The Facets of Theft Protection

By: Cindy Sly

The Facets of Theft Protection

Theft protection is an area within the industry that continues to be a popular F&I product for the dealer. In this review, we have responses from companies providing products that fill the dealer’s customer demand for theft protection. Some companies stress the flexibility of putting together a suite of products based on dealer requests. The emphasis being on the financial benefit and not driven by the actual theft product itself (etch etc.). Other companies offer specialized theft programs, which are significantly tied to the actual theft product.

Etching is still the tried and true staple of all the companies’ theft protection offerings. Etch is a low cost, simple to apply and effective product. It is also an effective deterrent so it is an easy one to wrap with additional benefits such as car rental, towing, and deductible reimbursements.

The fact that the combined value of a car’s parts are often worth more than the car itself has inspired other theft products. DataDot and Ultra Violet (UV) markers are now also part of the Theft family. Ultra violet markers and DataDot permanently mark the vehicle on a variety of (and perhaps all) parts. The markers are registered so if a vehicle is stolen, the true identity of both the vehicle and each of its parts lives on. Similar to etch these products are also accompanied by financial benefits.

It is interesting that these products are all so cheap that some providers are pushing to have them applied to every car on a sales lot. If the F&I office sells at least some portion to customers, the minimal cost of this strategy is more than justified. Not so with the GPS side of theft recovery.

The initial cost of GPS products and the annual subscription renewal are seen to make this an expensive theft protection option. But there are additional obstacles. Coordination of a secure and reliable installation and the fact that it can be disarmed when the power is removed from a vehicle are additional concerns. However, while radio based/GPS systems seem to have some hard knocks against them, ironically it is part of the theft technology of the future.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are intelligent bar codes that communicate to a GPS device or networked system to track a product, a vehicle or the individual parts of a vehicle. This system would signal if a single part is moving while the rest of the vehicle is stationery. This along with auto and powersports manufacturers beginning to tag parts as original during the production process with the use of UV markers will be the next wave of theft protection. The end game is to devalue the parts to thieves.

There are many layers to theft protection: consumers wanting protection, dealers wanting a cost effective and profitable solution, suppliers developing innovative ideas to stay a step ahead of the thief and the companies providing the safety net should a theft occur.

Read on from those within the multi-faceted arena of theft protection.

Theft Protection Company Profiles

Administrative Marketing Services (AMS)

Please give us a short background to your company and the broad product categories that you support and sell.

The Oak Group is the parent company and one of the oldest and most stable companies in the finance and insurance industry. Since 1975, we have been offering a comprehensive portfolio of products and services for automobile dealerships and financial institutions.

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Allstate Dealer Services (ADS)

Please give us a short background to your company and the broad product categories that you support and sell.

Allstate Dealer Services (ADS), a member of the Allstate family of companies, has over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry. ADS is committed to providing a full suite of Allstate branded F&I products, services, and programs that protect consumers and generate revenue for our partners.

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Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS)

Please give us a short background to your company and the broad product categories that you support and sell (VSC, GAP, Theft, etc)

IAS aftermarket products include GAP, Theft, Tire and Wheel, Key Replacement, Roadside Assistance, Door Ding Protection, Windshield Repair or Replacement, and Interior and Exterior protection products.

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National Automotive Experts (NAE)

Please give us a short background to your company and the broad product categories that you support and sell (VSC, GAP, Theft, etc)

National Automotive Experts (NAE) is a full product administrator offering VSC, Gap, Theft, Environmental, Windshield, Dent, Pre-paid Maintenance, Warranty Forever®, Limited Warranties, Key, Tire and Wheel and more. We specialize in assisting our agents and dealers in income development and customized dealership profit centers. Retro, reinsurance and dealer obligor programs are available.

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Safe-Guard Products International, LLC

Please give us a short background to your company and the broad product categories that you support and sell (VSC, GAP, Theft, etc.)

Safe-Guard Products International, LLC offers exceptional F&I products, effective income development and unparalleled customer service. By incorporating extensive industry knowledge and a client-first approach, Safe-Guard has become the leading provider of F&I products in the automotive aftermarket industry while also offering a wide array of products for the RV/trailer, marine and powersport segments.

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SouthwestRe

Please give us a short background to your company and the broad product categories that you support and sell (VSC, GAP, Theft, etc)

SouthwestRe is a provider of automotive F&I products and services. SouthwestRe provides policy and financial administration and is notably one of the most knowledgeable organizations in the reinsurance arena. SouthwestRe offers a full spectrum of F&I products including VSC, GAP, Theft, Appearance, Tire and Wheel and Credit insurance.

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This article was written by:

- has written 27 posts on P&A Magazine.

Cindy Sly is Managing Editor for P&A eMagazine and Agent Entrepreneur eMagazine. She brings over 10 years of automotive publishing, marketing, and trade show experience.

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The views expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of P&A Magazine or any employee thereof.

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