Do burglar alarms reduce the cost of home insurance?

July 16 2020

Will installing a burglar alarm reduce the cost of my home insurance?

With home insurance premiums increasing by nearly 3% in the last year*, it’s no wonder people are looking to reduce the amount they pay. Does adding a burglar alarm make a difference to home insurance premiums? The honest answer is it depends on both the insurance provider and the alarm system.

Some insurance providers take alarms into account and some don’t. A study by the consumer watchdog Which? showed that when discounts are applied they can amount to anything between 2% and 15% of the total premium. But it’s important to note that not all burglar alarms will qualify.

Why insurers value some alarms more than others

Most insurers insist on a burglar alarm installed by a NACOSS Gold installer** and certified by the National Security Inspectorate. While security experts like ADT tick both of these boxes, many other ‘off the shelf’ alarm systems simply won’t qualify for a discount.

Because cheaper DIY systems rely on you installing them yourself, there’s always a chance that they might be put up incorrectly or in the wrong location.

Then there are the security concerns surrounding these alarms. There have been plenty of worrying stories about cheap alarm systems in recent years and many insurance companies simply won’t take the risk with any alarm that isn’t endorsed by an official body.

It’s also worth noting that many insurance companies make a certified alarm a precondition of some policies. So it’s not a question of being given a discount, more being eligible for an attractive policy in the first place.

The benefits really add up

Rather than looking at an alarm solely as a way to reduce insurance premiums we would always see potential savings as just one of the benefits they bring.

A good alarm is also:

  • A strong visual deterrent, especially when it’s backed up with monitoring
  • A great way to boost your peace of mind
  • A feature buyers look for when you come to sell your home

And there are other ways to reduce home insurance premiums too…

Combine buildings and contents cover – consider taking out both with the same insurance company, as you can often negotiate a cheaper price.

Fit secure locks – doors and windows are the access points burglars target first. Insurers will want to know what locks you’ve got and you might even struggle to find cover if you don’t have the right ones in place.

Install a safe – many insurers charge extra to insure high-value items. Installing a safe is a smart way to lower premiums, although don’t forget to declare everything you store inside.

Lag those pipes – Burst water pipes are among the most common home insurance claims (and therefore increased premiums) so make sure you get them insulated.

Fit smoke detectors – they can lower insurance premiums as your home is less likely to suffer fire damage.

Join the local Neighbourhood Watch – keeping an eye on your local patch is a great way to feel part of the community. And some insurers even offer a discount if you’re a Neighbourhood Watch member.

Whether you decide to buy an alarm to increase peace of mind, reduce insurance premiums or a bit of both, we hope you’ve found this article useful. If you need any more advice on home alarms, or any aspect of your home security, we’re always here to offer expert help and support.

Sources

* https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/06/home-insurance-premiums-jump-in-cost-how-much-do-homeowners-pay-in-your-area/

** https://www.moneysupermarket.com/money-made-easy/burglar-alarms/

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