Many autos are sold with navigation systems these days, and many after-market systems are available to install for vehicles that don’t come standard with them. Locating your position with GPS can be helpful for finding your way in a new city, getting directions for hard-to-find locations or identifying areas of interest wherever you are. For some, the on-board navigation system is one of the most valuable parts of the vehicle. Like many other customizations you can order for a car, it also has a potential effect on your auto insurance premiums.

Do People With GPS Devices Pay Less for Insurance?

The question of whether your navigation device will save you money on car insurance depends largely on what type of device you have. Some navigation devices are designed only to help the driver navigate to a new destination. These utilize a combination of verbal directions and visual cues to guide drivers. Although a helpful tool for drivers, this type of system usually will not have an effect on your policy.

Many navigation systems have an additional feature, however, that makes them invaluable to insurance companies. These include GPS trackers that not only help drivers find their way, it also helps people find the vehicle itself. If the car is ever stolen, the vehicle’s location can be tracked so that the thief will be found.

Some systems go so far as to enable a remote shut-down of the vehicle so that it can be disabled if a thief takes it. Because auto theft is a major concern in some areas, having solid protection against thieves can drastically decrease the cost of insurance.

GPS tracking systems like OnStar go one step further by providing customer support that can assist with an auto accident. They can recognize when your vehicle has been involved in a collision and can help call for assistance such as police or ambulances. These additional service is invaluable for some drivers and may further decrease the cost of auto insurance policies.

Other Ways a GPS Device Can Affect Your Premiums

An indirect effect of the GPS system is that many vehicles that come equipped with one may have other safety features that can also reduce the cost of insurance. Minivans in particular are well-known for their abundance of safety features. Designed to appeal to cautious families, these vehicles may come with back-up sensors, car alarms, side-impact airbags and other features that different vehicles do not have. All of these additional safety features will help to reduce the cost of insurance by reducing the severity of claims and helping to prevent injuries.

It’s important to note, however, that these features usually come in luxury vehicles as well, and that may counteract some of the decreased rates. Luxury vehicles are traditionally more expensive to insure than other types of cars due to the cost of repairing them. In order to avoid the high costs of luxury vehicle insurance, try to buy an affordable domestic-made car whenever possible; domestic and Japanese vehicles are cheaper to insure than German or other foreign makes due to the cost of parts and labor.

Final Considerations

If your vehicles does not come standard with a GPS system, you can install one. Depending on the model, this may help reduce the price of your auto insurance, but you need to be careful and make sure you protect your purchase. Many auto insurance companies do not cover aftermarket customizations even if they are made to improve the safety of the vehicle. This means that if your system is stolen or damaged in an auto accident, your insurance company may not cover it.

Thieves often steal navigation systems if they can get them. Much like car stereos a decade ago, GPS systems are easy to re-sell and bring the thief a fast, easy profit. More disturbingly, the thief may be able to use the GPS to identify your driving habits and find your home, which can then be broken into. If you do decide to buy a navigation system that could be easily removed from the vehicle, be sure to increase the anti-theft measurements you take to protect your car.

Contact your insurer prior to obtaining a system to find out what additional coverages you may need to buy to insure the system. Also ask if there are any discounts associated with the brand you’re looking to buy; the insurance company may be able to guide you toward a purchase that will save you the most money on your annual premiums.