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Why You Should Use An Anti-Theft Device for Car Insurance Discounts

In 2020, it was reported that $7.4 billion was lost to car theft, and the numbers have continued rising since then. Keeping your car safe from theft and vandalism with an anti-theft device can also lower your insurance premiums. An auto anti-theft device can vary from a GPS tracker to a hidden kill switch. Many insurers offer car insurance discounts ranging from 15 to 20% to policyholders who have installed an anti-theft device in their cars. In addition to carrying comprehensive coverage, installing an anti-theft device in your car is a good way to prevent theft and save money on car insurance premiums.

Can an Anti-theft Device Impact My Car Insurance Rates?

Statistics indicate that 810,400 vehicles were stolen in 2020, costing insurance companies a considerable amount. Installing an anti-theft device can reduce your car insurance rates, depending on your state, location and insurer.

Most insurers offer anti-theft device discounts, so tell your agent if you buy one. You may need to provide proof of device installation before being rewarded with a discounted rate. You may save anywhere between 5% and 20% with most insurers.

Does Insurance Cover Auto Theft?

Only comprehensive insurance covers car theft.

An anti-theft device may save you anywhere between 5% and 20% with most insurers.

If your car is stolen, comprehensive coverage will reimburse you for the value of your car, minus your deductible. Comprehensive insurance covers non-collision events, including vandalism, theft, damaged locks, fire and more. Liability and collision coverage will not cover car theft.

Insurance

What it covers

Comprehensive

  • Stolen car
  • Stolen fob or keys
  • Vandalism
  • Car damage during theft
  • Stolen catalytic converter

Liability

  • Bodily injury of the other driver and passengers
  • Property damage

Collision

Car repairs after an accident

Renters or homeowners insurance

Personal items inside the car

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What Are the Best Car Anti-theft Devices?

The following are some of the best car anti-theft devices on the market:

Car Alarm

The original anti-theft system, car alarms can detract thieves as soon as they touch your car. Most alarm systems blare, which attracts attention. These audio alarm systems can start as low as $200, which includes installation.

Hidden Kill Switch

Just as the name implies, a hidden kill switch can stop your stolen vehicle from being driven by cutting the electricity flow at the ignition switch. On average, a hidden kill switch costs $10, but it will need to be professionally installed by a mechanic.

Brake Lock

Brake locks are attached to your car’s steering wheel or brake pedal and immobilize your car, so thieves are unable to move your car. Generally, brake locks cost $50.

GPS Trackers

A GPS car tracker is the best way to keep track of your car’s location and get your car back if it is stolen. Trackers will send your phone email alerts or text messages as your car moves. Some GPS trackers can even immobilize your car if it’s stolen. Trackers can range from $40 to over $100.

If your car is stolen, comprehensive coverage will reimburse you for the value of your car, minus your deductible.

Steering Wheel Lock

Steering wheel locks are a tried and true anti-theft device that makes it difficult for thieves to steal your vehicle. Steering wheel locks start at $20.

Car Wheel Clamp

You can put a wheel clamp on your car’s tires to prevent thieves from stealing your tires or your car. On average, car wheel clamps can cost between $30 and $70.

Vehicle Recovery Systems

When cars are reported stolen, law enforcement will send radio signals to the stolen vehicle using radio frequency technology to locate it. The radio signals will activate the vehicle recovery system and let the police know where your car is located. They are more expensive than GPS trackers, a basic vehicle recovery system can go for $695.

Subscription Services

Drivers who subscribe to subscription services like OnStar can prevent their cars from starting once they report theft. Many of these subscription services start with a monthly fee of $25.

Smart Keys

You can use smart keys to lock your car using a radio pulse generator that talks with the antennas inside the car. Thieves won’t be able to crack the code, which secures your car. If you don’t have an original smart key already, any car technician can install it for you.

Remote Lock

Remote locks can keep your car safe against theft by allowing you to connect with your car remotely using a smartphone. For example, if you forget to lock your car, you can just lock it from your phone from anywhere. Some cars come with remote locks, but you can also purchase one for your car. They typically start at $200.

How Can You Get an Anti-theft Device Discount on Car Insurance?

Insurers in the following 12 states are required to offer a 15 to 20% discount on comprehensive coverage if you have an anti-theft device:

  • Florida
  • Kentucky
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  •  Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Washington
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Which Car Insurance Companies Offer Anti-theft Discounts?

  • Allstate offers a discount if your car has alarms and other anti-theft devices.
  • Farmers offers a discount if your car has alarms and other anti-theft devices.
  • Liberty Mutual offers savings on car insurance for owning a vehicle with safety features such as standard anti-theft devices.
  • Nationwide offers anti-theft discounts for devices you installed in your car or factory-installed deterrents in some states.
  • Safeco offers a discount if your car has alarms and other anti-theft devices.
  • State Farm offers a discount if your car has alarms and other anti-theft devices.
  • Travelers offers a discount if your car has alarms and other anti-theft devices.
  • USAA offers a discount if your car has alarms and other anti-theft devices.

Insurers in 12 states are required to give a 15 to 20% discount on comprehensive coverage if you have an anti-theft device. 

FAQs

How can I tell if my car has an anti-theft device?

If you look on your dashboard you will likely see a dash light that lets you know that the anti-theft system is activated (when the light is on and flashing).

Do all cars have anti-theft devices?

Not all cars have anti-theft devices, you can check your car’s owner’s manual to see if your car is equipped with an alarm or other anti-theft devices.

How frequent is car theft?

Cars are stolen at a rate of 246 per 100,000 people.

Key Takeaways

  • Comprehensive car insurance covers theft and vandalism.
  • Comprehensive insurance will not cover belongings inside your car. You will need renters or homeowners insurance to reimburse you after paying the deductible.
  • Most major insurers offer anti-theft car discounts, so let yours know if you install a GPS tracker or other device.

Shop Around for Best Car Insurance Premiums

It’s never a bad idea to reevaluate your insurance policy to ensure you have the best deal, especially if you recently installed an anti-theft device. See which carriers will give you the cheapest premium by comparing quotes with SmartFinancial. Just enter your zip code below and answer a few questions to get the best deal from local insurance agents.

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