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  • Anti-Theft Devices: Save On Car Insurance Premium

    With the rise in the incidence of car thefts in the country, it has become imperative that you protect your vehicle with an adequate car insurance cover. Most car owners go the extra mile and install anti-theft devices in their vehicles as well. Installing an approved safety device in the vehicle is a prudent decision as it has the dual benefits of protecting the vehicle from thefts and providing the car owner a discount in auto insurance premium.

    Let us take a look at this in detail.

    The Significance Of Anti-Theft Devices

    The advancement in technology has provided us with cutting-edge devices that can effectively protect our vehicles against theft, burglary, and the like. These devices help in reducing the likelihood of a car theft by enhancing the security system of the vehicle.

    Car manufacturers today provide a host of safety devices with the vehicle that are in-built. However, you can choose to increase the level of protection by opting for additional safety devices after the purchase of the vehicle. At the time of installation of these devices, you should inform the insurance company, so that the appropriate changes are made in the policy coverage.

    Some of the most popular anti-theft devices used in India are listed below:

    1. Mechanical immobilisers - These are the cheapest anti-theft devices you can purchase for your vehicle. Mechanical immobilisers are used to restrict the movement of the vehicle, so that thieves are discouraged from attempting a car theft. Some of the commonly used mechanical immobilisers are:
    Device Description
    Steering wheel lock This device is used on the steering wheel to lock it in place. It is not possible to drive the vehicle until the lock is removed.
    Hood lock This device will prevent an outsider from accessing the battery of the vehicle by locking the hood in place.
    Tyre lock These devices are highly visible and can be removed only with effort. Tyre locks take time to attach and detach; so these are recommended only for vehicles that are not used on a daily basis.

    Other popular mechanical immobilisers are gearshift locks, brake pedal locks, and

    ignition locks.

    1. Electronic immobilisers - The keys and fobs in modern cars have the ability to trigger electronic immobilisers in the vehicle. These devices have microchips that send signals to start the car. When an intruder tries to access the vehicle without these signals, the vehicle will not start.
    2. Kill switch - This is a unique anti-theft device that can shut down a part of the vehicle’s engine. Although this facility is available in some cars as an in-built feature, it can also be installed in the vehicle separately.
    3. Car alarm - A car alarm gets activated when there is an unauthorised entry into the vehicle, a sudden movement, or breaking of glass. The siren that is activated will inform everyone within earshot of the theft attempt.
    4. Vehicle tracking system - Electronic tracking devices are very useful anti-theft devices as these offer real-time tracking facility using Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Although these are slightly more expensive than mechanical immobilisers, these offer the added advantage of enabling the police to track the vehicle even after a theft.

    How Car Insurance Premium Is Affected

    Almost all motor insurance companies in India encourage car owners to install anti-theft devices in their vehicles. This is a good practise that will make car owners more cautious about the safety of their asset. This will, in turn, bring down the number of car insurance claims by a considerable amount.

    The car owner can choose an anti-theft device based on his/her specific needs and budget. If the device is approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the car owner will get a special discount in motor insurance premium. The installation will also need approval from any of the four automobile associations in India.

    The discount offered is usually 2.5% of the own-damage premium, subject to an upper limit of Rs.500. The premium for third-party liability cover is not discounted. Also, if you have installed a security device in the midst of a policy year, the premium discount is applicable for the rest of the year.

    ICAT Feature In Maruti Cars

    The Intelligent Computerised Anti-Theft (ICAT) System is a feature that is in-built with the latest models of Maruti cars. This device communicates with the electronic control unit (ECU) of the vehicle and makes the car immobile when there is an attempt of theft. You can only use the factory-supplied keys to enable the ECU and start the vehicle. This facility makes the Maruti car costlier by Rs.1,000 to Rs.4,500 (depending on the specific model). This also provides a car insurance premium discount of Rs.500 to the car owner. However, if you happen to lose the car keys, you will have to request for a duplicate set from Maruti.

    Faqs On Anti-Theft Devices In Cars

    1. I am planning to purchase the latest version of the Toyota Camry. Will it have any in-built anti-theft device?
    2. These days, most high-end models of cars have in-built anti-theft devices. The 2018 version of Toyota Camry has a stolen vehicle locating system that comes by default with the XSE V6 model. The LE variant has this feature as an optional package.

    3. How do I prevent a car break-in?
    4. Although it is not possible to ensure that your car is never stolen, you can take some measures to ensure that it is protected in the best possible manner. In line with this, you can get it insured adequately and have ARAI approved anti-theft devices installed in the vehicle. Installing a vehicle tracking system is very useful in this regard, as it helps in tracking stolen vehicles.

    5. What type of anti-theft device is best for my vehicle?
    6. This totally depends on your needs, your budget, the type of vehicle you own, and the probability of theft in the area where it is parked. If you do not use the vehicle too often, you can get a tyre lock that is a sure shot way to ensure that the vehicle will not be stolen.

    7. Is it necessary to install the anti-theft device at the beginning of the policy term?
    8. It is possible to get an anti-theft device installed in the middle of the policy term. In such a scenario, the insurer should be intimated of the addition and the appropriate changes should be made to the policy documentation through a car insurance endorsement. This can be classified as a premium-bearing endorsement, as there will be a change in motor insurance premium after the installation.

    9. Are anti-theft devices very expensive?
    10. The cost of an anti-theft device depends on the extent of protection it offers. The cheaper ones are the mechanical immobilisers, while the ICAT feature is on the more expensive side.

    GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017

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