How to Get an Anti-Theft Discount on Your Car Insurance

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thief breaking into car

Car theft is a frustrating experience. Not only does it affect your daily routine, but it can affect your pocket, too.

Unfortunately, vehicle thefts continue to rise. In 2023, criminals stole 1,020,729 vehicles, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). That’s a 1% increase from the year before and a growing trend since 2019.

Your auto insurance company will cover theft if you have comprehensive coverage, but you can take matters into your own hands by using anti-theft devices. These devices can prevent someone from stealing your car and may qualify you for an anti-theft discount from your insurance company.

Read on to learn about different types of anti-theft devices, how to get an anti-theft discount, and the top auto insurers offering the discounts.

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How Anti-Theft Device Insurance Discounts Work

An anti-theft device is a tool you install in your vehicle to prevent theft, but different types fend off potential thieves in different ways.

Passive anti-theft devices — like transponder keys, alarms, and automatic locking doors — do the heavy lifting and don’t require any effort on your part. Active anti-theft devices, on the other hand, require active participation. Some examples include steering wheel locks or brake locks.

Using an anti-theft device in your vehicle helps insurers save money (and you, too), so many companies offer you a discount for installing one. For example, GEICO offers policyholders an anti-theft system discount of up to 23%.

That said, the discount and percentages you can expect to receive depend on your insurance company and the type of anti-theft device you have. Car insurance companies may offer you an anti-theft discount if you have a comprehensive insurance policy.

The following 12 states require insurers to offer anti-theft discounts to drivers with comprehensive coverage:

How to Get an Anti-Theft Device Car Discount

To get an anti-theft device discount, check your insurer’s website or call to see if it offers these discounts. Some companies require you to have specific devices installed — either from the factory or aftermarket modifications — while others may not cover certain devices, such as basic car alarms. You may also have to show proof that you’ve installed a device in your vehicle.

Your potential savings will vary by company, state, and type of anti-theft device. Keep in mind that any anti-theft discount you receive will only offer savings on the comprehensive part of your coverage — not your entire policy.

Still, some insurance companies won’t cover certain vehicles due to their sky-high theft rates, regardless of what types of anti-theft devices they have. Let’s take a closer look at which models and why

Car makes and models insurance companies won’t cover

Insurance companies have to cover the hefty cost of replacing your stolen vehicle if authorities don’t recover it. That’s why some insurers refuse to offer policies for vehicles that are easy targets for theft.

Some vehicles — especially Hyundais and Kias — are easier to steal because they lack adequate security measures, such as immobilizers. Electronic immobilizers act as a frontline barrier preventing break-ins and starting a car that works with key fobs and transponder chips.

Here’s a list of Hyundai and Kia models that insurance companies are no longer covering because of the increased risk of theft and the lack of standard engine immobilizers.

  • 2015–2021 Hyundai Accent
  • 2015–2021 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2015–2021 Hyundai Kona
  • 2015–2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2015–2021 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2015–2021 Hyundai Veloster
  • 2015–2021 Kia Forte
  • 2015–2021 Kia Optima
  • 2015–2021 Kia Rio
  • 2015–2021 Kia Sedona
  • 2015–2021 Kia Sorento
  • 2015–2021 Kia Soul
  • 2015–2021 Kia Sportage

Insurance companies may require immobilizers or other basic anti-theft devices before insuring your vehicle. If your insurer doesn’t renew your policy, you can look into switching insurers and adding anti-theft features.

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12 Auto Insurers That Offer an Anti-Theft Discount

Car insurance companies offer many discounts to help you save money on your auto premiums. Insurance rates go up for many reasons, including speeding tickets, car accidents, and comprehensive claims (from events like car thefts). It can also increase because of things out of your control, such as your age or where you live.

If you reduce your risk, you can save your insurer money, and, in return, it will usually offer you savings.

One way to save is through anti-theft discounts. Anti-theft devices come in various forms but have the same goal of preventing auto theft.

Here are 12 auto insurance companies that offer this type of discount and the average discount you could receive from each.

Car Insurance Company Average Anti-Theft Discount
Allstate Unspecified
Amica Varies
Auto-Owners Varies
Direct Auto Varies
Erie Varies
Farmers Varies, not all states are eligible
GEICO Up to 23%
Nationwide Unspecified
Progressive Unspecified, not all states are eligible
Safeco Unspecified
State Farm Unspecified
USAA Unspecified, not all states are eligible

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5 Types of Anti-Theft Devices

Dealing with a stolen car is jarring and a major inconvenience. To deter would-be thieves and lessen the chances of auto theft, different types of anti-theft devices are on the market. Here are five different anti-theft devices to consider.

