle you drive makes for a great target. 


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