When it comes to car ownership certain things come around at various points every year and one of those is car insurance. It is a legal requirement that all cars are insured, be it for third party claims or fully comprehensive that includes cover for loss or damage. The days of brand loyalty are long gone and every year most motorists shop around for the best car insurance deals, which is fine, but car insurance is rarely cheap as insurance companies have to cover the cost of all manner of claims from ever busier roads and, as ever, car theft. This is why insurers now require a car tracker to be fitted in many cases before a premium quote can be made, but can car trackers help lower insurance premiums? It pays to find out.
Why Car Theft Is A Problem For Insurers
Of course, car theft is a problem for everyone. It’s inconvenient at best for the owner and, along with the steeply rising costs of damage repairs, the cost of replacing stolen vehicles, especially premium models, is enormous. This is where car tracking devices come in.
Insurance providers are not charitable concerns. At the end of the day they are there to make a profit and the more claims they are hit with the less profit they make. This is why they take a tough line with drivers who don’t follow the rules. Car thieves however don’t follow any rules and car theft presents a big risk for insurers.
Despite all the efforts made by car makers to protect vehicles from theft with the latest in vehicle security features, professional car criminals always seem to be able to keep pace with automotive science. Cars that have keyless entry might help defeat the casual joyrider of yesteryear but they can’t keep out technology-savvy car thieves. This is why insurance companies now require that a suitable GPS tracking device is fitted. The higher the value of the car the more likely this requirement is insisted upon.
Some manufacturers even go so far as to recommend certain brands. Porsche, for example, favours the warranty-backed Vodafone Protect & Connect S5+, a feature-packed tracking device that offers protection against the whole armory that car thieves can throw into the criminal mix, including a tow-away and signal jamming alert. It’s one of the best car trackers on the market. Because some brands prefer certain tracker models it pays to consult a trusted supplier, ideally one that offers a professional fitting in the price, and who can advise on the right unit for any given vehicle.
Can Car Trackers Help Lower Insurance Premiums?
So does adding a tracker reduce car insurance? The answer to that question will vary from insurer to insurer but broadly speaking, yes they can. The fact is that if the deployment of a GPS tracking device leads to a stolen vehicle being recovered (and statistics demonstrate that the recovery success rate reaches in excess of 96% if they can track a stolen car from the outset), insurers will have to pay out less, in the case of incidental damage, or not at all if the vehicle is recovered intact. And as a result, premiums may be lower.
Indeed, car insurers jointly fund a not-for-profit organisation known as Thatcham Research to test car safety and security systems to ensure that they meet minimum standards set at extremely high levels. The cost of funding this centre indicates how seriously car insurers take the business of car theft. A car tracker which carries a seal of approval from Thatcham Research will have the potential to lower insurance costs year after year.
Any Security Measure Is Worth Considering
Car insurance underwriters will look favourably upon owners who take security seriously. The old ‘locked garage’ question that is usually asked highlights that. Always tell your insurer about any additional security measures that may be taken to protect your vehicle from theft, even if it’s just a simple tamper alarm, a steering lock or even the aforementioned locked garage. After all, a garage is supposed to be for your car and not as a general storage area.
Thieves Know When A Car Tracker Is Fitted
Well, they might not know specifically but they do know that some car makers install a rudimentary tracking device from new. Knowing this, thieves can deploy jamming devices to block any tracking signal. This is why fitting a GPS tracking device that includes anti-jamming technology or a VHF signal, like the Tracker™ Monitor model that cannot be blocked by a GPS jammer makes sense.
Car Trackers Protect Your Vehicle
Car thieves strike when least expected. They like it when they can operate under the cover of darkness right outside your house. Did you know that, unless the owner takes precautions (like keeping car fobs in a Faraday pouch) they can use a cheap device to clone the signal emitted from your car key or fob (keyless entry cars) and relay it to their accomplice standing by the vehicle equipped with a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment and they are in in a couple of minutes.
This is the reason for car trackers. They have tamper alerts, motion detectors as well as GPS and GSM tracking technology. The team who are manning the 24/7 Monitoring Centre will know if the tracker is being tampered with or if the car’s battery is being disconnected when a thief mistakenly believes that this will disable a GPS tracking device, which it won’t since good units also have integral batteries.
Even Budget Cars Can Be Targeted For Theft
Criminals look for the easy route to riches and they don’t care how they treat their victim’s property, but most people have to work for what they have. Even budget cars can be a target for robbers and high-end vehicles are big business on the automotive black market.
So can car trackers help lower insurance premiums? Yes. As well as fitting in with a motoring budget, when buying a unit and subscribing to a car tracking service remember to look for the different Thatcham categories; S7, S5 and S5 Plus, all of which offer varying levels of protection.