When it comes to auto insurance, there’s more than one way to lower your rates. One of the popular ways is the Anti-Theft discount – the less “at risk” you are to an insurer, the better. When you secure your vehicles alarm system, your insurance company will give you a discount, however, there are different types of Anti-Theft discounts. You should never install an alarm strictly because you think you’ll save on insurance, you should install one because it will protect your car. Here are the different types of alarm discounts that are available:
Passive alarms turns on automatically. When you take the key out of the ignition and close all of the doors, the alarm turns itself on – the driver has to do nothing to arm it. The passive alarm is much more convenient, and it best serves the driver wanting overall protection. Forgot to turn the alarm on? No problem, it’s already taken care of.
Is there a down side to this type of alarm? Kind of. It can get annoying when you’re running back to your car to grab something from the back seat and you end up setting off your alarm for the whole parking lot to hear. With the Passive Alarm, you are always armed. Less risk = lower rates.
An active alarm has to be activated by the driver – hence the name “active”. The car has to be parked with all doors closed, then the driver must turn the alarm on, usually done by clicking a button on the car remote. The driver is in complete control of the alarm, so accidental alarm set offs are not an issue.
You can run back to the car as many times as you want without having to embarrass yourself in-front of everyone at the grocery store. However, there is less protection with this alarm as compared to the Passive Alarm system.
Sound Only Alarm:
After choosing between Passive and Active alarms, you then have to choose between sound or engine dialing one. Sound alarms are pretty straight forward: they make a lot of loud noise to alert anyone around that a thief is trying to take your car. Sound only alarm discounts can be small, as only noise deters the theft of the vehicle.
Engine Disabling Alarm:
If you want the biggest auto insurance discount – arm your vehicle with the passive engine disabling alarm system. The passive part means that the alarm activates itself and the engine-disabling feature means that the alarm is programmed into the car’s computer system so that it will disable the ignition or the engine when the alarm is sounding. The thing about this alarm is if a thief sets off this alarm, they won’t be able to drive away. Greater protection of theft = greater discounts.
Tracking or Recovery System:
While a tracking system isn’t an alarm, it is another resource to prevent full theft by finding their vehicle after it has been stolen. LoJack and OnStar vehicle recovery systems have to be installed and activated, but the owner also has to pay for a subscription for ongoing tracking. The subscription is paid annually. All you have to do is show your auto insurance provider your subscription is active.
Every insurance provider rewards their customers differently. Car theft costs insurers a lot of money each year – so giving discounts to their customers who have anti-theft alarms makes sense.
However, Anti-Theft discounts are some of the few discounts that are only applied to premiums for specific coverage options. The discount will come off of the vehicle’s comprehensive premium. Comprehensive pays for vandalism and also vehicle theft claims. Don’t go and install the device just to save if you’re not carrying full coverage. No other premiums will be affected by your anti-theft device.
If you want specific savings, contact your insurance company to get your anti-theft quote. It’s not a bad idea to check other insurers to see what discounts you can get with the same coverage.
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