Whenever you buy a used vehicle, there is a chance that a previous owner had the car's VIN etched into its windshield. To see whether it was etched, just look in the lower left corner of the glass. If the car you bought has its VIN etched, then it may be worth finding an auto insurance policy that will give you a discount for this anti-theft measure.
Vehicle identification numbers (VINs) are unique, 17-digit numbers used to identify vehicles. Since 1981, as CARFAX details, auto manufacturers have been required to assign every car or truck they make a VIN, and no two automobiles have the same VIN.
Most manufacturers print a car's VIN on a metal plate, which is affixed to the lower left corner of the windshield. While this is useful for identifying the car in a sale, thieves can easily remove the metal plate and replace it with a false one.
VIN etching uses a stencil and low-grade acid to etch a car's VIN into its windshield. If thieves were to replace the VIN with a false one, they would have to take out the windshield, not just a metal plate. Since this makes reselling stolen cars more difficult, some insurers offer an anti-theft discount for VIN etching.
A Discount on Comprehensive Coverage
Because VIN-etching reduces the risk of theft, any discount offered by an insurer for it will be on the comprehensive part of the policy. Comprehensive coverage insures your car against harm caused by events other than collisions, such as fire, vandalism, flood and theft.
When searching for a VIN-etching discount, you may need the assistance of an independent insurance agency. This is a less common discount, so some websites don't include it among their options. An independent agent, however, will be able to compare all the auto policies available to you and find out which ones offer a VIN-etching discount.
The auto insurance premiums will often be higher on a car you recently purchased, even if it's used, than the one you previously drove. Asking an independent agent for help finding a policy that includes a VIN-etching discount, if your car qualifies for one, may help make those monthly payments more affordable.
If you've bought a car that has VIN-etching, contact an independent insurance agency today to see what type of anti-theft discounts it might qualify for. One of their agents will be able to help you find policies from all the insurers in your area that offer VIN-etching discounts. (For more information, contact Liverpool Associates)