What would be the most valuable asset your business could lose to theft? While cash is mostly electronic and handled by robust online security systems, and property theft is mostly an accumulated loss of smaller valuables, car theft is perhaps one of the single most expensive losses a business can sustain.

Even after vehicles have been taken, the financial loss a company can face by not being able to operate as normal can be a major concern for business owners.

Clearly, it is best practice to prevent theft, by making it as difficult as possible for your assets to be stolen. However, understanding the risks and protecting your business against them are just as important.

Depending on where you live in Australia, the risks might be greater, so it is important to discuss a mitigation plan with your business insurance broker.

The latest findings from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (NMVTPC), for instance, show that car theft in Western Australia is double what it is in some neighbouring states.

Almost 4 in every 1,000 registered vehicles were stolen in the latest 2014 annual report, making it an area of higher risk.

Both South Australia and Tasmania, for instance, had almost half that rate, and the state’s closest competitors were still better by some distance. New South Wales averaged 3.2 stolen cars per 1,000 registrations, while Queensland had 2.9 and Victoria 2.6.

The good news is that car theft is at its lowest since the 1970s, falling to an annual total of 53,450 in the latest report.

Passenger and light commercial vehicles made up the majority of thefts across Australia this year, with almost 43,000 of these types of vehicle stolen in 2014 – though tumbling 7 per cent from the 2012/2013 figures. However, the value of these to the owner was calculated to be $683 million, showing that loss should not be underestimated.

From business interruption cover to property insurance, discuss your risks and cover options with your insurance broker.