Auto Insurance in Austin

You and Your Auto Insurance: Driving in Austin

Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. The city prides itself on being “The Live Music Capital of the World.” Austin’s reputation has grown in recent years as being a center of technology as well. Both industries are represented each year in the famed “South by Southwest,” also known as SXSW, the more than week-long annual festival  of music, film and emerging technologies.

For drivers in the city, Austin has implemented Texas Automobile Theft Authority programs to provide more effective auto theft prevention.  Coupled with The Texas Action Council on Theft (TACT) sponsored programs, which provide anti-theft security labels for personal property including vehicle parts, Austin has had great success in deterring auto theft, and ranks lower than many cities.  Due in a large part to these programs, Austin can be proud of standing nationally at #153 in regards to automobile theft.

Let’s look at some automobile theft myths to better inform you so you can protect yourself more wisely. More information can be found at the links at the end of this article.

Some Automobile Theft Myths:

Myth #1: A rental car Is always provided by your auto insurance coverage.

Report your car stolen and a rental car is always covered by your automobile insurance. This is not always the case.  Automobile theft, when included, will be part of your Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage does not always include a rental car in the event a vehicle is stolen. Look at your policy. One year of coverage may be less than the cost of a single-day vehicle rental.

Myth #2: Anti-theft devices are a do-it-yourself job, and install easily.

Wiring, installation, and testing an anti-theft device or system is best done by a professional. Today’s vehicles are all too electronic and computerized for someone who is untrained to alter. Don’t break your car trying to protect it from theft.  Your installer should be certified by the Mobile Electronics Certification Program (MECP). Get a warranty in writing, and have them walk through the system so you are comfortable and able to use your new protection properly.

Myth #3: Older vehicles do not interest thieves.

If you believe there’s no interest in stealing older vehicles, think again.  The top five model years stolen in 2005 according to The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) were 1991, 1995, 1989, 1994 and 1997.

To combat theft, the NICB investigates cases referred by insurers using its online databases. The reality is that if your older vehicle is stolen, it is probably for parts that are no longer manufactured or are expensive specialty parts that are hard to come by. These parts individually may be more difficult to obtain than your vehicle. If you have an older vehicle and have dropped Comprehensive coverage, remember that you will foot the bill for a rental car. The NICB recommends protection using a layered approach.

Auto insurance premiums are affected by a great many things.  As automobile theft is a big problem, it factors into insurance rates. Keep up to date with your automobile security across the board.  Review your policy once a year to make sure you have the proper coverages and are comfortable with what will and won’t be covered in the case of theft.  Your insurance can be a great asset toward maintaining financial security in the event your automobile is stolen.

Enjoy driving in Austin, Live Music Capital of the World!

 

Resources

The Wiser Drivers Program www.wiserdrivers.com
Insurance Information Institute (III)  www.iii.org
Council of Better Business Bureaus www.bbb.org/us/cbbb/
National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) www.nicb.org