The FBI recently released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, which revealed that violent crime and property crime were down in 2010.
What does this have to do with insurance?
Well, the more crime that takes place; the higher the insurance premiums we pay to protect our property (homeowner’s insurance). The higher the crime rates, the more money insurers will pay to replace or repair property, the cost of which is passed on to us as insured.
Furthermore, insurance companies also incur expenses for investigating these crimes, whether they are able to convict a party or not. That said; higher crime rates can contribute to higher insurance premiums.
Per the press release, property crime was down 2.8 percent nationwide for the first six months of 2010 compared with data for the same months in 2009.
Motor vehicle theft dropped 9.7 percent, larceny-theft fell 2.3 percent and burglary decreased 1.4 percent.
Property crime declined in all four regions of the United States, with the highest decline in the South (3.6 percent), followed by the West (3.1 percent), the Midwest (2.5 percent) and the Northeast with the lowest percentage drop (0.2 percent).
It appears as though larger cities, those with populations of 500,000 to 999,000, experienced the largest overall decrease (4.8 percent), whereas nonmetropolitan counties actually experienced an increase of 1.0 percent. Metropolitan counties, on the other hand, saw a 2.4 percent decrease overall.
The FBI noted that arson offenses, which are tracked separately from other property crimes, decreased by 14.6 percent nationwide and by population group, the largest decline in the number of arson offenses (17.2 percent) was in cities with 50,000 to 99,999 residents.
Arson also fell in metropolitan counties by 21.6 percent and in nonmetropolitan counties by 19.4 percent. Law enforcement agencies in all four regions reported fewer arsons, including declines of 17.6 percent in the West, 14.3 percent in the South, 12.6 percent in the Midwest, and 10.2 percent in the Northeast.
Another study, performed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, showed that while overall auto accidents were down (due to the economy), the number of staged accident auto insurance claims was on the rise.