Would my vehicle be less attractive to car thieves if I brand the vehicle with bright colours etc? This thought has crossed my mind while thinking of ways to reduce the risk of vehicle loss through theft and hijacking. The Polo that I am driving at the moment has a visible scar on the back bumper where an electric gate closed on it. This was rather annoying when it happened, but as time went on I considered this to be an anti-theft feature.
I have often asked the question – “If I was a thief – would I take the vehicle where there is still repairs or alterations to be made or would I rather take the vehicle without any distinguishing features?” This also prompted my question – “Can vehicle branding reduce my car insurance premiums?”
We often find the larger companies branding their fleets of vehicles and this serves as effective roaming advertising as well! I do believe that these vehicles are less likely to be taken by thieves than your nice looking non branded vehicle!
Car Insurance and Vehicle Branding
I decided to raise this question with a few of the insurers and would like to share the response received from Discovery Insure:
“Branding probably does have an effect on theft risk in the same way that unique or unusual vehicle brands are lower risk (I doubt many Ferraris ever get stolen!). Much easier to find a branded car quickly than a White BMW for example.
The incidence of branded cars in personal lines insurance is very low and hence this is not a question that a personal lines insurer would ask. Also it at best only affects theft risk and not really accident risk (which is the larger risk an insurer covers)
To the best of our knowledge, ‘vehicle branding’ is not used as a rating factor during initial pricing in personal lines currently, meaning that it is not something that is asked during the initial selling process.
I am unable to assist you with answering your questions with regards to theft risk associated with vehicle branding as I am unaware of any analyses done in this regard. One thing that might be useful to consider is that speed at which branded cars could be re-sprayed following the theft event.
Unfortunately I am also unable to comment on Fleet insurance which is not covered by Discovery Insure.”
Even though branding your own vehicle might not at present provide you with a reduced car insurance premium, there is more at stake than just payment of your monthly premium. It is always better not to have your vehicle stolen than to have peace of mind that the insurance can cover the theft!
If you are a cautious vehicle owner you will do more than just pay your car insurance premium to protect your vehicle and yourself.
If we are able to reduce the chances of being hijacked we might be well advised to consider such options. The branding of vehicles might be advantageous both to advertise our business and to reduce our chances of becoming victims of vehicle crime.
We would advise that you consult with your insurance company on this matter and where you are a business owner with several vehicles on the road, vehicle branding would definitely be an important consideration to bring to the attention of your car insurance company!
Here is a nice example of visible vehicle branding from my photographer friend Anton Geyser from Auto Excellence in Centurion: