Crime is ever-changing and so are the criminals perpetrating them. The latest trend: tailgate thefts. A recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) highlighted the rising wave of stolen tailgates, which investigators say can be nabbed by a thief in under a half-minute.

So are you out of luck when you find your tailgate gone? Not if you have comprehensive coverage.

For a solid answer, we went to the source, where NICB spokesman Frank Scafidi told us: "Yes, typically thefts from vehicles are covered under comprehensive."

Comprehensive is an optional add-on part of your policy covering a range of incidents including a stolen car, a vandalized car, and a car damaged by weather events like hail-in that range is also the theft of your tailgate.

Comprehensive coverage is one of auto insurance's sweeter deals; considering the range of incidents a comprehensive-equipped policy can deal with, the purchase is one of the most valuable additions you can make to your car coverage policy.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 76 percent of drivers take the option of getting comprehensive coverage in addition to their required liability insurance.

Owners of certain pickups and car models may want to grab auto insurance quotes for comprehensive coverage and strongly consider it. The NICB report highlighted the 2008 Ford F250 and 2010 Ford F150 as popular targets for tailgate thieves.

Texans with tailgates also might want to consider purchasing comprehensive coverage. The NICB report found that Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas were the three cities in the entire U.S. where the most tailgates are swiped.

Without comprehensive coverage securing you against losing money from a stolen tailgate, you could end up spending $1,200 out of your own pocket for a replacement. According to the NICB, a tailgate installed with a backup camera can cost $3,600 to replace.

So if you want to have your tailgate protected, strongly consider adding comprehensive coverage to your policy, or you could be risking those BBQs at the stadium, trips to Home Depot, and Lassie's rides in the cargo bed.

Some prevention tips from the NICB:

  • Park your tailgate closely against a wall so it can't be opened.
  • Use tailgate locks. They're not guaranteed to stop thieves but can make a snatch job more difficult.
  • Etch the vehicle identification number (VIN) into the tailgate. It will thwart thieves looking for an easy target to resell online or to a scrap yard and help recovery of the tailgate if it is stolen.