Among the many reasons to install a home security system, such as peace of mind against theft, invasion, and personal harm, there’s one that might not have occurred to you: An alarm system can save you money over the years by keeping your homeowner’s insurance lower.
This may not be a primary reason to install a security system but a home insurance discount can be used to calculate the affordability of a solid security system. Add in a fire alarm system that alerts the local fire department and the discount rises.
The Home Insurance Discount Companies Offer Can Be Substantial
Homeowner’s insurance covers damage from theft of contents in the home, fire and storm damage (but rarely floods) and injury incurred in the home. It’s a solid investment to help your financial and emotional security after a devastating loss that you obviously hope never occurs. As it turns out, the insurance companies hope the same.
Hence, the generous discounts for home insurance for households that have alarm systems in place. According to Realtor.com, a home security system can reduce an insurance bill by as much as 15%. And if you’ve managed to avoid filing a homeowner’s claim a certain number of years, you can ask for even more discounts and receive as much as an additional 20% premium reduction.
Burglars Move On If They See Alarms
A 2013 study of 422 prisoners locked up for burglary found that most looked for alarms and security equipment such as cameras when they cased a residence. The study, conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, found some interesting points:
• 83% looked for evidence of security, including cameras, dogs, and signs for the alarm system • 60% skipped over homes with apparent security • Half who discover an alarm system during a break in abandon the house and more than a third said they “might” retreat • Female burglars were more likely to pass over a home with security • Half said they primarily burgled homes and 31% preferred to target businesses
Security Alarms and Other Precautions Protect Your Home and Premiums
While the UNC study certainly shows the benefit of an alarm system as a deterrent measure against burglars, there are still those who will attempt to break into a home no matter what the level of security available.
Insurance companies like to see efforts to prevent break-ins so will even discount items like deadbolt locks on doors and windows. The point is to prevent a burglary, something you and the insurance companies want.
Here are some more low-cost, low-tech approaches homeowners and renters should take to lower the chance for a break-in:
• Make your place look occupied. Use a timer to turn on a couple of lights at dusk. • When you’re away, have the mail and newspaper delivery halted. • You might think that tall shrubs protect you from prying eyes, but in fact burglars use them to hide. Keep them trimmed and protect your privacy with shades and blinds. • Keep windows, doors and garage doors closed and locked even when at home