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New Jersey Residents Only!

How Do I Get An Alarm Discount?

New Jersey rules for auto insurance alarm discounts certainly can't be faulted for a lack of detail. We've never seen anything like them. Chances are most people who reside in New Jersey haven't, either. We admit that, as insurance brokers, our first instinct was to try and find a way to boil this stuff down. But the unfortunate reality is that unless you wade through it all you may not make the right choice. A mistake could cost you some insurance savings. So for our own customers and the general public who may happen upon this page via a search engine, we present the whole, unexpurgated enchilada. Use this resource to determine exactly what alarm discount your automobile qualifies for on your insurance policy.

OK we couldn't help ourselves... here is a shorter version. BUT for legal reasons we have to say that the long version is better for you. Your state government wouldn't make so many rules without a good reason ;-)


New Jersey Insurance Department of Banking and Insurance Regulation N.J.A.C. 11:3-39.1 et seq., sets forth requirements governing Comprehensive coverage premium discounts for vehicles equipped with various anti-theft devices or systems. To qualify:

  1. The vehicle must be equipped with a qualifying anti-theft system as described in the regulation and outlined in the rules below.
  2. The insurer may require reasonable proof that the vehicle is equipped with or has been installed with a device which qualifies as a Category I, II, III or IV anti-theft or vehicle recovery device or a combination of such categories.
  3. An anti-theft system qualifies if a warning label announces the presence of the device and the device is designed to perform according to specific requirements set forth in the regulation.

Application of Anti-Theft System Discount

  1. Refer to the rules below to classify an anti-theft or vehicle recovery system according to its category.
  2. Determine the category I, II, III, IV, or V.
  3. If a vehicle is equipped with two or more anti-theft devices qualifying from two or more categories, apply the category with the single highest discount.
  4. All warning labels announcing the presence of an anti-theft device or system shall be located so as to be visible from the automobile's exterior, preferably on the forward passenger and driver's side door windows.

Special Definitions for Anti-Theft Systems

  1. Alarm - means a device which emits sound audible at 300 feet or more, such as a horn, bell or siren, but does not include those sounds that reasonably may be confused with police or emergency response vehicle sirens.
  2. Electronic Lock or Keyless Lock Device - means an electronic coding device possessing 10,000 possible combinations or more, which may be unlocked by use of a keyboard or similar data entry device or by means of a remote control device.
  3. Non-passive - means a device or system designed to remain inoperative and nonfunctional until actively engaged by the user.
  4. Passive - means a device or system designed to become automatically operative and functional when the automobile's ignition key is moved or stationed in the off position.
  5. Tubular Lock - means a lock which may be opened by a specific cylindrically shaped key and which possesses at least 50,000 possible combinations.

