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Home insurance and burglar alarms

How burglar alarms affect home insurance costs

David McDermottroe
Written by  David McDermottroe
7 min read
Updated: 05 Feb 2024

While there’s no guarantee having a house alarm will cut the cost of your home insurance, installing insurance-approved alarm systems undoubtedly improves the security of your home.

Your home is your sanctuary, and ensuring its safety is paramount. With burglary being a concern for many homeowners, the question arises: does a house alarm reduce the cost of home insurance? The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on the insurer and the type of alarm system you have in place.

The value of a burglar alarm

Close to 270,000 homes in England and Wales were burgled between April 2021 and March 2022, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics, despite people being locked down at home for much of that time. Burglar alarms, especially easily visible, monitored ones that are linked to external security companies, slash your chances of joining this list, which should help you to feel safer in your home and can also make it more attractive to buyers. This staggering number highlights the importance of taking measures to protect your property. A visible, monitored burglar alarm system not only significantly reduces the likelihood of your home being targeted by burglars but also makes it more appealing to potential buyers. Beyond the financial benefits, avoiding the emotional stress and hassle associated with burglary and subsequent insurance claims is invaluable.

Are burglar alarms worth It?

The peace of mind that comes with having a burglar alarm is often worth the investment. Here's why:

  • Deterrent effect: A visible alarm system can deter potential burglars from targeting your home.

  • Monetary savings: Preventing a burglary can save you from the financial losses of stolen items and the potential increase in insurance premiums following a claim.

  • Stress reduction: Knowing your home is protected can reduce anxiety and stress, allowing you to feel more secure.

Burglar alarm

Choosing the right alarm system

When selecting a burglar alarm, consider the following options:

Bells-only alarms

These alarms emit a loud noise when triggered, alerting neighbours or passers-by. However, they rely on someone taking action and do not automatically notify the authorities. The police will only respond to bells-only alarms if there's evidence a crime is happening, such as a witness call. The internal part continues to ring or flash until switched off.

Monitored alarms

Monitored systems are linked to a security company that monitors alarm triggers and can contact the police if necessary, providing an added layer of security.

Smart home security

Smart alarms integrate with home automation systems and can send alerts directly to your phone or the police. They are part of a wider smart home hub setup and can be programmed to alert your phone or connect to the police, offering convenience and control but come with a higher price tag.

Dummy alarms

While dummy alarms may deter some thieves, they are generally ineffective against experienced burglars and do not influence insurance costs.

Wireless burglar alarms

Wireless systems are easy to install and move, thanks to their battery-powered, Wi-Fi-connected design. They are a popular choice for their flexibility and ease of use, and can be taken with you if you move house.

Insurance discounts and burglar alarms

Not all insurers offer discounts for house alarms, and the type of alarm you choose can affect your eligibility for reduced premiums. Before purchasing an alarm system, it's crucial to:

  • Check with insurers: Inquire about the insurer's requirements for alarm systems and the potential discounts available.

  • Certification matters: Discounts may be limited to systems installed and maintained by certified security companies. Some insurers will only give discounts for house alarm systems installed and maintained by a third-party security company.

Installation: DIY or professional?

While DIY installation is possible, especially for wireless systems, professional installation by a certified installer may be necessary to qualify for insurance discounts. Regular maintenance checks are also essential to ensure your system functions correctly and maintains its eligibility for discounts. It's advisable to use a reputable installer approved by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Boards (SSAIB).

Costs and considerations

The cost of installing a burglar alarm varies based on the size of your home and the type of system you choose. DIY alarms can be affordable, while professional systems with monitoring services can be more costly. Remember to factor in any ongoing monthly fees for monitored services. Fitting a burglar alarm yourself can be cheaper but may need to be installed by a professional to claim a discount on home insurance. The cost details of installing a burglar alarm include the price range for simple DIY alarms, top-end systems, professional installation costs, and monthly fees for monitored alarms.

Alternative security measures

In addition to burglar alarms, consider other security measures such as:

  • High-quality door and window locks meeting British Standards Institute (BSI) requirements

  • Security cameras and lighting

  • External motion-sensor lights

  • Timed lights to make it look like someone is home

You may also consider joining your local Neighbourhood Watch program and installing a safe for your most valuable possessions – both of which can earn you a discount with some home insurance providers.

Comparing home insurance

When it comes to home insurance, it's essential to find a policy that offers the best value for your specific needs. Comparing home insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket is a straightforward process that can help you assess the impact of a burglar alarm on your insurance costs. By providing details about yourself, your home, and the coverage you require, you can easily compare quotes and select the most suitable policy. You have the option to compare quotes by the level of cover provided and the excess required for claims, as well as the ability to run two searches to see the effect of a burglar alarm on insurance costs.

The decision to install a burglar alarm should be based on a combination of factors, including your personal sense of security, the potential for insurance discounts, and the value of your peace of mind. While not all alarm systems will reduce your insurance premiums, the right system can offer both security and savings. It's a small price to pay for the significant benefits of protecting your home and loved ones. The advice that the cheapest insurance deal does not always offer the best value for money and the recommendation to finalize the purchase through the provider.

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