A simples guide

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

Installing a burglar alarm could reduce the risk of your home being burgled. The more sophisticated your alarm system is, then typically the more the risk could be reduced.
It therefore follows that installing and maintaining a burglar alarm could reduce your home insurance premium, and that installing a sophisticated alarm could reduce the risk to it by a greater amount.

However, there is no guarantee that installing an alarm will always have an affect on your premium as it varies from provider to provider. Also if it does reduce your premium, the reduction in your premium might not always offset the yearly running costs of installing and maintaining the alarm system. However, having an alarm still provides added protections and valuable peace of mind and shouldn’t just come down to costs.

Monitored or bells only alarm?

It typically costs more to have a monitored alarm system, but if you decide to pay for one of these, your home could be more secure. A monitored alarm system involves a security company monitoring your system typically for 24 hours a day. If your alarm goes off, then this company will call you, and check everything is in order. You can also set up an arrangement with the security company whereby if you don’t answer, then they will call one of your nominated key holders, such as a neighbour or a relative who lives close by.

With the traditional ‘bells only’ alarm, the siren will sound for 20 minutes if the system is triggered. However, the police typically only attend if they have evidence that a crime is taking place, such as a report from an eyewitness. Your neighbours may also not react to your alarm going off, false alarms are common in residential neighbourhoods so these can be ignored.

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Having an alarm installed

There are five main types of burglar alarm:

• NUD Audible-Only Alarm

• NUD Monitored Alarm

• Nacoss Audible-Only Alarm

• Nacoss Monitored Alarm

• SSAIB Alarm Fitted

You should contact a specialist company who are certified by the National Security Inspectorate or the Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Boards to install your alarm. Your insurance provider may also require evidence that your alarm system has been certified by one of these organisations.

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Be as accurate as possible with your insurance provider

Saying you have a burglar alarm when you don’t for example could lead to your policy being invalidated, or your claim being rejected.

Using your alarm system

It’s worth noting that any claims you make could also be rejected, or only paid in part, if you become the victim of a burglary and you forgot to set the alarm on that day. So be especially careful, as sod’s law dictates that the day you forget to set the alarm, or to lock up properly, will be that day that a burglar decides to pay you a visit.

Your alarm may have a ‘perimeter guard’ option for use at night. Setting the alarm fully should mean that any movement or vibration within the home causes it to go off, and this should be the setting you use when the home is unoccupied. The perimeter guard option however will only detect movements on external doors and windows, so you don’t need to worry about triggering the alarm if you get up during the night.

However, make sure you use the perimeter guard setting every night, preferably as soon as you know you won’t be going out again that day. If you tell your insurer you will be using this option, and then you suffer a night-time burglary when you didn’t set the alarm, then again your policy could be invalidated, or your claim could be refused in part or in full.

Dummy alarms

Some people buy dummy alarm boxes and put them on the wall of their home, designed to make potential burglars think they have an alarm. Doing this will not reduce your insurance premium

To compare home insurance use our home insurance comparison service and see how much you could save with an approved burglar alarm.

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