Monday, 1 July 2013

Thatcham Approved Alarms – What they mean for your Insurance

Thatcham Research is the motor insurers' automotive research centre. It was founded in 1969 with the intention of minimising the cost of insurance claims whilst still preserving road safety standards. Thatcham Research is currently Britain's only 'not for profit' research centre funded by the leading motor insurance companies. The majority of Thatcham's work is funded by their thirty plus insurer members. Based on the outskirts of Newbury, Berkshire the establishment has over 180 staff and enjoys the prestige of having a worldwide reputation in the insurance and automotive sectors.

This reputation helps enforce the Thatcham Quality Assured trademark which is universally seen as a guarantor of reliability. It's this noted expertise and eminence for quality that places the centre in the ideal position to carry out independent product certification on a wide range of vehicle related products. This stamp of approval applies to Thatcham's automotive security testing program.

Thatcham Research brings to mind an instant association with vehicle security for plenty of people, with the reason being the contribution they had to the reduction of car crime since the mid 90's. In 1992 Thatcham allocated a portion of their resources to establishing a dedicated vehicle security team. The goal was to ebb the growing tide of car crime which was seriously effecting the insurance industry. The annual incidences of vehicle theft peaked at 650,000 in this period, today they are less then 100,000 case per year. Many administrations helped reduce this figure, the police, the government and vehicle manufacturers all included but Thatcham's commitment to improving standards was undoubtedly pivotal.

Their testing procedures, which are reputed to be the most stringent in the world, extend to not only factory fit installations but aftermarket too.  These procedures include subjecting every new vehicle to a New Vehicle Security Assessment (NVSA). This assessment's results are passed to the insurance group rating panel where, dependant on performance, they can affect a vehicle's grouping by up to 2 groups.

The aftermarket testing team also accredit either Category 1 or Category 2 status to car alarms and immobilisers.  A Category 2 (Cat 2) specifies a car immobiliser and Category 1 (Cat 1) means a car alarm with an immobiliser incorporated.  Looking for this accreditation is crucial as the majority of insurance firms will insist on your car being fitted with either Cat 1 or 2 in order to issue a policy covering car theft.
In addition to this your security device must be fitted by and authorised installer who will provide the vehicle owner with a certificate embossed with their unique accreditation number and details. 

In 2010 Thatcham launched a database to collect and store information of all aftermarket installed security systems including who installed them. This database can easily be accessed by all major insurance companies and helps provide an efficient system free from fraud.

So if you need to insure your vehicle from theft you need a Thatcham approved alarm and you need it installed by an accredited professional, lucky we can provide you with both. So visit us today and we'll help you reduce your insurance premiums and increase your vehicles security.

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