Your car is a valuable object that might attract criminals and thieves. When you own a car, people might try to break in or even steal the entire vehicle. Your car may be even more at risk if it doesn’t have some sort of an anti-theft system in place. But these devices do more than protect your car. You can also get an anti-theft discount on your car insurance.
When you have an anti-theft device on your car, you may be able to get a discount from your insurance company. The savings could be a lot. For example, GEICO offers up to 23% off in savings if you have an anti-theft system.
These devices help to stop criminals from stealing your car or other valuables inside. This means you’re less likely to file a car insurance claim for theft. Insurers reward those who pose a lower risk with discounts and lower rates. Besides protecting your car, anti-theft devices might be able to help you pay less for insurance.
In this article, we’ll look at how an anti-theft device can get you a discount. This includes how the discounts work. We’ll also tell you about the different types of anti-theft devices and which ones will get you the discount. Finally, you’ll learn about which companies offer an anti-theft discount.
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How Anti-Theft Discounts Work
Most insurance companies offer discounts for car insurance. This can make buying coverage more affordable. Discounts will take off a percentage from your rates. In many cases, discounts are easy to acquire. They’re typically related to facts about you, such as owning a home, being a good student, or where you work. Other times, it might have to do with your car or the types of products you buy from your insurer.
You should be able to qualify for several different discounts for maximum savings. Though, not all companies will offer you the exact same savings. Some discounts may also not be available in certain states as well.
A major type of insurance discount is for car safety features. Having an anti-theft system is one of these types of discounts. Generally, you can get this discount for having any kind of anti-theft device preventing criminals from breaking in.
How to Get an Anti-Theft Discount
There are a couple of different ways that you can get an anti-theft discount. One way is to simply buy a car with an anti-theft device already in place. Many newer car models come already equipped with anti-theft tech. If you’re wondering whether you already have a device, you should ask your agent about the car model. They may have more info on anti-theft features. Otherwise, it’d be a good idea to research the car’s current model and its various safety features.
The other way to qualify for the discount is to buy your own device. But you should know that there are only certain types of devices that insurers will accept. To get the anti-theft discount, you’ll need to install a device that your provider considers to be a proper anti-theft device.
What Are Car Anti-Theft Devices?
There are many types of anti-theft devices out there for you to buy. But not all of them do the same thing for you. Anti-theft devices also come in two types, active and passive. Each one effective, yet very different. It’ll be up to you to choose the device you want. You may even decide to add more than one.
Passive vs. Active Anti-Theft Devices
When talking about anti-theft devices, it’s important to understand the difference between active and passive anti-theft systems. Each type of device is effective when used as directed, and each has pros and cons. But first we need to define them.
Passive Anti-Theft Devices
Passive anti-theft devices arm or activate themselves automatically when you turn your car off, remove the key fob, or shut a door. Insurance companies prefer passive device systems because they’re easy to use. As long as you don’t deliberately disable them, these devices run in the background, arming themselves when needed.
Examples of passive anti-theft devices include:
- PassLock system. A PassLock system cuts the flow of fuel to your engine when the wrong key is detected. This makes it very hard for a thief to steal your car.
- GPS tracker. With a GPS tracker, you can keep tabs on your car at all times via your phone. This can help you recover your car if someone steals it and generally know where it is.
- Automatic locks. These lock your doors automatically when the key fob is beyond a certain distance from the vehicle.
- Vehicle recovery system. You can install a system that sends a radio signal to the police if a thief steals your car. The radio signal usually discloses the car’s location, helping police get it back.
Active Anti-Theft Devices
Active anti-theft devices, on the other hand, require an action such as hitting a button or placing a locking mechanism on a steering wheel for them to work. If you forget to activate your device, you don’t have anti-theft protection. Even so, many active anti-theft devices are effective crime deterrents and should help you qualify for the anti-theft discount.
Examples of active anti-theft devices include:
- Car alarm. A loud, audible alarm is a good way to prevent theft. Most cars will already have this.
- Steering wheel lock. This is a common anti-theft device. It’s a physical lock you place on your steering wheel so that crooks can’t drive off with your car easily, even if they already broke into it.
- Security tire clamp. This is a device that fits around your wheel. It’ll help prevent thieves from stealing your vehicle while your car is sitting in a parking lot.
- Kill switch. A kill switch will cut the power to your car to prevent criminals from being able to start it. To get this device, you may need to hire an expert, such as a mechanic, to install it.
Note that these are some of the most common anti-theft devices. But they aren’t all of the possible devices you can buy and install. If you have any questions about types of security devices, be sure to contact your insurer. They should be able to help you find out which devices qualify for a discount, and which may not.
After you’ve installed an anti-theft device, you’ll need to prove that you have it in place. Your insurer should have more info on how to do this. It may be different for each company. But you can often just send them a photo through their mobile app.
Which Companies Offer an Anti-Theft Discount
Many companies will offer you an anti-theft discount. Each company will vary in their savings and the devices they approve. Here’s a list of major car insurance companies that you can expect to get an anti-theft discount from:
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
- Farmers Insurance
- NJM Insurance
- The Hanover
- COUNTRY Financial
These may not be the only insurers that offer this discount. Local insurers may also provide an anti-theft discount. It’d be worth asking your agent about it if your company isn’t on the list above. Another option is to compare quotes from insurance companies that offer this discount. This way you’ll be able to see the savings right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do new cars come with anti-theft devices?
A: Most new cars come with some sort of anti-theft tech. You should do some online research on your car and find out exactly what type of devices it has. Smart key fobs and alarms are devices that’ll likely come with buying a new car.
Q: How do I know if my car has an anti-theft device?
A: Insurance companies accept a wide range of anti-theft devices for the discount. Your car likely has them already, too. Audible alarms are a very common feature in most cars. This is an anti-theft device that most insurers should accept. Your car might have other devices as well. Be sure to ask your agent or insurer about your specific car make and model.
You can also choose to add your own anti-theft devices later. Just know that only devices that your insurer approves of will get you an anti-theft discount.
Q: What anti-theft devices qualify for this discount?
A: Which devices qualify depends heavily on several things. For starters, some insurance companies require OEM factory-installed ant-theft devices. Not all do, as some will accept after-market anti-theft equipment. The best of these will track a stolen car with GPS or disable it. But steering wheel locks, brake locks, and car alarms will often qualify as well. There are too many to detail here, so check with your agent if unsure.