Do Rhode Island Auto Insurance Companies Offer Anti-Theft Discounts?
The state of Rhode Island requires that insurers offer a minimum discount on comprehensive coverage for vehicles equipped with certain anti-theft devices. The devices that qualify are categorized by regulators, and a combination of two devices can lead to a further reduction in premiums. A discount is only given on the comprehensive portion of a policy since this is the only type of coverage to cover theft. In addition to theft, comprehensive covers other losses such as vandalism, fire, hail, contact with an animal, and falling objects.
According to the FBI, there were 2,402 automobile thefts in Rhode Island in 2009. That's a rate of one theft for every 328 vehicles registered in the state that year.
Categories of Anti-Theft Devices
- Alarm Only Device (Category 1) - This is defined as an alarm that can be heard from a minimum of 300 feet away and emits the sound for at least three minutes.
- Active Disabling Device (Category 2) - This is an item that disables a vehicle by making it inoperable when stolen, but doing so requires action on the part of the owner.
- Passive Disabling Device (Category 3) - Unlike active disabling devices, these do not require a separate, manual step to engage the device.
- Vehicle Recovery System Service (Category 4) - This is an electronic unit located on the automobile that can be activated if a vehicle is stolen. Once activated, the authorities are usually given the location of the car to help recover the vehicle.
The following are the minimum discounts that Rhode Island car insurance companies must give for each category:
- Category 1: 5 percent
- Category 2: 5 percent
- Category 3: 15 percent
- Category 4: 25 percent
- Categories 1 and 4: 30 percent
- Categories 2 and 4: 30 percent
- Categories 3 and 4: 35 percent
In order to obtain discounts for car insurance for having vehicles equipped with anti-theft devices, consumers may have to provide the insurer with proof of installation.
Other Discounts Available
Insurers may also offer the following discount types:
- Completion of a driver education course
- Good student
- Safety devices
- Low annual mileage
- Good driver
While not a discount, some insurers offer dividends to policyholder. Dividends are usually given if the carrier has been profitable and are usually applied to the next policy period's premium. The type and size of discounts may vary. It may be in the best interest of drivers to shop around and find carriers that offer the lowest rates after reductions are applied.