Outline of Anti-Theft or Vehicle Recovery System Categories

  1. Category I - A device qualifies as Category I anti-theft device if it meets the requirements of one of the devices listed below.
    1. An ignition or starter cut-off switch device is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the device, and the device is designed so that the cut-off switch:
      • Is wired into the ignition's wiring;
      • Shall be reset in order to start the automobile; and
      • Is tripped and activated upon exiting of the automobile;
      • Is installed so as not to be visible from the driver's normal seating position.
    2. A non-passive, externally operated alarm is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the device, and the device is designed so that the alarm is:
      • Turned off and on by a key used in an externally mounted lock; and
      • Triggered by the opening of a door, the trunk or hood when engaged.
    3. A steering column armored collar is qualified if a warning label announces the presenece of the device and the device is designed so that the collar:
      • Clamps onto the steering column, over the ignition lock;
      • Prevents access to the ignition lock;
      • Prevents the automobile from being steered, if the automobile is started; and
      • Is in no manner attached to the seering column when the device is not in use.
  2. Category II - A device qualifies as a Category II anti-theft device if it meets the requirements of one of the devices listed below.
    1. A non-passive fuel cut-off device is qualified if a warning label announce the presence of the device, and the device is designed so that the device:
      • Shall be activated and deactivated by a switch or key, which is hidden from normal view; and
      • Blocks the fuel line, when activated.
    2. A non-passive steering wheel lock device is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the device, and the device is designed so that:
      • A steel collar and barrel, into which the shackle of a lock fits, are permanently attached to the steering column;
      • The shackle fits over the steering wheel spoke and into the barrel of the collar;
      • A tubular key must be used to operate the lock;
      • When in use the steering wheel is prevented from turning;
      • The shackle is made of case hardened alloy steel; and
      • The shackle, collar, and barrel resist cutting by a file.
    3. An armored cable hood lock and ignition cut-off switch is qualified if the device is designed so that:
      • The ignition cut-off switch:
        • Is wired into the ignition's wiring;
        • Is tripped and activated by exiting of the automobile;
        • Shall be reset in order to start the automobile; and
        • Is installed so as not to be visible from the driver's normal seating position.
      • The armored cable hood lock;
        • Shall be engaged and disengaged by a push button or such similar device installed within the driver's reach when the driver is seated;
        • Shall extend through the fire wall and be secured so as to prevent retraction; and
        • Must be of a material which effectively prevents cutting.
    4. An emergency handbrake lock is qualified if the device is designed so that:
      • A lock replaces the handbrake grip and is permanently attached to the handbrake lever;
      • The lock is only released by entering a preset digital combination;
      • The lock encasement is of all metal construction; and
      • The handbrake cannot be released without releasing the lock.
    5. A car transmission lock is qualified if the device is designed so that:
      • It prevents the vehicle from moving from a parked position by locking the gear shift;
      • It is a steel-encased lock which is permanently attached to the floor of the vehicle by a steel stand;
      • The shackle is made of case hardened alloy steel that prevents moving of the gear shift;
      • It has a high security locking system with at least 50,000 combinations; and
      • The lock, shackle and stand resist cutting and filing.
  3. Category III - A device qualifies as a Category III anti-theft device or vehicle recovery device if it meets the requirements of one of the devices listed below.
    1. A passive system is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the system, and the system is designed so that:
      • The alarm is triggered by entry of the automobile's doors, hood or trunk;
      • The alarm sounds for not more than eight minutes and is automatically reset upon its cessation from sounding;
      • The alarm is installed in the engine compartment so as to be inaccessible without opening the hood.
      • The hood shall not open unless unlocked from within the automobile by a key or a keyless device;
      • The ignition or starter shall be cut-off or disabled automatically upon triggering of the alarm; and
      • The system shall be disengaged by use of a tubular lock or an electronic keyless device within a maximum time elapse of 20 seconds following entry or re-entry of the automobile.
    2. A fuel cut-off device is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the device, and the device is designed so that:
      • The fuel line is blocked when the automobile is turned off and is not re-opened unless a switch is tripped each time the automobile is started;
      • The switch opening the fuel line is accessible from the driver's seat, but:
        • Is hidden from view; or
        • Is operable only by a tubular key or an electronic keyless device;
      • Any under-the-dash wiring installed in connection with the system shall blend with factory wiring; and
      • Any override switch which is installed shall be hidden from view. The override switch shall either:
        • Not be accessible from the forward passenger compartment; or
        • If accessible from the forward passenger compartment, be subject to initiating a warning alarm which sounds while the engine is running and the override switch is engaged. Note: If a warning alarm is required, pursuant to this provision, then the system shall be designed so that disconnection of the override alarm shall result in disconnection of the entire passive fuel cut-off device.
    3. An armored ignition cut-off switch is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the device, and the device is designed so that:
      • The device, when engaged, prevents a normal ignition or "hot wiring" of the automobile, interrupting the ignition current;
      • A cable runs from a locking system, separate from the ignition lock, to the ignition coil, starter solenoid, or other engine component;
      • The cable is of a material and a design which either effectively prevents cutting or collapses when cut to prevent ready reconnection of cut interior wires; and
      • The separate locking system shall be installed within the interior of the automobile in a position which is accessible to the driver in normal seating and may be of the tubular type or an electronic keyless device.
    4. A passive multi-component cut-off switch is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the device, and the device is designed so that:
      • When engaged, the primary wire to the ignition coil is disconnected, the starter is disconnected and one or more wires to the electronic ignition system, or the points and condenser are grounded to the chassis;
