The unfortunate fact is that auto theft remains a major problem in Calgary and throughout Alberta, despite the fact that anti-theft devices have been required by law for all vehicles manufactured in Canada since 2007. Having your vehicle stolen could affect your Calgary auto insurance rates. Insurance companies may raise an individual’s premiums after he or she files a claim.
As with most things that affect auto insurance, prevention is your best defence when it comes to fighting car theft. Aftermarket immobilizers and other anti-theft devices can help keep your premiums low in two key ways. First, they reduce your odds of having to file a theft claim with your insurance provider in the first place. Second, many insurers offer discounts to customers who have installed effective anti-theft devices on their vehicles, since those vehicles are deemed to be at lower risk.
However, it’s also important to consider other theft-related factors, including the make and model of your vehicle. Some are more popular targets for thieves than others, and most insurance companies will attach higher premiums to higher-risk cars and trucks. Safety features also factor in to this equation, through a system known as CLEAR.
How the CLEAR System Affects Your Premiums
CLEAR is an acronym for the “Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating.” This system was created to establish a level playing field for motorists and insurance companies alike by codifying the various factors that determine premiums for specific vehicles. It takes a wide range of vehicle characteristics into account, including:
- Dual and side airbags
- Anti-lock brakes
- Impact reinforcements
- Quality of tires
- Anti-theft devices
In essence, the CLEAR system allows insurers to assign ratings to specific vehicles based on the presence or absence of these features. The more such features a given car or truck has, the less likely it is to be stolen or involved in an accident. While you may pay a premium for these features when you purchase the vehicle, the added investment can pay off in the form of reduced Calgary auto insurance rates.
Aftermarket Anti-Theft Devices to Consider
Choosing to install an anti-theft device is a wise move that you should certainly make it you’re serious about protecting the investment you’ve made in your vehicle. Immobilizers remain one of the most effective and trustworthy such products on the market, and they are an excellent choice if you want to supplement your vehicle’s existing security features.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada maintains a list of approved immobilizers that can reduce your premiums. Your exact savings will be determined by a range of factors, including not only the type of immobilization device you install, but also your overall driving record, your vehicle’s other safety features, and the location of your primary residence.
Some insurers may also offer discounts to drivers who use other anti-theft devices, including:
- Alarm systems. Not all electronic alarm systems are made equal, so be sure yours is well-regarded by insurance companies and consumers.
- Ignition inhibitors. These devices prevent an unauthorized person from starting your car, but they won’t protect you against smash-and-grab thefts that target your personal belongings.
- Tracking systems. A tracking system allows your vehicle to be found via satellite technology in the event that it is stolen.
Insurers generally make evaluations on a case-by-case basis, and they have their own policies that determine the devices that can qualify a driver for an insurance discount. Check with your current provider for policy-specific information, or consult a reputable insurance broker for current information relevant to your local area.
Commonly Stolen from Vehicles
You can further reduce your risk by not storing commonly stolen items in your vehicle, or keeping them safely out of sight. Examples of these items include:
- Laptops and smartphones
- GPS devices
- Aftermarket stereos
- Wheels and tires
- Garage door openers
- Power tools
- Loose change
Calgary Auto Insurance: Discover the Lane’s Insurance Advantage
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage, offering extensive resources, peerless customer service, outstanding claims support, and the most competitive rates on the market. You’re always guaranteed the most competitive rates on the market, because the brokers at Lane’s work for you, not the insurance companies, so they’re always able to provide you with an extensive list of competitive options from the broadest possible range of providers.