Ontario Drivers' Guide to the Best Anti-Theft Devices for Vehicles

The 9 Best Anti-Theft Devices for Ontario Drivers 

Auto thefts are increasing in Canada and many other parts of the world, and if you think you're safe because you don't drive a flashy, expensive sports car, think again—cars such as the Kia Optima and Toyota Camry regularly appear on "top ten most stolen vehicles" lists.  

Most types of vehicles are not immune to attracting potential thieves' attention. That's why it makes sense for all drivers to consider which anti-theft devices are best suited to their particular vehicle and lifestyle. The reliable brokers at Morison Insurance have provided some of the best anti-theft devices for Ontario drivers, along with additional information about protecting your vehicle and your budget.  

Can Anti-Theft Devices Impact Auto Insurance Costs? 

The main benefit of anti-theft devices is pretty clear: they make your vehicle a lot less likely to be successfully stolen. That's a pretty big advantage that makes it well worth investigating the best anti-theft devices for your car or truck. Some devices help deter thieves and make it easier to recover a vehicle after it has been stolen. But those aren't the only benefits that anti-theft devices have to offer.  

Auto theft represents a big problem for insurance companies, so there's no doubt they are interested in ways to reduce vehicle theft, and they want to see that auto insurance policyholders are taking steps to lower the possibility that their vehicles will be stolen. That's why many insurance companies choose to incentivize drivers to install specific anti-theft devices on their vehicles by offering discounts on insurance premiums, while others will offer a reduced deductible if a vehicle with an anti-theft device is stolen by thieves who bypassed the protective system. Having anti-theft devices installed on your vehicle could aid in ensuring the claims process goes smoothly and quickly in the event that you do have to file a claim related to theft. 

If you want to find out more about which anti-theft devices could potentially net you an anti-theft discount on your auto insurance policy, contact your Morison Insurance broker so they can determine which options are best suited to your insurance needs.  

Anti-Theft Devices for Ontario Drivers to Consider 

So, what are the best anti-theft devices? The truth is that not every device is perfectly suited to every vehicle, location and driver. For example, if you frequently get in and out of your vehicle over a day, a tire clamp will likely take a lot of work to deal with regularly. But if you don't drive all that often, or you need to park in areas with high theft rates, it could be the perfect solution to keep thieves from even approaching your vehicle. It makes sense to investigate the options out there for anti-theft devices and consider what makes the most sense for your vehicle and how you use it.  

1. Steering Wheel Locks 

Steering wheel locks are exactly what they sound like devices that fit over the steering wheel and lock into place so the wheel can't be turned and the vehicle can't be driven even if a thief does manage to turn on the engine. They typically come in bright colours to be a visible deterrent, so would-be thieves can tell at a glance that your vehicle isn't an easy mark. Steering wheel locks are portable and easy to handle, and some are foldable to make storing them in your car easier. There are a few different options available regarding the material they are made of, and steel is generally considered the best choice because it can't be broken, smashed or cut like plastic.  

2. Audible Alarm Systems 

Audible alarm systems are an effective deterrent because most thieves aren't interested in sticking around to finish the job when there's a loud alarm blaring away and alerting the entire neighbourhood that they're up to something. Newer vehicles often come with a built-in alarm system, but if your vehicle doesn't have one, adding an aftermarket alarm to your car or truck is an option. You can also get systems that sound an audible alert while sending alerts to your smartphone so you can manage the alarm remotely when necessary.  

3. Security Tire Clamps 

When you park in the wrong place at the wrong time, parking enforcement officers sometimes put a "boot" or wheel clamp on your car so you can't leave until you've paid a parking violation fine. But many people don't realize that a tire clamp can also serve as a vehicle security device that prevents thieves from driving off in your car by presenting a physical barrier against theft. The possible downside of a tire clamp is that it takes a couple of minutes to get it on and get it back off again, so it's not the most convenient option when you're in a hurry. Some drivers consider a bit of inconvenience well worth it, though, as a wheel clamp is a very effective anti-theft device that can't be removed without a key or a lot of effort and some special tools.  

4. Kill Switches 

There are quite a few varieties of kill switches for vehicles, such as fuel system relay switches, battery disconnect switches, ignition wire switches and fuse box switches. They are all designed to block the function of the vehicle component they are attached to when activated, so a car cannot be turned on even if a thief has gained entry. Kill switches are typically in hidden locations, so savvy thieves cannot simply remove them. While some types of kill switches can be activated or deactivated remotely, others have to be manually toggled. A fuel relay switch, for example, has a manual knob that opens and closes the fuel line.  

5. Electronic Immobilizers 

Electronic immobilizers prevent the vehicle's engine from starting unless the correct key or transponder is used. They are most effective at preventing a criminal from hot-wiring the vehicle, so immobilizers may be the best anti-theft devices for someone who lives or works in an area where hot wiring is common. They are a standard anti-theft device on many but not all vehicles, so it's a good idea to check if your vehicle's make and model already includes an electronic immobilizer.  

6. Remote Locks 

Many cars and trucks now come with the ability to connect to your smartphone, and that can qualify as an anti-theft device in itself. If you accidentally walk away from your vehicle and forget to lock it, you can do so remotely from your smartphone without having to trek all the way back to where you parked.  

7. Sensors for Glass Breaks and Vehicle Tilts 

These two types of anti-theft device sensors are set off when someone breaks a window on your vehicle or the vehicle changes position, such as when someone attempts to hook it up to a tow truck and haul it away. A few different varieties of sensors are available—some send an alert to your smartphone when they go off, while other types will sound an audible alarm, shut down the ignition or do all three.  

8. Dash Cams 

Dash cams are cameras that are typically mounted on the dashboard of your vehicle, and sometimes in the rear view window as well. Some types of dash cams are only on when the car is turned on, but others can record constantly even when the car is parked. They can serve as a deterrent or help to identify thieves after your vehicle is taken, which increases the chance of recovery. 

While this part doesn't have to do with anti-theft devices, another big bonus of dash cams is that the footage they record can be beneficial when you're involved in a collision and need to prove that you're not the one at fault. That can make a huge difference in the insurance claims process, especially when the type of collision indicates that you could be at fault even though you're not, and it can also be applied in criminal proceedings if it comes to that.  

9. Faraday Bags 

Most cars come with electronic key fobs, but few drivers know it's possible for thieves to pick up the radio frequency emitting from your key fob and use it to gain entry to your vehicle. There's a straightforward anti-theft device to address this problem: faraday bags are small cases for your key fob that block its electromagnetic signals so criminals can't detect them. The cases are inexpensive and small enough to fit in your pocket. When you want to use your key fob, slide it out of the Faraday bag, press the button and slide it back in. They're like RFID wallets but for your vehicle key fob.  

Tips To Keep Your Vehicles Safe From Theft

When you're looking for ways to prevent your vehicle from being stolen, anti-theft devices should be at the top of your list. But there are also other steps you can take to make vehicle theft a lot less likely. Here are a few tips on other ways to protect your car or truck along with the best anti-theft devices:  

  • Always keep your truck or car locked when you're not in it—and even when you are in it
  • Never leave your vehicle running when you are not in it
  • Take care to park in well-lit areas, ideally with security cameras present
  • Don't leave your keys inside your vehicle
  • Don't leave valuable items inside your vehicle where they're visible to people passing by
  • If you have a garage at home, park inside rather than leaving your vehicle in your driveway
  • If you do have to park outside, use deterrents like motion-activated lights around your parking spot
  • Have your VIN (vehicle identification number) etched into the glass on your car
  • Do not keep the vehicle title documents in your car or truck

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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