If you own a desirable vehicle such as an SUV, high-performance car or even a motorhome, there’s a good chance your insurer will insist on an “insurance approved” tracker to be installed as a condition of your policy. You will have to provide your insurer with a certificate of installation and will usually be allowed some time to have the tracking system fitted to your vehicle (often 7 or 14 days after inception of the policy).
Insurance approved tracking systems usually have a monthly or annual subscription in addition to the initial purchase price. Insurance approved trackers generally offer the following features as standard: 24/7 control-room monitoring (who will liaise with police to quickly recover the vehicle after theft), tow-away alert, European coverage, built-in battery backup, battery disconnection alerts and a free mobile phone app.
It’s common place for your insurer to specify a particular category of tracker which you’ll need to install. This will usually depend on the value of your vehicle. Thatcham Research are the governing body who are responsible for certifying vehicle security products and outlining the criteria for each category.
Historically, insurance approved trackers were split into three categories depending on their specification; Category 5, Category 6 and Category 7. However, in January 2019 these categories were discontinued and replaced by Category S5 and Category S7.
Category S7, which replaced Category 6 and Category 7 in January 2019, is the entry-level insurance approved tracking system and usually the cheapest option. Although it does not offer all of the advanced features of an S5 system, it offers fantastic value for money and is the most common choice among customers who require a tracker.
Standard features usually include; 24/7 control-room monitoring, tow-away alert, European coverage, built-in battery backup, battery disconnection alerts and a free Smartphone app.
You can browse our full range of Category S7 trackers HERE.
Category S5 (formally Category 5), is the highest category of vehicle security product available on the market. Insurance companies will often insist on this level of protection for the higher value and most desirable vehicles.
This system will include all of the features of an S7 tracker, with the addition of driver identification tags. This means that a tag must be carried by the driver when the vehicle is being driven. If the vehicle is moved without a tag present, the tracking system will alert the 24/7 control centre who will contact the owner to check the vehicle is safe.
Remote immobilisation is an optional feature with some S5 trackers. This means that the 24/7 control centre can immobilise the vehicle on police request, in a theft situation.
Check out our full range of Category S5 trackers HERE.
Criteria changes in January, 2019
- The driver ID tag can now be attached to the vehicle key, which is more convenient for the driver (although it’s best to confirm this with your insurer).
- Remote immobilisation is no longer a requirement and is now optional (Category S5).
The benefits of Driver ID
A standard Category S7 tracking system is a simple reactive system and does not use driver ID. Therefore, besides the vehicle being towed away or if a disconnection in the power is detected, the vehicle can be driven away without alerting you. For example, if you are asleep in bed and you are broken into; your vehicle keys are stolen and your car is driven away. A category S7 tracking system would not be able to distinguish between you or the thief driving it, with either your keys or cloned keys.
If the same scenario were to happen when you have a Thatcham Category S5 system installed, the tracking system will immediately recognise that the driver ID tag is not present as soon as the vehicle is driven away. This will alert the control room and you will be immediately contacted to verify the location of your vehicle. This means that you are on to the theft within minutes and have a high probability of recovering the vehicle.
For free impartial advice, you can contact our helpful sales team on 0141 266 0082. If you would like to find out more information on the features and specifications of our tracking systems, please visit our product comparison page by clicking HERE.