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The Role of Burglar Alarms in Home Insurance Discounts

Looking to get a meaningful discount on your home insurance? You would be surprised by just how much you can save on insurance by tweaking a few key security measures for your home.

Insurance companies provide discounts to homeowners that take their security seriously. From a logical point of view, it makes total business sense to provide incentives to people who are willing to invest in the safety of their home, since the more secure the property is, the less likely it is to be robbed or vandalised.

In this guide, we will cover the basics of burglar alarm systems and the role that they play in home insurance discounts.

Impact of Burglar Alarms on Home Insurance

Insurance is a nice added measure to have on top of your home security because even in the case that criminals can breach your home security, the insurance company can make you whole.

However, there is an added cost to this convenience as well.

Insurance premiums are on the rise, and due to the current global economic conditions and market recession, these rates are at an all-time high. Couple this cost with other fixed and variable costs associated with owning a home, and you will be left with a pretty hefty bill.

Luckily, there is hope!

Insurance companies decide on the insurance rate using a complex algorithm. One important aspect of this algorithm is that it also accounts for the inherent risk factor of a client.

For example, factors like whether you have previously been robbed, the security details of your property, and even how often you maintain the security hardware in your home all go into calculating a fair insurance rate for your home.

This is why if you follow the best practices provided by your security company, then you can essentially help bring down the insurance rate of your home!

An easy way to do this is to install a burglar alarm. A burglar alarm is the first line of defence. Just by installing an alarm, you can considerably increase the security of your home.

Burglar alarms work by monitoring a space for movement, breaches, or unwanted people. These systems come in multiple forms and types (more on this below), but all of them work to mitigate and eliminate criminal activity.

Here are some key ways burglar alarm systems and security best practices can help you get insurance discounts:

Risk Reduction

As explained above, insurance companies calculate insurance rates based on several factors. One important factor is home security since having basic and advanced security can prevent burglars from robbing your home in the first place.

So, if your home is not secure, then you will likely be charged a higher premium. However, if you have a burglar alarm system installed and have followed all the security best practices then you are likely to receive a discount.

It is important to keep in mind that the discount will depend on the type of system you have installed.

Simple burglar alarms can usually help you get a meagre discount, however, if you have a complex system installed, then you might be looking at an overall better insurance rate. A complex system can be a monitored burglar alarm system that alerts a security company of any threat or break-in.

This type of system reduces the reaction time for authorities and is ideal for high-risk areas.

Claim History

If you have previously claimed insurance for a burglary, then chances are that this may affect your insurance rate going forward. Homeowners who have a history of past claims may be subject to higher insurance fees, especially if you have done nothing to remedy the issue or to add a basic level of security to your home after the event.

If you leave the security status unchanged, then chances are that the insurance company will likely increase the rate before the end of the calendar year, and you will receive a revised (and likely higher) rate for the coming year.

Even worse, if you have a poor track record of safety, then the company might even put a conditional renewal on your contract where you will have to prove the safety of your property just to continue the contract.

It is important to keep in mind that even minor incidents count towards an increased rate of claims, which can significantly impact insurance rates. This is why it is paramount that you keep your home secure and avoid unnecessary claims that may affect the rate down the road.

Security Maintenance

Apart from installing a burglar alarm system, it is important that you also keep the system updated and maintained! Think about it, a lack of maintenance can result in a breach of security!

Every security hardware requires maintenance. This is why when professional security companies (like Calder Security) install a burglar alarm system, they will provide you with a maintenance schedule that guarantees the performance of the system over time.

During a scheduled inspection, every piece of hardware is inspected for potential faults or errors. For example, outdoor burglar alarms are subject to environmental damage, and over time, the hardware, especially the batteries, can deteriorate.

Similarly, other security hardware like smoke detectors, motion sensors, break-in sensors, etc also need to be checked for issues.

Keep in mind that alarm systems usually depend on external batteries that need to be replaced periodically. A professional security technician can not only change the batteries of the sensors, but they can also make sure that the sensors are calibrated correctly.

If you have a smart burglar alarm system, then both the software and hardware aspects of the system will need to be inspected.

Inspecting the software can reveal software bugs or other issues that may cause problems down the road. In some cases, software upgrades can even provide enhanced security and also provide fixes to software bugs which is why you must keep your system up-to-date by following the provided schedule.

Best Practices for Home Insurance Discounts

Most insurers provide homeowners incentives to improve their home security. However, the discounts might vary between insurance companies.

Some companies may only qualify homeowners with a well-maintained monitored burglar alarm system, while others might not offer any discounts at all. This largely depends on the policies of the company.

This is why we recommend that you choose your home insurers carefully, and thoroughly go through your policy papers annually to protect yourself from future calamities. That’s right, policy changes are common in the insurance business. So, it is best that you keep yourself up-to-date with all the changes.

It is best that you keep in contact with your insurance agent so that you can always be in the know about the changes in your contract.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • 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 burglar alarms. If you have a burglar alarm and it is not activated during a burglary, you might not be eligible for a claim or might receive only half of it.
  • Do not use dummy alarms. If you’re lucky, they might scare away some amateurs, but professional criminals can easily tell a fake alarm from a real one.
  • Consult with your security company to get the best blueprint for the security of your home. Professional companies, like Calder Security, can work with homeowners to bring down their insurance costs.
  • Make sure that you point out the security of your home when the insurance agent visits for the initial inspection. Some burglar alarms can be discreet, which is why you will need to point them out in areas around the home.
  • Read through the insurance contract and policies. We recommend that you consult with your insurance agent for clarification when needed and go with companies that have a track record of successful claims.


While the eligibility criteria for home insurance premium discounts can vary from one insurance company to another, in most cases, the likelihood of a discount can come down to the type of burglar alarm you install for your home.

Here are a few key types of burglar alarms:

Bells-only burglar alarm

This basic burglar alarm works by using loud sounds and sometimes flashing lights to scare away intruders.

The downside to this alarm is that it requires someone to be nearby to take action making it not the ideal system for when the house is empty and there’s no one nearby to notify the authorities.

Keep in mind that since this alarm can go unnoticed (when there is no one around), the bells-only would make you eligible for less of a discount on home insurance as compared to the other alarm types.

Dialler burglar alarm

The dialler burglar alarm works exactly like the bells-only alarm except that when triggered, this alarm sends out a notification to you or your nominated keyholders.

The system can either work via a phoneline, in which case it’ll use your landline to call emergency contacts, or to a GSM mobile network, in which case you would require a sim card topped with credit all the time.

The biggest risk with the dialler system is that it needs to have a strong signal to send out the notifications. Also, even if the notification is sent successfully, the person at the receiving end will also have to be attentive and respond to the threat ASAP.

Monitored burglar alarms

Monitored burglar alarms sound an alarm as soon as the sensors pick up any unusual activity – but with the added benefit of dedicated security professionals who take action on their own and notify the owners, nominated keyholders, or the police.

These alarms offer the ultimate peace of mind. Since the burglar alarm is being monitored, you don’t have to worry about false triggers or missed notifications even when you’re away.

Most insurance companies ask for 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 drawback? Well, there are recurring costs for professional monitoring services – however if you think about it, 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.


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 when you’re away on holiday. This option will give you 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.


At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services for your home burglar alarm systems.

We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.

We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security systems.

We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.

We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities in your property’s security.

We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.

We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts for more information on burglar alarms and their role in home insurance discounts.

Photo by Evelyn Paris on Unsplash