Car safety and security
As well as avoiding the stress of having your car vandalised or stolen, beefing up your car's security could reduce your insurance premiums.
In This Guide:
- How can security affect your insurance policy?
- How does a Thatcham device affect my insurance?
- Is vandalism covered under my insurance policy?
- Keeping your car safe
- Driving safely
How can security affect your insurance policy?
Like with home insurance companies, car insurance providers will assess the likelihood of theft or damage when offering a quote.
Factors such as parking, home security (such as garage access) and internal security systems all affect your car's security and can lead to higher premiums if the appropriate measures are not taken to protect it.
On the other hand, proving to your insurer that you're keeping your vehicle safe both on and off the roads can lead to significant reductions in your insurance premiums. From black boxes to dash cams, there are many devices available which you can use to prove these skills to your insurance provider.
How does a Thatcham device affect my insurance?
A Thatcham device is any piece of technology (as recognised by the Thatcham institution) in your vehicle that protects against theft. There are several different classes of Thatcham devices, ranging from immobilisers to tracking devices, and which type you have in your car can vary the price of your insurance premium.
Is vandalism covered under my insurance policy?
In most cases, damage caused by vandalism will not be covered under your standard car insurance policy. Most insurers will include it as an optional add-on or as part of a larger, more expensive, comprehensive package.
Also, what is considered ‘vandalism’ can vary in definition between insurers, so make sure to read the terms of the agreement before committing.
Keeping your car safe
With over 100,000 car thefts reported each year in the UK, and with only 2 in 5 ever being recovered, it is important to take whatever steps possible to increase your car's safety and security.
There are many ways of achieving this. Some are simple fixes, while others require a little more investment:
Consider where you park
When travelling or away from home, park your car in a parking lot with security cameras whenever possible. Failing this, consider parking on a busy, well-lit street with parking access. It may be easier to park on quiet roads but increased activity will deter thieves.
In fact, there are many things you can do to improve security when parking your car overnight.
Fit an immobiliser, alarm or tracker
Installing anti-theft technology is proven to be the best way of preventing car theft. There are many types of anti-theft tech, some of which come as standard, so it’s best to do your research first.
Look after your keys
Though it may seem obvious advice, thieves are opportunists and will take any chance presented to steal unsupervised keys. Keeping your car keys concealed on your person when out and having them stored away, far from doors and windows, when at home can help reduce the risk of theft.
Protect your wheels
Modern car wheels are a common target for thieves and cost hundreds of pounds to replace. Locking nuts are cheap, easy to install and provide an effective deterrent to criminals.
Get your windows etched
Window etching is an effective way of deterring experienced car thieves. With the last seven digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN) or registration number etched into the glass of your windscreen, windows or headlights makes it difficult for the identity of your car to be changed.
Most glass fitting companies will offer this as a service, or DIY kits are available.
Buy a steering wheel lock
Once the most prolific anti-theft device on the market, the steering wheel lock has declined in popularity over the years. Though not the most technologically advanced, the steering wheel lock still provides an additional layer of security and is particularly effective in keyless cars as it prevents criminals who target the car's electronic systems.
Ensuring you have the best anti-theft devices installed in your home is a great deterrent for criminals. Camera systems, parking posts, lockable garages, and light sensors are all great ways to ensure your car is not an easy target.
Know what to do in the event of theft
Not all security measures are preventative. Knowing what to do if your car is stolen can help speed up the process of recovery and police proceedings, as well as helping if making an insurance claim.
Keeping your car safe from thieves is not the only consideration you need to make when protecting your vehicle, and thus your car insurance premiums. Being safe whilst driving, particularly in hazardous and challenging conditions, is vitally important to protect your car, your no-claims bonus, and above all, yourself. And if you have a black box insurance policy, driving carefully can directly lead to cheaper premiums.