Because insurance rates are based on risk, providers commonly lower rates for customers who choose vehicles with safety and security features. The size of the deduction varies depending on the specific system or device, as well as on the insurance provider, so it pays to review multiple car insurance quotes. Other factors, such as the type of vehicle and whether it is parked in a garage or on the street, may also have an effect.
Discounts may be as little as 2 percent for some features or as high as 10 percent, reflecting the degree to which a given device improves the security of the car. Systems which can prevent or discourage theft typically yield larger discounts than those which help recover a stolen vehicle. Some of the benefits will vary depending on state insurance laws.
Theft Prevention Measures
Car alarms are relatively easy to install and can prevent theft. Using Lo-Jack, OnStar and other tracking measures can also provide insurance benefits. Even simple devices such as a steering wheel lock, gearshift lock, floorboard lock or tire boot can make a difference. Keyless-entry remotes and other devices that might make theft more difficult can be helpful in reducing auto insurance costs as well.
How much of a deduction a driver receives for these measures will depend in part on the area in which they live. Those living in locations with a higher crime rate can expect their deductions to amount to less. This is an extension of the same risk assessment that grants discounts, so it is unavoidable except by moving into a safer neighborhood. On the other hand, the higher rates these locations impose may increase the relative value of savings to individual drivers.
Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are one safety feature which has become common in modern vehicles. Most, if not all, new cars have them, although it is still wise for drivers to make certain before they make a purchase. Because ABS can significantly decrease the chance of a collision by increasing the control a driver has in emergencies, they typically lower insurance rates by a significant percentage.
It may be possible to install ABS on a car that does not have the system to start with, but whether or not this qualifies a driver for the deduction is dependent on the insurance provider. Most safety features, like ABS, are common to nearly all vehicles on the road today. While they can provide insurance benefits, safety features are more likely to be mandatory rather than optional like security measures.