Installing security alarms and other household safety measures can get you a discount on your home insurance, but there are qualifications to consider. Not all insurance companies offer discounts, and those that do my have requirements for the system or provider you use. While there are guidelines for which options are acceptable, contact your insurance provider for the details of their requirements.
- The amount of the discount will vary between insurance providers, however you can generally expect that they'll cut your premium by 10 to 20 percent if your security system is monitored, meaning it alerts the police, fire department or a private monitoring station. Security systems without monitors rarely qualify for a discount. However, such systems can be expensive, so consider the cost of the system and compare it to the amount you'll save on your premiums.
- Sometimes the discounts or the amount of the discount an insurance provider offers varies from state to state or from situation to situation. One example is the case of retired people. It's assumed that they stay at home more and thus are less likely to have their home broken into, and that because they are home they will spot fires in time to keep the damage to a minimum. Because of this, retired people may qualify for a 10 percent discount even without a security system. However, in that case, installing a security system may not yield a discount, depending on the provider.
- Some providers require that your security system be "UL-certified." UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories Inc., an organization that tests products to ensure that they meet worldwide safety standards. When an alarm system is approved by UL, the alarm system company often has their monitoring center UL-certified as well. UL inspects the monitor stations, their staffing and their procedures to make sure customers get what they paid for.
- Some providers only offer discounts on approved security alarm systems and this isn't always about UL certification. Before you start shopping around, check with your provider to find out which alarm systems they recommend and will offer a discount for so that you don't end up paying for a system that your insurance provider doesn't discount. It's easier to buy a system based on their recommendation than to switch insurance providers, especially when many providers offer discounts to long-term policy holders.
Other Security Discounts
- Some insurance providers offer a discount of five percent for installing items like smoke detectors, fire alarms and dead-bolt locks on exterior doors. Installing these in conjunction with a monitor security alarm can yield higher discounts. Some providers also offer a five percent discount for unmonitored burglar alarms, but make sure of this before installing a system.