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How do burglar alarms affect the cost of my home insurance

How do burglar alarms affect the cost of my home insurance

If installing a burglar alarm reduces your risk of being burgled, it follows that your home insurance premium should be lower, right? It may not be so simple.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
posted 27 FEBRUARY 2020

Will having a burglar alarm lower my insurance premium?

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that installing an alarm will affect your premium – deals like this vary between insurance providers. 

And even if your premium is reduced, it may not offset the cost of installing and maintaining your alarm. But an alarm still provides protection and peace of mind, so cost isn’t the only factor to consider. 

Both London’s Metropolitan Police and a Which? survey of one-time burglars found that you’re far less likely to be burgled if you have a decent alarm system. Indeed, homes without security are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures in place, according to www.police.uk. 

If you’re going to install an alarm, there are a few things to think about: 

What type of burglar alarm should I get?

Monitored alarm system

  • a monitored alarm system involves paying a private security company to monitor your system 24 hours a day. It usually costs more, but probably offers the biggest security benefits
  • if your alarm goes off, the company will call and check everything is in order. You can also set up an arrangement whereby if you don’t answer, the company will call one of your nominated keyholders, such as a relative or neighbour

Bells-only alarm

With a traditional ‘bells-only’ alarm, a siren will sound for 20 minutes if the system is triggered. But the police only attend if they have evidence, such as an eyewitness report, that a crime is taking place. False alarms are common in residential areas, so there’s always a worry that your neighbours may ignore yours.

Smart home security system

The latest burglar alarms are smart home hubs that contact you via your phone when they sense an intruder. These can be expensive but are often smaller and more stylish looking than traditional burglar alarms. You can also program them to deter burglars by say, turning on the lights or radio.

Can I install a burglar alarm myself? 

Your insurance provider may want proof that your alarm has been certified by the National Security Inspectorate or the Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Boards, so you should consider having your alarm installed by a certified professional.

What else do I need to know?

  • be accurate with your insurance provider – saying you have a burglar alarm when you don’t could mean your policy is invalidated, or your claim rejecte
  • if you have an alarm, use it – if you forget to set the alarm and are burgled that day, it could mean your claim is rejected or only paid in part
  • don’t use a dummy alarm – some people buy dummy alarms, thinking they will scare off potential burglars. But having a dummy alarm will not reduce your insurance premium

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

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