Can Having Anti-Theft Devices Lower Insurance Rates?

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She works as an associate editor and writer for for over a year and enjoys creating content that offers expert advice on car insurance topics.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs...

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Reviewed byLeslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Most new vehicles have some type of anti-theft device. An anti-theft device reduces the risk of your car being stolen – but can they also lead to lower insurance rates?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about anti-theft devices and insurance premiums, including how anti-theft device discounts work and how much you can save.

Can Having Anti-Theft Devices Lower Insurance Rates?

Many Car Insurance Companies Give Discounts for Anti-Theft Devices

Anti-theft devices are a proven way to reduce the risk of vehicle theft. That’s why insurance companies are happy to offer discounts for vehicles with anti-theft equipment.

GEICO, for example, offers customers a discount of up to 25% for anti-theft equipment.

Other insurance companies offer discounts of 3% to 15% for anti-theft equipment, depending on the type of equipment being used and how effective that equipment is at deterring theft.

Some states actually require insurance companies to award discounts for anti-theft devices.

This discount only applies to the part of your car insurance that covers vehicle theft, which is your comprehensive coverage.

If you only have liability coverage (the bare minimum required in your state), then your car insurance may not cover theft or vandalism at all. In this case, having an anti-theft device is unlikely to significantly reduce insurance premiums.

Comprehensive coverage is an optional type of car insurance coverage that covers vandalism, theft, storm damage, and other non-accident-related damage to your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage is not required in any state.

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Types of Anti Theft Devices

Technically, the locks on your car’s doors are anti-theft devices. They make it harder to steal your vehicle.

Today, however, vehicles are equipped with a wide range of anti-theft devices. Some cars have systems like LoJack or OnStar, for example, which can remotely shut down the vehicle in the event of theft.

Other anti-theft devices are GPS trackers that let you monitor your vehicle’s location after it’s stolen.

Some anti-theft devices are found in your vehicle’s keys. Your key fob might have a transponder chip that prevents the car from starting unless the chip is within range.

Most anti-theft devices, however, consist of straightforward systems like car alarms. You can have active or passive car alarm systems, for example. Your car alarm might make a loud noise when someone reaches through the windshield. Or, your car alarm might silently alert emergency personnel in the event of theft.

Some drivers will also etch their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into their windshield as a unique anti-theft measure. Etching the number doesn’t make it harder for thieves to steal your vehicle; however, it does make it harder to sell that stolen vehicle in the future, and the average car thief will move onto a vehicle with a standard VIN.

Once you have identified your car’s anti-theft equipment, you can compare insurance quotes to find the best equipment for your needs.

How Much of a Discount Can I Receive on Car Insurance?

Car insurance discounts for anti-theft equipment can vary widely between companies. Some companies offer steep discounts for OnStar, for example, but limited discounts for car alarms.

It’s also important to remember that this discount only applies to your comprehensive coverage – it doesn’t apply to your liability coverage or collision coverage.

Some drivers report receiving discounts as low as 1% to 3% for having anti-theft devices.

Other drivers report saving up to 15% to 25% with anti-theft devices. Discounts of this magnitude are more common with advanced anti-theft devices – like OnStar systems or other remote shutdown systems.

As anti-theft devices become more common, the chances of receiving a steep discount drop. Anti-theft devices – even advanced devices – are found on more new vehicles today than ever before.

Of course, the more anti-theft devices you have, the less likely your car will be stolen. Some companies will stack anti-theft discounts. You might receive a 3% discount for a car alarm, for example, and a 10% discount for OnStar, giving you total savings of 13%.

Compare car insurance quotes today to ensure you’re getting the best deal on car insurance. While some companies provide steep discounts, others offer no discounts whatsoever. By comparing quotes today, you can ensure you’re getting the best possible deal on car insurance.

Final Word

Anti-theft devices are ubiquitous on modern vehicles. Some insurance companies provide discounts of 15% to 25% for anti-theft devices. However, a basic anti-theft device – like a car alarm – may save you just 1% to 3% per year on car insurance premiums.

Compare car insurance quotes today to ensure you’re getting the best deal on car insurance for your vehicle with anti-theft devices.

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