What is anti theft device and its impact on car insurance premium

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07 Aug 2023

Buying a car can be a big investment and an even bigger responsibility.

When you spend so much money on the car, it becomes crucial to protect it from thieves and burglaries. Numerous car thefts happen every day, and it becomes essential to secure your vehicle with the help of technology. One of the best and safest ways to ensure the safety of your vehicle is to install an anti-theft device in the car.

What is an anti-theft device in the car?

An anti-theft device in the car is a type of gadget that uses automatic or manual techniques to help you keep it secure from theft. It can use various technologies to achieve the desired purpose. Different anti-theft devices are available in the market, from locks to alarms and more. These devices limit the possibility of your car getting stolen by enhancing the security system of the vehicle.

Most car manufacturers today furnish new cars with a host of safety devices. However, you can always choose to be more careful and raise the level of security by opting for additional safety devices for your car. It is important to notify your car insurance company about the installation of these devices so that they can make necessary changes in your policy coverage and the amount of premium.

Different types of anti-theft devices available in India

Check out the various types of anti-theft devices popular in India, approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

• Car Alarm:

Car alarms are sound-based anti-theft devices (ATD). If anyone attempts to tamper with the car by any means, the system will alert people nearby the car by sounding an alarm. Alarm-based anti-theft devices are usually easily affordable.

• GPS Tracking:

Global Positioning System (GPS) device works on the technology that tells you the real-time location of the vehicle when the system is active. Along with the utility to navigate, it can also come in handy to track the stolen vehicle.

• Mechanical Immobilizers:

Mechanical immobilizers are a type of mechanical device that stops the car from moving. Tyre Lock, Gear Lock and Steering Lock are some of the notable examples of mechanical Immobilizers.

• Kill Switch:

A kill switch is a type of ATD that contains a switch you can install in any hidden location in the car. When you turn on the switch, it switches off a part of the car's engine, making the car immobile till the switch is on.

Things to consider while choosing & installing an anti-theft device in the car

  • Budget:

Anti-theft devices come in numerous options in various price ranges. While a basic alarm system is budget-friendly, high-tech devices like GPS tracking may be heavy on the pocket. It's vital to consider the options that fit comfortably within your budget.

  • Location:

The location of your residence and workplace play a vital role in picking the best anti-theft devices for your car. If car thefts are common in your area (whether workplace or home), a more advanced anti-theft device is what you need.

  • Insurance Requirements:

​To ensure that your anti-theft device in the car qualifies for insurance discounts, it's necessary to get it approved by the ARAI. Also, double-check that the device you are considering has this certification before you finally purchase it.

  • Swift Installation:

Always opt for anti-theft devices that are easy to install and use. Avoid complex devices that could lead to improper usage and security breaches.

What is the impact of anti-theft devices on the car insurance premium?

Several factors affect the coverage and premium of car insurance, including the installation of anti-theft devices in the car. Will the anti-theft devices raise your insurance premium or decrease it? How does car theft affect insurance premiums? Let's find out the answers to these questions.

The amount of car insurance premium you have to pay changes significantly after installing an anti-theft device. The insurer does not have to pay any compensation when no claims are raised by the policyholder in a policy year. Hence, it is in the interest of the insurance company to make sure the car of the policyholder is equipped with an anti-theft device, as it ensures the safety of the vehicle, which is just as significant for the insurer as it is for the car owner/policyholder. Therefore, insurers encourage car owners to invest in and install an anti-theft device in the car. To urge car owners to install anti-theft devices, insurance companies offer discounts on the amount of car insurance premiums.

If you install an ARAI-certified ATD in your car, you can get a discount of up to 2.5% on the premium from your motor insurance company, such as Kotak General Insurance, while buying/renewing car insurance online/offline.

Thus, anti-theft devices for car insurance offer dual advantages. Along with preventing car theft, they also help reduce your insurance premium. It is advisable to get a technology-enabled system to detect any tampering with your vehicle effectively.

FAQs

Q1: Is it mandatory to install an anti-theft device in my car? 

No, installing an anti-theft device is not mandatory but is highly recommended. It not only protects your car but also helps you get a discount on your car insurance premium.

Q2. Do new car models come with built-in anti-theft devices? 

Some new car models may come equipped with built-in anti-theft devices. Discuss this with the car dealer before purchasing your vehicle.

Q3: Can I transfer my anti-theft device to a new vehicle if I decide to change my car?

Yes, in most cases, you can transfer your anti-theft device to a new vehicle. However, it's important to follow proper procedures for removal and reinstallation. This helps you to ensure effectiveness and maintain eligibility for insurance discounts.

Q4: Will an anti-theft device guarantee that my car will never be stolen?

While anti-theft devices significantly reduce the risk of theft, they do not provide a guarantee. They increase the probability of theft prevention. However, it’s important to remain attentive and take other measures as well for enhanced car safety.

Q5: What are some practical tips for enhancing the security of my vehicle, in addition to using anti-theft devices?

In addition to installing anti-theft devices in the car, you can take important measures such as parking your vehicle in well-lit areas, using a steering wheel lock, and covering your vehicle when it is not in use.

Q6: What if my car gets stolen despite having an anti-theft device?

If your car is stolen despite having an anti-theft device, you can report the theft to the police and inform your insurance company immediately. Having an anti-theft device may help streamline the claims process with your insurance provider.

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Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.