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How do burglar alarms affect the cost of my home insurance?

Burglaries are one of the most common crimes committed in the country, with one happening every 108 seconds. That is indeed an astounding figure and just proves how serious the issue is.

According to research, the average domestic burglary costs around £3,030 – and we are not just talking about the obvious monetary losses here. There’s a lot of costs attached to it than just the valuables lost.

For this reason, homeowners must install some kind of security systems, such as burglar alarms, to keep criminals away from their precious homes and the valuables in them.

In addition to providing security and safety benefits, burglar alarms can affect the cost of home insurance as well. Let’s find out how:

HOW DO BURGLAR ALARMS LOWER HOME INSURANCE COSTS?

It is a fact that you’re less likely to get burgled if you have a burglar alarm installed in your home, which is why most insurers encourage the idea and offer deductions in home insurance premiums for people having such systems in place.

The discounts and offers might vary between insurers, where for some, to qualify for a discount or even make a claim, the homeowners must have a well-maintained monitored burglar alarm, while some might not offer any discounts at all.

You must choose your home insurers very carefully, and thoroughly go through your policy papers every year reading all the fine print to protect yourself from future calamities.

Insurance companies just want to be sure that you have done all that you are required to do to make your home secure and deter such criminal activities.

Here are a few things you should know about:

  • Be honest with your insurance provider. Don’t claim to have a burglar alarm if you don’t since it can result in your policy being invalidated or claim rejected.
  • Always set your alarm. If you have a burglar alarm and it is not activated during a burglary, you might to eligible for a claim, or might receive only half of it.
  • Do not use dummy alarms. If you’re very lucky, they might scare away some amateurs, but professional criminals can easily tell a fake one from a real alarm.

Regardless of the percentage of discounts offered, burglar alarms provide protection, along with incomparable peace of mind, so cost isn’t the only highlighting factor here.

Here are a few things to consider if you wish to install a burglar alarm in your home and benefit from lower insurance premiums as well:

WHAT TYPE OF BURGLAR ALARM SHOULD YOU GET?

As mentioned above, the criteria to be eligible for a home insurance premium discount varies from company to company.

There are several types of burglar alarms to choose from depending on your particular requirement and insurer.

  • Bells-only burglar alarm

This is the most basic type of burglar alarm which works by using loud sounds and sometimes flashing lights to activate the sensor.

It relies on people inside the house or nearby to hear the alarm and respond to it, making it not the most ideal system for when the house is empty and there’s no one nearby to notify the authorities.

Due to the risk of the alarm going unnoticed, the bells-only would make you applicable for less of a discount on home insurance as compared to the other types.

  • Dialler burglar alarm

The dialler burglar alarm works exactly like the bells-only alarm with the additional feature of you or your nominated keyholders being contacted in the event of an alarm trigger.

You can either have the system linked to your phone line, in which case it’ll use your landline to call the emergency contacts, or to your GSM mobile network, in which case you would require a sim card topped with credit all the time.

The risk involved with the dialler system is that sometimes the people contacted might be unavailable or that weak mobile signals might affect the system’s performance in case of GSM connectivity.

  • Monitored burglar alarms

Monitored burglar alarms sound an alarm as soon as the sensors pick up any unusual activity and alert a professional monitoring centre manned by experts who notify the owners, nominated keyholders, or the police.

These alarms offer great peace of mind knowing that your burglar alarm is being monitored even when you’re away.

Most insurance companies ask for the burglar alarms to be monitored and offer good discounts for them since they are one of the most effective forms of security with guaranteed response and 24/7 protection.

The only drawback is the recurring costs for professional monitoring services, which, if you think about, is an investment to keep you and your home secure.

  • Smart burglar alarms

Smart burglar alarms are managed via an app with notifications sent to your phone. Similar to monitored systems, they alert someone in case of a break-in but are usually integrated with your phone and other smart devices such as CCTV cameras and lights.

For instance, when the alarm is triggered, the smart lights on your property would turn on to scare away any intruder. The alarm can also be turned on and off from your phone. It’s extra beneficial when you’re away and need to keep an eye on what’s happening.

Smart burglar alarms are a comprehensive solution for home security, integrating with other systems as well, making it the best choice for homeowners as well as insurance companies.

TYPES OF BURGLAR ALARM MONITORING

If you are opting for burglar alarm monitoring services, you should know that there are two types:

  • Keyholder monitoring

Keyholders are trustworthy people such as family and friends, who have keys to your property and are nominated to be notified by a burglar alarm monitoring service in the event of an alarm trigger.

You must carefully choose your keyholders. They must be responsible, live within 20 minutes of your monitored property, and know how to drive so that they can reach the premises ASAP.

There are professional keyholding services available as well where a professional SIA guard is sent to your property to check the situation.

You may want to use a key holding service if your property is unoccupied or for when you’re away on holiday. This option will give you the peace of mind of having all alarm calls checked out by a professional.

  • Police monitoring

In this type of burglar alarm monitoring service, as the name suggests, the monitoring service directly alerts the police instead of contacting keyholders. The police arrive at the premises and take control of everything from there.

The alarm must be verified before calling the police to avoid it being flagged as a false alarm. In the UK, if you accumulate three or more false alarm activations within a year, the police will withdraw their response for your burglar alarm, as per policy. You will then have to take rectifying actions to achieve a reinstatement status.

A professional burglar alarm monitoring service such as the one offered by Calder Security ensures that the risk is eliminated and the police are called only for verified alarm activations, thus maintaining your credibility and ensuring your response privileges.

If you are unsure about the right type of burglar alarm for your home, you can call a professional security service to assess your property for you and recommend the best one for your needs. We, at Calder Security, would be happy to help with our vast knowledge and experience of over 40 years. Call us right away for a quick consultation.

