Looking for ways to save money? You might be going out to dinner less, cutting down on shopping sprees, or renting movies instead of going to the theater. Here’s another option: install a security system in your vehicle. We don’t have a green gecko to tell you, but if you have anti-theft devices, you’ll save on car insurance. You’ll pay lower premiums because insurance companies reward those who take measures to insure their car won’t be stolen.
For those who install car alarms or use methods such as steering wheel locks, Allstate offers a 5% discount off comprehensive coverage. State Farm also offers discounts from 2% to 10%. However, discounts vary based on areas and crime rates; for example, California and Las Vegas have a higher crime rate. Since steering wheel locks are generally inexpensive ($25-$100), you save money. Other options are floorboard locks, gearshift locks, tire boots, and kill switches.
You can also receive discounts by installing tracking devices such as LoJack. LoJack is a silent radio transceiver installed by a professional into your car. In the event that your car is stolen, you simply notify the police. The police then locate the LoJack and are able to reduce the search to within a block of your car. The LoJack makes it possible to find cars hidden in garages or other buildings. LoJacks have a 90% recovery rate, but they can cost anywhere from $300 to $900.
For those who install LoJack, State Farm gives a 10% discount. However, if you install a LoJack and use other security methods such as a steering wheel lock, drivers can receive as much as a 30% discount from State Farm. Again, these rates vary depending on areas. Unlike State Farm, Hartford doesn’t offer discounts for LoJack unless the discount is required by state law. The states that require insurers to give discounts to drivers who use car security devices are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.
Another tracking device that may get you discounts is OnStar. When a car with OnStar is stolen, it can quickly be tracked down and recovered. Because of this, insurance companies generally give discounts for this system. OnStar is installed only on General Motors cars, but similar tracking devices are available from different manufactures.
By installing security systems in your car, you receive both discounts from insurers and more protection from thieves. It can be as simple and inexpensive as a $25 steering wheel lock that saves your car and money.