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CAR INSURANCE GUIDELINES



There are hundreds of car insurers in the market offering a varied range of prices, policy benefit levels, and excess limits, however many will ask the same set questions when related to security. These questions will help the insurer to identify what security devices your car has and where will your car be kept?

The answers you give will put you into either a low, medium or high-risk category, and this will affect your insurance premium.


Common car insurance questions


  1. Does the car have an alarm/immobiliser?

Most modern vehicles now come with manufacturer fitted immobilisers and alarms as standard. Unsure whether your vehicle is fitted with one? Check your vehicle hand book. If you make a mistake in your declaration, or if you tell your insurer no security device is fitted, you could miss out on a premium discount. Insurers will often offer a better discount if you have a Thatcham fitted device. While best known for testing vehicle security systems, Thatcham provides a significant amount of data that insurers use to define a car's insurance grouping.

  1. Does the car have a tracker?

Having a theft tracking and recovery system fitted to your car will often reduce a quotation as insurers know that the risk of a car fitted with a tracking system being stolen and unrecovered will be reduced.

  1. Where is the car kept during the day?

If your car is left in a private office car park or in a secure public car park during the day, some insurers will see these locations as low risk areas and might be prepared to offer a small discount on your insurance premium.

  1. Where is the car kept overnight?

If your car is parked in a locked garage overnight, it would lessen the risk of theft and consequently a number of insurers are prepared to offer a premium discount. To prevent your garage from being broken into it is important to buy an insurance approved garage lock.


Thatcham guidelines  


The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (MIRRC), more widely known as "Thatcham", was established in 1969 by British Insurers. In 1993 it was given the task of developing a set of guidelines aimed at improving the effectiveness and reliability of various forms of security devices, from audible car alarm systems to steering wheel locks.

Thatcham puts in place test guidelines and defines the effectiveness each device (or vehicle) must be capable of achieving, Thatcham then carries out attack testing of those devices and vehicles. The attack tests include breaking into vehicle via the boot, bonnet and doors, testing the reliability of steering locks and trying to start the engine without the original key.


Thatcham car security categories


Thatcham have defined a number of categories for vehicle security devices and produced criteria and test specifications for each category.


Category 1
Passenger Cars, LCV, HGV, Plant, Motorcycles
ELECTRONIC ALARM AND IMMOBILISER

  1. Alarm
    - Perimeter detection
    - Ignition detection
    - Passenger compartment movement detection OR glass break and inclination detection
    - Audible warning with battery back-up power supply
  1. Immobiliser
    - Passively set
    - Isolates a minimum of two operating circuits or systems, or a minimum of one  
    -- operationally relevant vehicle control unit with coded intervention

Category 2
Passenger Cars, LCV, HGV, Plant, Motorcycles
ELECTRONIC/ELECTROMECHANICAL IMMOBILISER

  1. Immobiliser
    - Passively set
    - Isolates a minimum of two operating circuits or systems, or a minimum of one - - operationally relevant vehicle control unit with coded intervention

Category 2/1
Passenger Cars, LCV, HGV, Plant, Motorcycles
ELECTRONIC ALARM UPGRADE [GENERAL APPLICATION]

  1. Alarm
    - Perimeter detection
    - Ignition detection
    - Passenger compartment movement detection OR glass break and inclination detection
    - Audible warning with battery back-up power supply
    - Resistance to attack for a minimum of one minute
    - Installed on vehicles with existing Category 2 immobilisation to attain Category 1 status

Category 3
Passenger Cars, LCV, HGV, Plant, Motorcycles
MECHANICAL IMMOBILISER

  1. Mechanical immobiliser
    - Easy to set and unset
    - Isolates a minimum of one operating system
    - Permanently or temporarily installed

An example of a mechanical immobiliser is the car steering wheel lock, which is known to help deter the opportunist thief. Search for Thatcham Cat 3 steering wheel locks. 

Category 4
Passenger Cars, LCV, HGV, Plant, Motorcycles
WHEEL LOCKING DEVICES

  1. Wheel locking devices

- Reliability and durability

- Secure key replacement procedure

- Product traceability

- Resistance to attack

An example of a wheel locking device is a set of locking wheel nuts. Search for Thatcham Cat 4 locking wheel nuts.

Category 5
Passenger Cars, LCV, HGV, Plant, Motorcycles
AFTER THEFT TRACKING AND RECOVERY SYSTEMS

  1. After theft tracking and recovery systems

- Vehicle location systems

- Vehicle remote immobilisation systems

- Vehicle signalling systems

Q Class Systems
Passenger Cars, LCV, HGV, Plant, Motorcycles
AFTERMARKET ‘NON CATEGORISED’ SYSTEMS

  1. Aftermarket ‘non categorised’ systems

- Alternative alarm systems

- Vehicle marking systems

- Vehicle data recording systems

- Vehicle paging systems

- Vehicle location systems

- Vehicle ID systems

- Vehicle signalling systems

- Uprated door lock devices

- Image recorders


New Vehicle Security Ratings


The 'New Car Security Ratings' (NCSR) scheme was launched by Thatcham, the Association of British Insurers and Lloyd's in 2001. Vehicles manufactured after the scheme launch date, including cars, motorcycles, vans and trucks, are assessed by Thatcham for insurance group rating purposes. The results are determined by using a thorough and scientific programme of destructive 'real world' attack testing  and then condensed down to an easy to understand star rating for consumers. Potential car buyers can check this online, giving them a broad indication of the vehicle's vulnerability (or resistance) to being stolen (theft of) or being illegally entered (theft from). Check Thatcham's vehicle security rating. Though not in an insurance requirement, many insurance companies offer discounts where a Thatcham approved security system has been fitted, but all will require a copy of the Thatcham certificate showing that the system has been fitted by an accredited professional installer.

More on car security


Search for car security products

LOCKING WHEEL NUTS

STEERING WHEEL LOCKS

WHEEL CLAMPS

See information on car security products   

See information on car security tips  



The content within this website is not exhaustive and should only be used as a general overview. Insurers will stipulate specific warranties within their terms and conditions, which can often be modified from insurer to insurer. Always refer to your policy wording to ensure you have met their warranty requirements. Prices quoted are correct as at December 2010, and are subject to change. The products recommend within this website gives the reader an insight into the more effective security products available in the market, it does not give any form of guarantee that these products will be 100% effective in combating crime. Also, it does not guarantee that these methods are suitable for specific applications. It is the responsibility of the equipment supplier and equipment purchaser to ensure that their chosen security device is suitable to its particular application and that it complies with all legislation, standards, codes of practice or any other requirement. Every effort has been made to ensure the contents of this site is accurate, however CSP does not accept any responsibility for losses arising from decisions based upon the content herein.