I recently had one of the catalytic converters (there are two installed) on my 2002 Toyota Sequoia stolen while parked in my driveway. I have a two car garage and own three cars, which is why this car is parked in the driveway. The cost to repair/replace the converter was $2800. The bad guys know where I live and there is nothing to stop them from coming back and taking it again. It takes 15 seconds to remove it with a battery powered sawzall. If they steal both converters next time, this will cost $5600 to repair, less my deductible. The only real defense against this type of theft is purchasing and installing a "Cat Shield" which costs about $500, plus installation. Catalytic converter theft in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the last two years due to the increasing value of the precious metal components inside the converters. I have three questions for the USAA CEO:
1. Do you have any plans to reimburse USAA insurance customers who wish to protect their vehicle/s with a Cat Shield? It seems like the $500 cost to protect the car is worth the potential $5000+ claim cost.
2. What are auto insurance companies in the U.S. doing to mitigate this problem? With thefts of these converters rampant in the country, insurance companies should be pushing the auto manufacturers (through legislation?) to make it impossible for these converters to be removed. I hate government regulation, but sometimes that's what it takes to make the private sector do the right/sensible thing.
3. If the catalytic converter/s are stolen from my car again, will my insurance rates go up, or possibly cause USAA to drop my insurance?
Thank you @bassomatic for your USAA membership. Certainly get your concerns about the theft you encountered with your vehicle's catalytic converter and know I have forwarded your questions to the appropriate teams to further review. If there is any additional information our team is needing, they will reach out for further addressing. ~Marco