Cars are both valuable and a favorite target of criminals. At some point, thieves may break in or even steal the entire vehicle. Your car is even more at risk if it doesn’t have some sort of security system. But these anti-theft devices do more than protect your vehicle. You can also get an anti-theft device insurance discount.
That’s because insurance companies reward customers who have theft-deterring devices. The savings could be significant. For example, GEICO offers up to 23% off your auto insurance for anti-theft devices.
These anti-theft systems and devices help to stop criminals from stealing your car or other valuables inside. This means you’re less likely to file a claim for a break-in. Insurers reward those who pose a lower risk with discounts and lower rates. Besides protecting your car, anti-theft equipment might be able to help you pay less for insurance.
This article will explore how vehicle security systems and equipment can get you an anti-theft insurance discount. We’ll start with how it works. Then, we’ll tell you about which systems, devices, and equipment qualify. Finally, you’ll learn about which insurance companies offer this discount and how much you can save.
Find the best car insurance deal
Get better coverage, lower rates, or both by comparing quotes with our fast, easy-to-use form.
How Anti-Theft Device Insurance Discounts Work
Most insurance companies offer discounts. 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 the vehicle you drive 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 same discounts. Also, some may not be available in certain states.
A major type of insurance discount is for car security features. Having an anti-theft system is one of these. Generally, you get this discount for having any kind of anti-theft device or system preventing criminals from breaking in. Equipment that helps law enforcement find and recover your vehicle after it was stolen can also qualify for this discount.
How to Qualify
There are a couple of ways to get this discount from your insurer. One way is to buy a car with anti-theft equipment already installed. Many newer car models come equipped with anti-theft tech. If you’re wondering whether you already have a qualifying device, you should ask your agent about the car model. They may have more info on security features. Otherwise, it’d be a good idea to research the car’s current model and its various security features.
The other way to qualify for the discount is to buy an aftermarket anti-theft system and install it. But you should know that there are only certain types of devices that insurance carriers will accept. To get the discount, you’ll need to install qualifying anti-theft devices.
What Are Anti-Theft Devices?
Vehicle anti-theft devices are security equipment that helps deter criminals from breaking into or stealing your car. These devices can be either standard equipment or aftermarket, but most modern vehicles come pre-loaded with at least a basic security system.
Car security equipment has two main categories, active and passive. Each type of device is effective yet has entirely different functionalities. It’s up to you to choose the security setup that makes you feel the most secure. You may even add more than one device to maximize your protection.
Passive vs. Active Anti-Theft Devices
When talking about car security systems, it’s important to understand the difference between active and passive anti-theft devices. Each type is effective when used as directed, and each has pros and cons. But first, we need to define them.
Passive anti-theft devices arm or activate themselves automatically when you turn your ignition 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. Passive anti-theft devices are preferred by insurance companies because they’re more foolproof than active devices. You can’t forget to arm an automated system.
Examples of Passive Devices
- PassLock system. A PassLock system cuts the 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 vehicle at all times via your phone. This helps you recover your car if someone steals it and know its location.
- Automatic locks. These lock your doors automatically when the key fob is far 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, 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 protection. Even so, many active anti-theft devices are effective crime deterrents and should help you qualify for the discount.
Examples of Active Devices
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 theft deterrent. 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 it’s sitting in a parking lot.
- Kill switch. A kill switch will cut the power to your engine 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. There are many more on the market that qualify for the discount. If you have any questions about types of security devices, be sure to contact your insurance provider. They should be able to help you discover which devices qualify for an insurance discount and which may not.
After you’ve installed an anti-theft security system, you’ll need to prove it to your insurance carrier. Your provider should have more info on how to do this. It may be different for each company, but you can often just send a photo through its mobile app. After that, you’ll get the discount.
Insurance Companies With the Discount
Many companies will offer you an anti-theft insurance discount. Each provider will vary in its savings and the devices it approves. Here’s a list of major auto insurance companies that offer this discount:
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
- Farmers Insurance
- NJM Insurance
- The Hanover
- COUNTRY Financial
These may not be the only insurance carriers that offer this discount. Local insurers may also provide one. 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 companies that offer this discount. This way you’ll be able to see the savings right away.
How Much Do Anti-Theft Devices Lower Your Insurance?
As usual, savings vary by company and the type of security equipment you install in your vehicle. But if your car has a passive anti-theft device, you can save as much as 30%, which is very compelling. Less sophisticated security equipment can still qualify, but your savings won’t be as dramatic. Even so, savings average 15-20%, which isn’t too shabby.
States That Require Anti-Theft Device Discounts
Several states understand the importance of vehicle anti-theft security systems and how they help insurance companies reduce costs. These states have passed laws requiring auto insurers to offer a discount on comprehensive coverage to customers whose cars have anti-theft devices. Below is a list of the twelve states with an anti-theft device insurance discount mandate:
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do new cars come with anti-theft devices?
A: Most new cars come with some sort of crime-deterring 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.
Older vehicles have fewer security and anti-theft systems than newer cars. The older the car, the less likely it is to have the kind of security system that can lock you down a discount. Keep in mind when shopping for a used car that you may need to install your own after-market devices if security is important to you.
Q: How do I know if my car has an anti-theft device?
A: Insurance companies accept a wide range of anti-theft equipment for this discount. Your car likely has them already, too. Audible alarms are a very common feature in most cars that most insurers should accept. Your vehicle might have other devices as well. Be sure to ask your agent or insurance provider about your specific car make and model.
You may also choose to add after-market equipment later. Just know that only certain devices that your insurer approves of qualify.
Q: What devices qualify for the anti-theft insurance discount?
A: Which devices qualify depends heavily on several factors. For starters, some insurance companies require OEM factory-installed anti-theft devices. Not all do, as some will accept after-market equipment. The best of these will track a stolen car with GPS or disable it. But steering wheel locks, brake locks, and car alarms qualify, too. There are too many to list here, so check with your agent if unsure.