HOW CAN CALDER SECURITY HELP?

At Calder Security, we offer home burglar alarm services that include installation, maintenance, monitoring, and repairing services, and understand their importance when it comes to lower home insurance.

A robust burglar alarm system serves as a very effective deterrent against burglars trying to break into your house and it offers peace of mind that your property is well-protected and safe.

The quality of the burglar alarm and the expertise with which it is installed are two crucial factors for the system’s overall health. Having a professional service install your system can significantly reduce the risk of faults and issues since they are experts in the field and know what they are doing, automatically resulting in you being responsible about your home security, which your insurance company certainly takes note of.

All of our intruder alarm installations comply with British and European standards and we are SSAIB approved home burglar alarm installers, designing bespoke systems tailored to your requirements, dealing with only high-quality systems including Texecom, Visonic, Scantronic, Risco, and Pyronics that we know and trust.

Regular burglar alarm maintenance is one of the most important actions to take to ensure that the burglar alarm system works fault-free at all times, making sure you’re always able to make a claim in case something bad, such as a burglary happens.

Annual servicing by reliable and qualified engineers, such as the ones we have, will check that all is working as it should, change any batteries reaching the end of their lives, and detect any potential issues before they become a problem.

Burglar alarm security systems are a great way to keep all kinds of intruders away from your property, and having burglar alarm monitoring services just adds to that level of security. It offers an extra line of defence in ensuring that any trigger-event of the alarm is dealt with professionally.

A monitored alarm is connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) which is operated by experts who check and verify every alarm notification they receive.

This checking and verification process ensures that no alarm goes unnoticed, even when the owners are away. The system is also equipped to detect and verify false alarms, which can be caused by improper arming and disarming of the system, weak batteries, and even wandering pets.

At Calder Security, we use DualCom and BT RedCare GSM technology, the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK, to monitor your alarm system 24/7.

In the event of your burglar alarm being triggered, our highly experienced security specialists at the ARC notify the homeowners, nominated keyholders, and the relevant authorities ASAP.

In addition to alarm monitoring, we also offer professional keyholding services where a professional SIA guard is sent to your property to check the situation.

In the unfortunate event of the burglar alarm showing faults, it must be repaired ASAP. We can repair most burglar alarm systems, even if we haven’t installed them ourselves. We can repair burglar alarm systems to get them up and running again to work fault-free and to effectively protect you and your home.

WHAT OTHER MEASURES CAN YOU TAKE?

There are ways, other than installing burglar alarms, that can lower your insurance premiums along with providing you with an extra level of security. They are:

  • HIGH-QUALITY DOOR AND WINDOW LOCKS

The locks on your door and windows are your first line of defence against a burglar and are one of the most affordable and cost-effective ways to get both security and a discount on your premiums.

If you have a habit of leaving your doors and windows open and unlocked at all times, that is irresponsibility on your part and is synonymous with inviting burglars inside your home. You must always lock your doors and windows, even when you’re inside the house, and use high-quality anti-snap locks.

At Calder Security, we offer a full range of domestic locksmith services including home lock installation, changing and repairing locks, gaining access when locked out, and key cutting.

We are official suppliers for leading lock brands including Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison, and can advise you on the best type of locks for your home.

  • SECURITY SAFES

Experienced burglars know exactly where to look for valuables such as cash, jewellery, and credit cards. A lot of people prefer hiding their valuables in cupboards, drawers, and under the mattress. These might seem like logical hiding places, but in reality, they are the riskiest – and the first places burglars look for.

Security safes provide an effective hiding spot for your valuables and state-of-the-art ones, such as the ones at Calder Security, make unwanted access impossible.

In addition to keeping your valuables safe from theft, security safes protect them from the risk of fires and floods, along with lowering your insurance premiums. In fact, for some insurance companies, security safes are a requirement of home insurance policies.

We are qualified and experienced safe engineers able to install, repair, relocate, and remove, open, and maintain a range of home safes.

Professional installation of a home safe is mandatory since it maximizes the protection it offers. If a safe can be moved, it is vulnerable. Our engineers make sure the safe is installed by fixing it to the floor or a wall, or even underfloor.

Our expert team is familiar with a wide range of safes, cash boxes, and strong boxes, and can help you keep your valuables safe, away from burglars.

  • CCTV SECURITY SYSTEMS

CCTV cameras are a powerful tool to deter anyone, especially potential criminals from doing anything illegal like burgling your house, with experts believing that as many as 67% of domestic burglaries could be prevented if people had CCTV security systems.

CCTV systems substantially reduce the risk of burglaries which results in the homeowners less likely to make a claim, resulting in lower insurance premiums.

One thing you must be careful about is the CCTV laws on the use of the cameras outside your home for surveillance purposes. Make sure you abide by the Data Protection laws and do not breach anyone’s privacy.

At Calder Security, we give you the most competitive prices in Yorkshire along with your money’s worth by providing you with state-of-the-art CCTV security systems with qualified security specialist engineers, SSAIB approved installers, along with maintenance and repair services.

We are expert CCTV security system installers and only supply high-quality CCTV equipment from trusted brands such as Hikvision, one of the world’s leading CCTV manufacturers.

  • FIRE ALARMS

If you are looking for added security where you would want your property secured from not only theft but damage as well, we recommend you install fire alarms in your home.

Fire can cause a lot of structural damage, which can also compromise your installed security system and even cover up a crime! Think of it as insurance that covers your property and the security system itself because believe it or not, there is a high chance of a burglary caused by arson.

The proper installation of a fire alarm system is just as crucial as the quality of the system itself, and no one understands it better than us. We offer professional fire alarm installation services, ensuring the task is carried out with utmost care and precision, along with maintenance, monitoring, and repair services.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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