Does having an alarm affect my home insurance?

In an ideal world. Installing a burglar alarm, especially a monitored alarm, would mean that you are less likely to be burgled. Therefore, less likely to need to make a claim on your home insurance.

It would make sense that your home insurance premiums would be lower than those households without a burglar alarm installed, right?

Unfortunately it doesn’t always work like this. 

Although some insurance companies will offer a discount for those households with added security features. Many do not.

It varies between each insurance company. There is no guarantee that the company that you choose to take out your insurance with will offer this discount. Many times the savings you make will not offset the initial installation cost.

However, does this mean that you shouldn’t bother installing an alarm

Having a burglar alarm along with other security measures in place, such as CCTV and outside lighting. Can not only bring you peace of mind but they can also act as a deterrent to potential intruders so even if you do not get a discount on your insurance premiums they can still be a worthwhile investment. 

Statistics show that homes with this type of security are five times less likely to be broken into than homes with no alarm. The peace of mind that this can bring can be worth a lot more than reduced insurance premiums. 

What different types of alarms are there? 

There are 4 main types of alarms.

These vary in specifications and also cost. Your insurance company may also offer a discount on one of these options, but not the other. So it is always worth checking before you make your decision. 

Audible Only

This is the most basic type of burglar alarm.

Sensors are placed around your home and once you have set the alarm, either with a code or a key fob, any changes detected by the sensors. Actions such as motion or heat will activate the alarm.

As this is audible only you will not have the option to be contacted when the alarm is raised. If you are not at home. You will have to hope that a neighbour or someone passing by will hear this and contact the police or yourself. 

Dialler Alarm

A dialler alarm will contact yourself or a nominated person in the event that the alarm is activated.

You will be able to pre-program between three and ten contact numbers. Depending on the model you choose. The dialler will then work through these numbers in priority order until someone is contacted. 

Smart Home Security

This alarm can be connected to your smartphone, or your tablet, and also those of your contacts.

From your phone you will be able to control the system. Including the motion sensors, cameras and light switches. If the alarm is activated whilst you are not at home you will be contacted. 

Monitored alarm

This is the most sophisticated type of alarm and is monitored twenty four hours a day by an outside company.

The alarm communicates with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and if the alarm is raised, yourself and the police will be contacted immediately.

A monitored alarm can only be installed by a professional and they must meet certain standards.

You will also have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to the company that monitors your alarm

Should I tell my insurance company if I install an alarm? 

Even if they do not offer a discount it is always a good idea to let them know. The same goes, if you are insuring a home that doesn’t have an alarm. You may think that there is no reason to tell them. Especially if they are not offering a discount, but this could prevent any problems arising if you need to make a claim in future.

It is important that if you do have a burglar alarm you use it correctly. If you forget to set it one day and your home is broken into. Then you could find that your insurance is void due to this error. 

Could I just tell my insurance company I have an alarm to get a discount? 

When dealing with any type of insurance it is always advised to be upfront and honest with them.

If you tell them that you have an alarm and at a later date need to make a claim after your home being broken into. You will find that your insurance is void.

The little amount of money that you save with the discount will not make up for your insurance being invalid. Meaning that you will find yourself out of pocket. 

Could I just get a dummy alarm? 

Many people believe that a dummy alarm will deter potential insurers and whilst this may be the case in some scenarios. Many professional burglars will be able to spot a dummy alarm very quickly.

If you choose to tell your insurance company that you have a fully working alarm. When in fact you have a dummy alarm. Will not serve you well if you need to make an insurance claim in the future. 

Even if you do not receive a discount on your home insurance. When installing an alarm. Do not let this be your deciding factor.

The fact is that a burglar alarm can go a long way in protecting your home.

Statistics show that homes with this type of security are five times less likely to be broken into than homes with no alarm. The peace of mind that this can bring can be worth a lot more than reduced insurance premiums. 

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