Keep Your Virginia Vehicle Safe. Not only does a safer car cost less to insure, but it’s just makes sense to take some extra time that ultimately could you save you money on your car insurance, and perhaps save lives as well. After consulting with industry experts, we will discuss some of the best available ideas that will protect you and any passengers you drive.
If You Have An Auto Alarm System…Use It!
Most Virginia car insurance companies offer a discount for having an alarm system. The discount will typically range from 2%-10%, depending on the type of system (passive or active) and where you reside. As you might assume, a higher-theft area of Virginia may generate a larger discount. Any additional anti-theft devices will also reduce your premium, such as OnStar or LoJack. Many other auto manufacturers have recently developed systems similar to Onstar that utilize global tracking networks.
But most importantly, your vehicle is certainly much safer by installing these types of devices as they have proven to be a big deterrent of theft. And since the average theft claim is thousands of dollars in some areas, you’ll put extra money in your pocket as well. You may also want to consider engraving your VIN number in the windshield. It will help reduce the risk of a break-in.
You can also purchase or obtain stickers that can be conveniently placed so an unanted intruder knows to stay away. If you don't have an alarm system, this might also be a great idea!
Park Your Car In An Enclosed Garage (If Possible)
Of course, this will keep you safe from the elements, such as rain, snow and especially hail. And because of the reduced risk, you will pay less for your car insurance rates, especially for a newer vehicle. The savings will be reflected mostly on your “comprehensive” portion of the bill, which includes fire and theft coverage.
You’ll also notice that over time, your vehicle’s appearance will not look as “weathered” as many other vehicles. Your resale value will be higher if you choose to sell the vehicle and the trade-in value will definitely be higher if you trade for a newer car. It would not be unusual to add $500 to the market value of you car or truck (after about five years) by simply keeping it covered when not in use.
Don’t Forget About What’s Inside The Car
Sometimes we’re so concerned with the safety of the outside of the car, we forget about what’s inside. Typically, contents are covered by your homeowner’s insurance, although there may be deductibles and special limits that apply. Items such as luggage, clothes, CDs, books etc… are generally covered items and may not be subject to depreciation. But valuables may not be covered and expensive electronic equipment, unless scheduled, may not be properly replaced.
It’s important to try to keep as many of these items as possible out of sight from a passerby so there is no added temptation to steal them from your vehicle. Locking the doors is always a good idea. Also, it’s possible that your homeowner’s rate could increase because of a theft claim, so avoid those types of situations if possible. A small theft (less than the deductible) should perhaps be handled yourself.
Check The Weather
Although snow and rain are unlikely to damage your car or truck, Virginia does have its fair share of hail storms. And the resulting damage can be thousands of dollars in dents too numerous to count. And there’s nothing worse than inspecting your brand new car or truck after a hail storm. So take the time to bring your vehicle indoors if there is any threat of hail.
Consider The Vehicle You Are Buying
According to a recent report from the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau), the five most stolen vehicles in Virginia are the 1996 Honda Accord, 2000 Honda Civic, 2010 Toyota Camry, 2000 Dodge Caravan, and 2003 Ford Explorer. Evidently, replacement parts in these five vehicles may be worth more than the vehicle itself!
We are not recommending that you should not buy these vehicles. Just park them in a safe place, preferably in a garage. That should be enough to deter a potential thief from stealing it. If you would like unbiased opinions regarding the least expensive vehicles to insure in Virginia, we can provide it to you.
Hide your charging cords for your laptop, cell phone or other electronic device. When it is in plain view, it's an inviting an easy target for thieves.
As you probably (and hopefully) know, take your children with you instead of leaving them in your vehicle while you quickly step inside a store.
When you step inside your car or truck, lock the doors. Don't wait. Make it a habit to be the first thing you do, even before you start the engine.
If you leave your vehicle, turn the engine off and lock the doors. You might be amazed to know how often this is not done.
Stay safe, both on and off the road. Taking a little extra time, and researching and comparing before purchasing a vehicle, may save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the car.
Edward Harris is the owner and founder of this website. Since 1980, he has been helping individuals and families with their car insurance needs. During that time, he has handled more than 10,000 applications and continues to provide service for thousands of clients.
Ed is married with two children and enjoys tennis, golf, and international politics. Reluctantly, he bowls once every 10 years.