      • The wiring blends with factory installed wiring;
      • The disconnected/grounding wires shall be routed to random points in the electrical system away from the components the wires affect;
      • The control module, if separate from the electronic mechanism, shall be hidden in the engine compartment or other part of the automobile, so that the control module is not easily detectable;
      • The automobile cannot be started unless the device is deactivated through a locking system installed within the interior of the vehicle. The locking system shall be accessible to the driver in a normal seating position. The lock may be either of a tubular type or system which uses an electronic keyless device.
    5. A passive time delay ignition system is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the system, and the system is designed so that:
      • The system allows the automobile to be started only if the operator waits a prescribed time period before moving the ignition key from on to start;
      • The prescribed time period varies from one system to another in a range of three seconds to 20 seconds;
      • The system requires an additional waiting period of at least 90 seconds before the operator may try to start the automobile again with success;
      • The system includes a hood lock which is operated by a tubular key; and
      • The system shall resist tampering.
    6. An armored cable or electronically operated hood lock and ignition cut-off switch system is a qualified system is a warning label announces the presence of the system, and the system is designed so that:
      • When engaged, the ignition cannot be started, or is cut-off;
      • When an armored cable hood lock is used:
        • The cable shall be made of case-hardened solid steel tubing which resists cutting;
        • The cable shall extend through the fire wall and be secured so as to prevent retraction;
        • No portion of the cable may be accessible so as to be grasped from beneath the automobile, and if accessible through the grill work, the armor shall extend to the hood locking mechanism; and
        • The system shall be engaged by a push button within the automobile's interior, or a similar device, which is installed so as to be readily accessible to the driver in normal seating position;
      • When an electronically operated hood lock is used:
        • The hood lock is electronically operated and functions so as to remain locked even when wiring which operates the hood is cut
        • The hood lock, if accessible through the grill work, or from beneath the car, shall be shielded or armored to prevent manual operation;
        • The system shall be passively engaged by turning the ignition key to the off position; and
        • The system shall be disengaged through use of a separate key and lock, or an electronic keyless device; and
      • The locks controlling the hood lock systems shall be either of the tubular type or be operated electronically.
    7. A passive delayed ignition cut-off system is qualified if a warning label announces he presence of the system, and the system is designed so that:
      • The ignition circuit is interrupted automatically when the engine reaches a pre-set speed, unless the system is actively disengaged;
      • The speed is pre-set in a range between 1500 and 2000 revolutions per minute (RPM);
      • The system is engaged when the ignition is turned off;
      • The system may be disengaged by a push button or other specific device within the interior of the vehicle, but shall be hidden from view;
      • The system may be disengaged by use of either a lock of the tubular type or an electronic keyless device;
      • Wiring shall blend with factory wiring, if placed under the dash;
      • An alarm shall sound when the ignition is disabled; and
      • If an override switch is provided, the switch shall be hidden from view, and work continuously while the engine is running.
    8. A passive ignition lock protection system is qualified if a warning label announces the system, and the system is designed so that:
      • A case hardened steel protective cap fits over the ignition;
      • The cap fastens to a steel collar fitted around the steering column and over the ignition lock and
      • The cap contains a slotted opening through which the ignition key fits and is operable.
      • A high security replacement lock device is qualified if a warning label announces the device, and the device is designed so that it is a case-hardened steering column ignition lock conforming to the National Highway Traffice and Safety Association's Standard No. 114-1.
      • A hydraulic brake lock device is qualified if a warning label announce the presence of the device and the device is designed so that:
        • The device is mounted on the dash;
        • When activated and pressurized with the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure is maintained on the brakes at two or more of the automobile's wheels;
        • The device has a high locking system with at least 50,000 combinations; and
        • The lock is such that it cannot be pulled using a conventional slide hammer or lock puller equipment.
      • A window etching identification system is qualified if a warning label announces the presence of the system, and the system is designed so that:
        • A specific, identifiable set of numbers is permanently etched into all primary window glass areas, either by sandblasting or a chemical process;
        • The set of numbers must be traceable to the automobile's registered owner; and
        • Immediate telephonic notification or identification of the registrant must available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
  4. Category IV - A device or system qualifies as a Category IV anti-theft or vehicle recovery device if a warning label announces the presence of the device and it meets the following requirements:
    1. The device or system is designed to transmit a pulse or signal by which the location of the automobile in which the device or system is installed may be tracked by those receiving the signal;
    2. The device or system is activated or initiated when an automobile is stolen or reported stolen to police;
    3. The pulse or signal either must be transmittable to the New Jersey State Police or to a private central monitoring station which shall have direct communication with the New Jersey State Police for the purpose of reporting, tracking and monitoring the automobile; and
    4. The device or system shall be designed so that upon recovery, information concerning the automobile's location may be provided to the proper authorities and/or the automobile's owner or insurer.
    5. All warning labels announcing the presence of an anti-theft or vehicle recovery device or system shall be located so as to be visible from the automobile's exterior, preferably on the forward passenger and driver's side door windows.
  5. Category V - A vehicle equipped with a Category III and Category IV anti-theft or vehicle recovery device in combination shall receive a separate discount.
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Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at matt@lelandwest.com