Many American are unfortunately becoming aware of the increasing problem of auto theft, vandalism and how it affects your insurance rates. Every 27 seconds a car is stolen. It is estimated that at least 1 million cars will be stolen this year alone. Auto theft affects your insurance premiums so much so that there are instances where individuals living in certain locations are unable to even secure a regular auto insurance policy because of the risk of vehicle theft.It’s bad enough that someone would vandalize or steal your car. To make matters worse, you will be the one who ends up paying increased policy rates. You should also know that if you own a car that is considered by auto insurance companies as being high risk for theft, you could pay higher rates as well.What kind of theft coverage does most standard auto insurance policies cover anyway?Comprehensive CoverageAutomobile theft is covered by your automobile insurance policy’s comprehensive coverage. If you are paying for comprehensive insurance coverage, you are paying rates determined by the likelihood of your car being stolen. Your auto insurance company will also review the car theft rates in your area, and whether your car’s make and model is frequently targeted by thieves.Protect Yourself From Automobile TheftIn order to protect your car from thieves, and your wallet from rising auto insurance premiums, take immediate action to discourage theft. Some of the methods you use to thwart thieves could also result in discounts on your auto insurance policy that can further reduce your monthly payments. For starters, install an anti-theft device or alarm on your car. If you are in the market for a new car, ask the dealership to include this feature with your purchase. Check with your insurance company about a possible discount for having an alarm system.Lock Your DoorsAlways lock your car doors whenever you enter or exit your car. Don’t let the fact that you just need to make a quick run in and out of some place keep you from doing this. Also, never leave your car running with the keys inside of the ignition. Engaging in either of these acts can cost you your car. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to take off with your car.Keep Items In Your Car Hidden From SightAvoid leaving items like your purse, packages, or envelopes in plain view. Once inside your car, a thief has immediate access not only to your vehicle, but anything else of value such as credit cards, cell phones or important documents. Consider tinting your windows to keep thieves from seeing what’s inside. Anyone looking to steal items from inside of a parked car in a parking lot would have to get very close against the window to be able to see what’s inside. That would look very suspicious.Choose A Car With Low Auto Insurance RatesIf you plan to purchase a new car and are interested in getting the best rates, consider doing some research to find out which cars are most likely to be targeted by thieves. When you are ready to buy your car, avoid the cars on your list. Remember, auto insurance companies consider many different factors when calculating your rate. It’s important to shop around to make sure you get the best automotive deals available.