Can You Get an Auto Insurance Discount for VIN Etching?

Yes, you can get an auto insurance discount for VIN etching. VIN etching is when drivers permanently etch their vehicles VIN number into the windshield or other window glass in order to deter thieves. Once you etch your VIN onto your vehicle, you submit proof to your insurance company to receive a discount. You can save 5 to 15 percent on your coverage with a car insurance discount for VIN etching.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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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. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2021

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Yes, you can get an auto insurance discount for VIN etching. VIN etching is when drivers permanently etch their vehicles VIN number into the windshield or other window glass to deter thieves.

Once you etch your VIN onto your vehicle, you submit proof to your auto insurance company to receive a discount. You can save 5 to 15 percent on your coverage with a car insurance discount for VIN etching.

Some car owners permanently etch their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) onto their vehicles. But can VIN etching really give you a discount on car insurance? Keep reading to find out.

Do some insurers offer discounts for VIN etching?

It’s true: some of the biggest insurance companies in the US offer auto insurance discounts for etching your VIN permanently onto your windshield and other glass components of your vehicle.

Other than a car alarm system, etching your car’s vehicle identification number is a visual deterrent against auto theft. A car thief has trouble selling VIN etched vehicles to a chop shop. Instead of just swapping out the VIN plate, a thief will have to replace all of the glass in your vehicle. In many cases, thieves will move onto a different vehicle.

Comprehensive car insurance policies cover vehicle theft and vandalism. If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy and your car gets stolen, then you can make a claim to cover the full replacement cost of the vehicle (its actual cash value at the time of theft). Based on the terms of your comprehensive insurance policy, your insurer has to cover the actual cash value of the car out of pocket.

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What is VIN etching?

VIN etching is the permanent stenciling of your vehicle’s 17-digit identification number onto the windshield and all window glass, including your rear window, sunroof, door glass, and other surfaces.

The engraving can be done using lasers, chemicals, or mechanical techniques. It can take as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

The VIN is deliberately etched onto a discreet corner of your window so it does not impede your view in any way.

Where can I get a VIN etching?

Some car dealerships offer VIN etching at the time of purchase. You can also order VIN etching from a local mechanic or body shop (often at a cheaper rate).

If you are ordering a car custom-made right from the factory, then you may order VIN etching.

You can even buy DIY etching kits online or through brick-and-mortar retailers, allowing you to safely etch the 17 digit VIN at home.

AAA also offers vehicle etching at an affordable price, charging around $30 for members and $40 for non-members.

In certain cities – say, cities with high rates of vehicle theft – police organizations may organize free VIN etching events to make the community safer. Check with your city, state, or regional police force to see if there’s a VIN etching event near you.

What types of vehicles are eligible for VIN etching?

Any type of vehicle is eligible for VIN etching – regardless of whether it’s a new or old vehicle, a high-end SUV or a 20-year old beater.

Do you need to replace your windshield? Were you recently in an accident where all your glass needs to be replaced? You may want to order VIN etching. It’s ideal to get VIN etching when getting new windows and glass.

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Why do insurers offer discounts for VIN etching?

Insurance companies like to reward customers who take steps to protect a vehicle and its occupants. That’s why insurance companies charge lower rates to vehicles with higher safety ratings, for example.

Insurance companies also offer steep discounts for passive and active anti-theft devices – including VIN etching, GPS tracking, car alarms, or security monitoring systems.

VIN etching is an effective, passive anti-theft device. Car thieves would rather steal a car with a standard VIN than an etched VIN.

Even if your vehicle is stolen, it will be easier for police to identify. Police will see your VIN etched on multiple surfaces of the vehicle, for example. Instead of just swapping out a plate and having your vehicle disappear forever, thieves will have to work harder to sell your car to a buyer.

Once you have etched your VIN onto your vehicle, you should be able to submit proof to your insurance company to receive a discount. Some VIN etching services will provide you with an official document proving you have etched your VIN.

How much can you save on auto insurance with VIN etching?

VIN etching significantly reduces the chances of theft, making it less likely for your insurance company to have to cover the total loss – or the cost of a break-in.

For this reason, many insurance companies offer a substantial discount on your comprehensive coverage.

You can expect to save anywhere from 5% to 15% with VIN etching. Discounts vary between insurance companies. Compare quotes online today to ensure you get the best deal on car insurance.

What is our final word?

The value of a stolen car with VIN etching is significantly lower than a stolen car with a standard VIN plate. For that reason, VIN etching is an effective anti-theft system.

Consider ordering VIN etching from a car dealership, mechanic, AAA, or other services to deter thieves from stealing your vehicle – and get a steep discount on car insurance.

Make sure you compare rates in order to get the best rates and potentially save hundreds of dollars. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to get multiple quotes from auto insurance companies.

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