There are two types of vehicle tracking systems for insurance. Unfortunately if your insurance company specifically asks for a Category 5 device, there is no point trying to negotiate to the less expensive Cat 6 system.
GPS Vehicle Tracking
Both Cat 5 and Cat 6 use GPS Vehicle Tracking. This means that when the car is stolen, they do not need to be near a police vehicle for tracking to commence.
Both categories require a monitoring subscription. This is a fee paid directly to the company who produced the system installed in the vehicle. GPS monitoring is provided via a secure command centre, which is manned 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. This level of monitoring is always a required feature for continued insurance compliance.
However there are significant differences between the two systems.
Firstly a Cat 6 system is considerably cheaper to have installed and also carries lower annual subscription costs.
Cat 5 systems are more sophisticated with extra features designed to tackle particular types of car theft. These include electronic key duplication, as well as burglary and key theft, ensuring police are notified at the earliest opportunity.
A major benefit of Category 5 systems is that once stolen, vehicles can be controlled remotely from the secure command centre.
Cat 5 devices seem to be an insurance requirement on new cars over a certain value. In these cases it is usually impossible to get insurance without a Category 5 system installed and monitored. Certain makes and models of car are associated with this Category, and as Insurance companies share information, it becomes a database necessity read off the screen.
This is why if your insurance company specifically asks for a Cat 5, there is no point in trying to negotiate to the cheaper Cat 6. It will be interesting to see, if as cars devalue with age, whether a Cat 5 will always be required.
It is unusual for tracking devices to be asked for when renewing insurance, for example on high value cherished cars. However as vehicles change hands and new policies are needed, this is a time they can be asked for. It’s worth saying that, insurance employees rarely know differences between the two systems, and the type of system required should reflect the current value of the car. Generally in these cases, unless a car is rare or of high value, then a Category 5 system is unreasonable.
Trafficmaster provide Cat 5 and Cat 6 Trackstar systems. Their products are recommended by BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Range Rover and therefore backed by appropriate car manufacturer warranties.