Surviving South Africa’s crime rate means taking the necessary steps to prevent and deter criminals. When it comes to vehicle theft and hijacking, satellite tracking is one of the best deterrents. There is also the added benefit of a slightly discounted rate for your car insurance by opting for satellite tracking. However, it is important to understand every aspect of how satellite tracking impacts on your car insurance and even beyond the money aspect as to how it could save your life. For many car owners, the low monthly costs of having satellite tracking is just not affordable but at times it is also considered an optional extra when in this day and age, it should be seen as a necessity in South Africa.

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Vehicle Monitoring in South Africa

Satellite tracking works by using global positioning satellites (GPS) to locate your vehicle’s exact position and feeding these coordinates through radio signals or cellular networks back to your vehicle monitoring company. This is the basic principle behind how satellite tracking for cars work but some systems may also use other systems. Not all satellite tracking systems are active all of the time. Instead it can be activated to then begin the tracking. Once your car’s satellite tracking unit is activated, it acts as a location beacon to inform the provider of where it is and even at what speed it is travelling. With this information, the police or armed response unit can then be dispatched to intercept the vehicle and recover it.

Benefits of Satellite Tracking

Basically what this all means is that now a car can be tracked and recovered rather than being lost entirely. Before the days of satellite tracking, police had to use other methods to locate vehicles where possible. Often these cars were stripped in chop shops and never recovered. Sometimes the car was refurbished and sold again while at other times it was just the parts of the vehicle that were sold. Car thieves and hijackers along with the chop shop workers are so proficient at their ‘trade’ that within a few hours all traces of a car are practically gone. Your insurance company therefore had to pay out for the loss of vehicle before the days of satellite car tracking.

The introduction of vehicle satellite tracking in South Africa offered new hope to citizens, the police and car insurance companies. Now  private citizens could feel safer when travelling, the police could track criminals and insurance providers did not need to pay out for recovered vehicles. It was a win-win situation for everybody. These days most car owners only consider satellite tracking for the benefits in terms of lower car insurance premiums but it is important to remember that it goes beyond the money factor. In a country like South Africa where criminals are often brutal even when they are able to get the items they want, having a slight edge with satellite car tracking can spare you hours of torture or even death.

Discount on Car Insurance Premiums

Remember back in the 90s when car hijackings were practically happening everywhere and anywhere especially in the major South African cities? Did you ever think just how much car insurance companies were paying out? Well, even if you did not realise the impact in the insurance industry, you most probably felt it by higher car insurance premiums. South African car insurance is not cheap. The crime rate is high. Vehicles are stolen and hijacked regularly. And of course the road traffic accident rate is always soaring but that is a different matter. Since car insurance companies can benefit from satellite tracking that can recover the vehicle, they save by not having to pay out for as many stolen or hijacked cares.

Most car insurance providers only discount your premium by just about the same rate that you pay for the monthly satellite tracking service. It may not entirely be a major saving on car insurance but at least you can afford tracking without having to pay more above and beyond the car insurance. Even if you do not have a tracking unit at the time of buying the vehicle, you are given a grace perioda few days to weeks to get it installed after taking possession of your vehicle. If you have not done so by this time, your insurance provider will revert to a premium without the tracking discount factored in. Remember that only certain satellite tracking systems are approved by insurance companies and your system needs to be checked regularly to ensure that it is working in order for the sicount to stay.