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Anti-Theft Device Discounts for Car Insurance - Insurify

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Mallory Profeta

By: Mallory Profeta

Edited by Jackie Cohen

Last Updated June 15, 2022

Why you can trust Insurify

Insurify partners with top insurance companies and is a licensed agent in all 50 states. However, the insurance experts writing our content operate independently of our partners. Check out reviews from over 3,000 satisfied customers, how we make money, our data methodology, and our editorial standards.

Stealing cars might be more complicated than it used to be, thanks to improved vehicle technology, but thieves are innovative, and vehicle theft still happens. According to the Insurance Information Institute, car thefts actually increased in 2020 to the highest rate since 2009.

Anti-theft systems and devices not only help protect your vehicle from being stolen, but they can also lower your car insurance rate. Ask your current insurance provider if they offer an anti-theft discount, or if you’re shopping for a new policy, use Insurify’s price-comparison tool to get free quotes from multiple companies at once.

Quick Facts

  • Anti-theft devices and systems could help you save money on your car insurance premiums for comprehensive coverage.
  • Discounts for anti-theft devices range between 3 and 25 percent.
  • Not all companies offer these discounts.

What’s an anti-theft device discount?

How do I get an anti-theft device discount on car insurance?

Most insurance companies offer policyholders an anti-theft discount if their vehicles have security alarms or other technology installed that reduces the risk of theft.

Many companies offer car insurance discounts for things that make it less likely they’ll have to pay you a big claim. Since auto theft is a loss that’s covered by most car insurance companies (under comprehensive coverage), it’s in their best interest to decrease the chance they’ll have to pay for your stolen car.

That’s why most big insurers provide discounts that incentivize vehicle owners to install anti-theft devices and/or buy vehicles that are equipped with protections. For example, if you have a built-in car alarm or add a steering wheel lock, you might be able to get a break on your insurance premium.

Depending on the auto insurance company, anti-theft discounts can range from 5 to 25 percent on the comprehensive coverage portion (which covers non-collision damage) of your insurance policy.

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Insurance Companies That Offer Anti-theft Discounts

Most of the bigger national companies offer a discount on your comprehensive insurance if you have one or more anti-theft devices. These companies include but are not limited to:

See More: Best Car Insurance Companies

Types of Anti-theft Devices

There are two main types of anti-theft devices: active (which you must manually activate) and passive (which automatically monitor your car). Discounts may vary by which (and how many) device(s) you’re using. The downside of active devices is that you have to remember to turn them on, so it’s recommended that you add a layer of passive protection as well.

Active Anti-theft Devices

  • Car alarm systems that must be manually turned on
  • Steering wheel locks, which also serve as a visual warning to potential car thieves
  • Brake locks (small, metal devices that attach to the pedal so it can’t operate)
  • Immobilizing devices, like kill switches (which cut off electricity in your car or disable its fuel pump), wireless authentication, or a fuse disabler. Note that some car thieves are capable of bypassing these systems, especially in more expensive vehicles, with radio frequency amplification.
  • Remote locks that allow you to lock your car from your smartphone
  • Remote disabling devices, which can disable a car’s brakes from afar. These are very expensive, though, and usually only used on commercial vehicles.
  • VIN etching, which means engraving the federal vehicle identification number (VIN) directly and visibly onto the windows and windshield. This serves as a visual deterrent to would-be thieves and makes a stolen car harder to sell, either as a whole or in part. Most auto shops can do VIN etching, and you can also order DIY kits online.
  • Remove a fuse for either the starter or the fuel pump from the fuse box under the hood of your vehicle; note that while this will prevent theft, it likely won’t lower your insurance premium.

Passive Anti-theft Devices

  • Automatic disabling features, such as a car that won’t operate unless its corresponding key fob is within range
  • Vehicle tracking systems, like OnStar, that use GPS trackers to locate your car; these are usually subscription-based systems.
  • Vehicle recovery systems, like LoJack, which are small transmitters that you keep in your car and will send a radio signal to police if stolen; LoJack claims a 90 percent recovery rate, but if your car is in a remote location, the radio signal might not work.

It’s recommended that you layer multiple anti-theft protections by using at least one active and one passive anti-theft device.

See More: Car Insurance Quotes

How frequent is car theft?

First, a leading cause of car theft is leaving your key fob inside. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in the years from 2016 to 2018, 209 vehicles were stolen every day simply because the owner forgot to take their key with them.

While auto theft has generally been on the decline for the last 25 years, the III reported a huge spike in 2020: 810,000 vehicles were stolen, an 11.8 percent increase from the year before and the highest per capita rate since 2009. California saw more auto thefts than any state in the country, and Bakersfield, California, saw the most of any city in the country.

And sometimes, thieves take only a part of the vehicle. Thefts of a certain car part—catalytic converters—quadrupled in 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Catalytic converters not only are important for helping reduce a vehicle’s harmful emissions, but they cost thousands of dollars to replace.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

Protect Your Vehicle and Save Money with Anti-Theft Devices

Neither you nor your insurance company wants to deal with your car being stolen. You can help save everyone the hassle by making sure your doors are locked, taking your fob, and using at least one anti-theft device. Such a device might also lower the cost of your car’s comprehensive insurance, which is the part of your policy that covers damage from things other than wrecks.

An insurance agent from your current company will be able to tell you if they offer anti-theft discounts. If you’re shopping for a new plan and want to make sure you get the best deal, compare prices and policies using Insurify’s personalized quote-comparison tool. We also have real-live agents who can provide free, objective assistance at 1 (866) 405-5518.

See More: Best and Worst Sites to Compare Car Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

  • There’s no single best anti-theft device since most devices are vulnerable to some sort of override or work-around if a thief is determined or skilled enough. The best way to protect your car is to use multiple anti-theft systems and common sense, like making sure your doors are locked, keeping valuables out of sight, and parking in safe, well-lit, visible areas.

  • Ask your insurer about all auto insurance discounts you might be eligible for, and consider bundling your car insurance with your renters or homeowners coverage. Make sure you don’t have gaps in your auto insurance coverage, and keep your credit and driving history in good shape—bad marks in these areas will cost you. And always shop around by getting car insurance quotes from multiple companies.

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  • The car insurance quotes displayed are based on an analysis of Insurify’s database of over 40 million quotes from 500 ZIP codes nationwide. To obtain representative rates, Insurify’s data science team performs frequent comprehensive analyses of the factors car insurance providers weigh to calculate rates including driver demographics, driving record, credit score, desired coverage level, and more.

    Insurify’s analysis also incorporates the Insurify Composite Score (ICS) assigned to each insurance provider. The ICS is a proprietary rating that weighs multiple factors reflecting the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Ratings used to calculate the ICS include Financial Strength Ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys and customer complaints; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews. 

    With the above insights and ranking methods, Insurify is able to offer car insurance shoppers insight into how various insurance providers compare to one another in terms of both cost and quality. Note, actual quotes will vary based on unique attributes including the policyholder’s driver history and their garaging address.

Mallory Profeta
Mallory Profeta

Insurance Writer

Mal Profeta is a writer, editor, educator, and public health advocate. They serve as the communications director of an NIH-funded clinical and translational science research center that focuses on addressing health disparities in Appalachia. A former Fulbright recipient, they hold a bachelor's degree from Transylvania University and a master's from New York University.

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