Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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A security system can indeed affect car insurance rates, as can a number of other devices you add to your vehicle. Devices that lower the risk of car theft and vandalism may have the power to bring your premium down.

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There are a number of other ways you can save on your insurance rates. However, the exact amount of discounts dependant on each particular state and insurance company.

Anti-Theft Devices

Security systems and other anti-theft devices may bring you a discount on your comprehensive coverage due to their ability to lower the risk of vandalism and theft, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance.

A variety of security systems are available for your vehicle, ranging from audible alarms to tracking systems that send a signal out to police if you report your car stolen. The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends using several devices to add at least four layers of protection to your vehicle.

Depending on each particular insurance company, you may receive additional discounts for additional devices. Even if insurance discounts are not part of the deal, your peace of mind can be.

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Layers of Protection

The first layer of protection comes from common sense, which means parking in well-let areas, always locking your car, closing your windows and, of course, not leaving your keys in your ignition. No insurance discounts may come from those measures, but you would save a lot of money when you don’t have to replace your stolen vehicle.

NICB’s second layer of protection includes warning devices, which is where many security systems fit in. Noisy, annoying alarms typically come with new vehicles, but you can also add other visible signs of protection to help deter thieves.

These include locks on the steering wheel, brake pedals, brakes, tires, and wheels. Steering column collars and tire deflating devices count. Others include identification marks, such as etching on the windows or vehicle body, stickers, microdot identification.

Layer three’s protection comes from devices that immobilize your car if thieves or other unwelcome drivers try to take off in it. Their main aim is to stop someone from hotwiring your car.

Examples include computer chips inserted in your ignition key that makes the vehicle start and hidden buttons or switches you must activate before the car can run. Fuse cut-off devices and kill switches, fuel disablers, starter disablers, wireless devices that authenticate your ignition and smart keys are other layer three defenses noted by NICB.

The fourth and final layer of protection you can give your car are tracking devices. Different tracking devices function in different ways, using wireless technology, GPS, or a combination of technology. The overall goal of tracking devices is to alert you if your car is moved without your consent, at which time you can alert authorities it was stolen. Some may automatically alert authorities, depending on the type of tracking device you choose.

Other Ways to Lower Insurance Rates

Security systems and other anti-theft devices are just one possible way to lower your insurance rates, to the Illinois Department of Insurance says. Safety devices are another. These include items like anti-lock brakes, automatic seatbelts, and airbags. Many newer vehicles already have such devices installed, so remembering to mention them to your agent can mean an automatic discount may come your way.

Your own driving record, as well as the driving information on everyone in your household can affect your rates. Having a good driving with few or no traffic violations typically earn a lower insurance rate than a record littered with infractions. If household members are going to drive your vehicle, their ages, driving records and other information can impact the cost of your auto insurance rates as well.

You may be eligible for additional auto insurance discounts from defensive driving courses, having a low annual mileage, or being a good student who maintains a GPA of 3.0 or above. Insuring multiple vehicles through the same insurance company or holding several different types of insurance policies with the same company may also merit a discount.

The type of vehicle you drive, where you live and your credit history all play a part in your insurance rates, as does your age, gender and marital status.

The type of coverage you choose and the amount of your deductible are other factors. Higher deductibles generally mean lower premiums. The higher your coverage limits, the higher your premiums will be.

Your premiums are also likely to increase if you choose optional coverage that is often offered beyond the basic car insurance policy. Coverage for accidental death, medical payments, towing and rental car reimbursement fall into this category.

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