Expensive insurance? How increased crime rates in Windsor could have contributed

There were more crimes reported in Windsor-Essex in 2018 compared to 2017.

The annual crime rate for the area was higher in 2018 than it was in 2017

Motor vehicle theft and attempts went up by 26 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Reported crimes went up by 20.6 per cent last year compared to 2017 in Windsor.

There were 18,413 reported violations of the Criminal Code in 2018, while in 2017 there were 15,274.

Those numbers were released by Windsor Police Service in February.

Here's a breakdown for the types of offences in the city last year.

Property crime

  • 39 arson offences — decrease of 13 per cent
  • 2,133 break and enters/attempts — increase of 35 per cent
  • 887 motor vehicle thefts/attempts — increase of 26 per cent
  • 86 thefts over $5,000 — increase of 23 per cent
  • 4,327 thefts under $5,000 — increase of 36 per cent
  • 1,448 fraud offences — increase of 51 per cent
  • 1,497 mischief offences — decrease of 9 per cent

Traffic-related crime

  • 253 impaired driving charges — increase of 16 per cent
  • 5,246 motor vehicle collisions — decrease of 5 per cent

Youth crime

  • 358 youths involved in a crime — increase of 12 per cent

According to police chief Al Frederick, things are looking up.

"Internally we have made some huge adjustments," he said. "The changes we've made to both patrol and internal investigations is working."

Insurance on the rise?

With more crime like breaking-and-entering, people's insurance could be on the line. There was a 26 per cent increase in motor vehicle thefts and attempts last year.

Dan Dupuis says some areas can experience so much crime that they might not be allowed to have insurance. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

"Insurance companies look to make a profit in the market," said Dan Dupuis, insurance agent.

"And if they're losing money in a certain area, the rates for that area will go up, based on each peril, or based on what type of claim it is."

Even if you haven't made a claim in the past, your rates might still go up if the reported crime has gone up in your area, according to Dupuis.

Sometimes certain areas have so much crime that the rates for the areas would go up, "almost to the point where they wouldn't be allowed to have insurance," he said.

Joseph Hayak says his car insurance went up by $50 a month for 2019, without having ever made a claim. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Joseph Hayak finds that policy unfair.

He said some people are paying for what other people are doing with regards to making claims or committing crimes.

"I'd like to say that just because crime rates are going up, we pay some of the highest insurance already in Ontario in Canada, so just as a whole it seems unnecessary," Hayak said.

His car insurance went up by $50 a month for 2019.

According to Dupuis, insurance companies get blamed whenever rates go up.

However, sometimes companies have to pay out on fraudulent insurance claims, which police don't always investigate.

"If they're not investigating the crime we all pay," he said.

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