Car theft is a serious problem in Canada that costs about $1 billion each year, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Furthermore, each year fatalities and injuries occur as a result of vehicle theft. Protecting your car from theft not only prevents the financial and emotional effects as well as potential tragedies from occurring, it can also make a difference on your car insurance premiums. Only certain types of anti-theft devices are eligible for discounts, so it’s important to understand them and how they work.
Types of Anti-Theft Devices
Anti-theft devices fall into two main categories: passive and active. A passive device is one that automatically protects your vehicle without any steps needed. An active device requires you to activate it every time; this includes things like locking your door, putting a steering wheel locking device in place, or arming a car alarm system.
Because a passive system does not require that you remember to set it, it is always ready to protect the vehicle and is a more effective method of protecting the vehicle. Auto immobilizers are a prime example of a passive anti-theft device; they work automatically.
Auto Immobilizers Meeting National Standards of Canada
Auto immobilizers are the most effective type of anti-theft device currently on the market. They are designed to prevent the car from being started unless the properly coded key is used. There are a variety of immobilizers on the market today, but not all of them meet the requirements set out by the National Standards of Canada.
Approved immobilizers disable the vehicle’s ignition system in three locations: the starter motor, the ignition switch and the fuel pump. The systems are activated only when the chip located inside the key or remote opener is close enough to the ignition to be recognized. Some immobilizers deactivate only one or two of these systems and others have a chip located inside the steering column; in the event that thieves have already managed to get past the first two systems.
An auto immobilizer is the most effective auto theft deterrent you can purchase; because they are so effective some insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for cars equipped with such systems. In order to qualify for the discount you will need to select an approved system and have it properly installed in your vehicle.
Proper Installation of Immobilizers
Many immobilizers come factory installed on new models today. If your car comes with a factory installed immobilizer that meets the National Standards requirements, you can apply for the discount from your insurance company right away.
If you have an aftermarket immobilizer installed, make certain to have a reputable company handle the installation so that you can be certain it is done properly. The immobilizer can only protect your car if it is installed correctly. Your insurance company may request a document from the installer confirming the type of system they have installed in your car in order to qualify for the discount. In some cases you may be required to have an approved installer place the system. Verify this information before you have the system installed.
Insurance Discounts for Anti-Theft Devices
With proof that you have installed an approved anti-theft device in your car, you may start saving on your insurance premiums right away – depending on the insurance company and the discounts that are offered. But there may be other savings as well; in the event that your car is stolen, some insurance companies may offer a reduced deductible on the claim if the anti-theft device was defeated by the thieves.
Some insurance companies may also offer discounts for anti-theft devices other than immobilizers, such as vehicle tracking systems, but an immobilizer remains the most effective method of protecting your car against theft and are the best bet for reducing your car insurance rates and theft prevention. Ask your insurance company what their policy is on anti-theft device discounts and be sure you are getting all of the discounts you deserve. Many drivers are not aware that they could be getting a discount for protecting their car.
Before buying and installing any anti-theft device, it’s important to consider the cost of the device in relation to how effective it actually is and whether or not it will qualify for a discount. An investment in the right system is the best way to save money in the long run.