Manual disabling devices

Manual disabling devices require a little setup but can be a great anti-theft mechanism. The most common is a steering wheel lock, which locks the wheel in place so it’s impossible to turn.

Other devices that require a manual setup include brake locks, tire clamps, and kill switches. These tools can make some parts of the vehicle inaccessible, which can help deter and prevent theft.


  • Easy to use
  • Low cost


  • Requires effort
  • Must be consistent

Automatic disabling devices

Automatic disabling devices can help stop theft without much effort on your part. One of the most popular options is a transponder key, which comes with most newer cars.

These keys come with chips that emit a unique signal that allows you to start the car. If the signal isn’t recognized, the vehicle won’t start. Audible alarms automatically transmit a loud and consistent noise if there’s a threat to the vehicle’s security.


  • Transponder keys reduce theft by 40%
  • Audible alarms bring immediate attention to the vehicle
  • Little to no effort


  • Transponder keys are costly to replace
  • Car alarms aren’t super effective at deterring thieves
  • Car alarms can cause noise pollution and affect public health

Remote disabling devices

Thanks to evolving technology, remote disabling devices can be an interesting and unique anti-theft device option. These cut-off systems allow you to remotely shut down access to the ignition or engine.

Remote disabling devices use GPS to track your vehicle. Based on the type of device, you may have access to a kill switch or be able to set up a configuration that shuts off access to the vehicle.


  • More control
  • Practical
  • Increase recovery rates on stolen vehicles


  • Can be difficult to install
  • May require a technician
  • May require a subscription

Vehicle tracking systems

As the name suggests, vehicle tracking systems help make tracking your car easier. These tools use GPS to share information about your vehicle’s location. So, if a thief steals your car, you’ll be able to find out your stolen vehicle’s location.

Vehicle tracking systems include GPS trackers, subscription services like OnStar, and vehicle recovery systems like LoJack. These tracking and vehicle recovery devices can be extremely effective. LoJack advertises a 98% recovery rate for stolen vehicles, with an average recovery time of 26 minutes.


  • Locate your car quickly and easily
  • GPS trackers can be cheap
  • Third-party support if using OnStar or LoJack


  • Must share data
  • Potential privacy concerns
  • Monthly subscriptions for OnStar and LoJack

VIN etching

Your VIN, or vehicle identification number, is a unique string of 17 letters and numbers that help identify your specific vehicle. So, when looking into anti-theft measures, VIN etching is one of the best things you can do.

VIN etching refers to having your VIN imprinted on your vehicle’s windows. This helps deter thieves because it’s much easier to trace the vehicle when it has the VIN etched into it. You can reach out to your local police department to see if it offers this service. If not, you can also buy an affordable DIY kit online.


  • Effective
  • Affordable


  • May not deter thieves
  • Thieves may sell parts from your stolen vehicle

Anti-Theft Discount FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions people ask about anti-theft discounts and devices.

Does car insurance cover auto theft?

Yes. Your car insurance company will cover auto theft if you have a comprehensive coverage policy. This coverage is optional, so you must have it at the time of the vehicle theft. If authorities don’t recover your vehicle, you typically pay your insurance deductible and receive your car’s actual cash value (ACV).

Is insurance cheaper with an anti-theft device?

It depends. An insurer may offer you a discount if you have an anti-theft device installed in your vehicle, which could lower your premiums. Your savings will depend on your state, coverage type, specific anti-theft device, and the car insurance company.

How do you know if your vehicle has anti-theft?

You can review your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see what features your car has. You may also be able to see an anti-theft indicator symbol on your dashboard that looks like a key inside a car.

What is the most effective car theft deterrent?

One of the most simple and effective car theft deterrents is a steering wheel lock. This tool attaches to a steering wheel, making it immovable and difficult to steal. Another option to consider is a GPS tracker.

Do all cars have an anti-theft system?

No. Not all cars have an anti-theft system, but most newer cars do. As technology has improved, vehicles now come with new anti-theft devices and recovery systems.


  1. National Insurance Crime Bureau, “Vehicle Thefts Surge Nationwide in 2023,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  2. Insurance Information Institute, “Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, “Hyundais, Kias are easy targets amid boom in vehicle thefts,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  4. Toyota Support, “What is an engine immobilizer?,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  5. WYFF, “Insurers no longer covering some Kias and Hyundais because they’re easier to break into,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  6. The Atlantic, “The Alarming Truth,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  7. AAA Exchange,”Smart Keys,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  8. The Official Website of the City of New York, “VIN Etching,” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  9. Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, “Vehicle Identification Number (VIN),” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  10. Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, “Passive and Active Anti-Theft Systems,” Accessed April 29, 2024.

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