Why do I need to Install Security Devices on my Car

If you have taken out comprehensive car insurance it includes cover against theft and carjacking, so why spend more money on the installation of security systems in your car? We will give you a number of reasons why you should. Security systems, also known as anti-theft devices have become big business in South Africa. In fact, the high crime rate has resulted in a boom for the entire security industry.

The statistics

The South African Police crime statistics for the year ended June 2008 showed a decrease in the number of cars and motorcycles stolen when compared to the previous year. Yet, 40 900 is still a huge number. Even worse, carjackings increased to 14 201 incidents. Before you even think security devices, think common sense protection. If you have been the victim of a carjacking you know that it is not an experience you wish on your worst enemy. Be alert when you drive, especially when you leave your home or come home after work – most carjackings take place at home.

But I have insurance…

Just think of the effect of car theft on insurance. The more cars are stolen, the higher we all pay for insurance. Yes, it affects each and every one of us. Your first motivation for installing security devices in your car should be to protect yourself and anyone travelling with you. Also, do you want to become another statistic? Once you have claimed for a stolen car your insurance will increase and you will lose your cash-back bonus.

What do the insurance companies say?

Many car insurance companies will now actually refuse to insure your car unless you have installed sufficient anti-theft measures. So, that is another reason to take these preventative measures, without them you may not be able to find car insurance in the first place.

The positive point about all this is that you will get a discount on your monthly insurance if you have installed an approved anti-theft system in your car. Approved is the key word here – make sure that the device you install is approved by your insurance company, otherwise the insurer may refuse to pay out a claim should your car get stolen!

What types of devices are available?

Gear Locks: Gear Locks can be fitted to your car’s gearlever. When the gears are locked the thief can’t drive your car! There are external and internal gear locks available. The external gear lock has the added benefit of acting as a visible deterrent but some drivers would prefer the internal gear lock. The choice is yours.

Car alarms and immobilisers : Almost all, if not all, new cars now come with factory fitted alarms and/or immobilisers when you buy the car. Even if you buy a brand new car, confirm with your insurance company that the alarm or immobiliser is VESA-approved. (VESA stands for the Motor Vehicle Security Association of South-Africa.)

Tracking devices : A tracking device not only act as a deterrent but should car thieves still be cheeky enough to steal your car the tracking device will assist in the recovery of the car. A tracking device is the top of the range anti-theft measure and therefore will also be the most expensive. But, it will also allow you to receive the biggest discount on your car insurance.

Other devices: Steering wheel locks are still available – although it is not an approved device it does act as a visible deterrent. You can even now get a spare wheel lock to protect that from being stolen from the boot of your car!

Fit the best you can afford

The type of device you decide on will depend on your personal circumstances, your finances, your car and where you live and travel. It would be silly to fit a tracking system to an old car that has almost no book value left, no disrespect intended! If you live and work in an area where the crime rate is high you should get the best protection you can afford.

Security devices will not only lower your insurance premiums but also protect your no-claim bonus and cash-back bonus. It can also save you the additional cost and inconvenience that goes with having your car stolen. Don’t forget the other measures you need to take to protect your car from being stolen or broken in to: such as not leaving items lying around for all to see, not parking in dark, quiet places, and keeping your car in a locked garage (if you have one.) Driving with your windows open and leaving your car unlocked is pure folly; however it can happen to the best of us when we are pre-occupied or in a hurry, so…

Stay alert – stay alive.