Can home security impact homeowner’s insurance?
The correlation between home security and homeowner’s insurance is undeniable. After all, the more secure your home is, the less chance that you are going to suffer from a break-in or other acts of burglary. And homeowner’s insurance, like any other form of insurance, is all about chances. The more likely your home is to be in danger, the more the insurance will cost. That is why best buy home security systems are in high demand right now, as more and more people realize that, aside from improved safety, you get monetary benefits from installing a home security system. In this article, we will explain exactly how home security impacts homeowner’s insurance, the benefits of home security systems, and how much you can save by installing additional security features.
Can home security impact homeowner’s insurance?
Yes, it can. Basically, the safer your home is, the lower your insurance premiums will be. Up to an extent, at least. Furthermore, not every single home insurance company will offer lower premiums for improving your home security, but most will. That is why it may be very important to talk to your insurance company before you make any security improvements to your home. Otherwise, you may spend a lot of time securing your backyard from intruders, for example, only to realize that your insurance premiums are unaffected. Of course, your efforts will not go to waste, as any improvement to home security is a welcome addition to your home. But if we are speaking strictly about insurance premiums, you may spend quite a bit of time, energy, and money, doing something that will not provide you with a benefit.
To be completely honest, you should not improve your home security solely to impact your homeowner’s insurance. The savings are there, true, but they might not be significant enough to warrant a whole rework of your security system.
There are two ways in which home security impacts homeowner’s insurance – by lowering the annual premiums themselves and keeping the insurance rates in “check”. For example, if you have a theft claim (or several) during the year, your insurance rates will jump by about 20% for the next year. On the other hand, if you don’t file any claims and have the necessary precautions (e.g. a good security system) in place, your annual premiums will be lower. Granted, they will plummet, but they will still be somewhat reduced. You can’t expect these savings to offset the entire cost of installing a new home security system, but they do help. Anything that can make your home secure and provide some savings at the same time is always a welcome addition, after all.
A simple burglar alarm, for example, can get you up to 3% lower insurance premiums. It would need to be connected to the central station, however. Burglar alarms that are connected to police departments only usually net a 2% reduction in insurance premiums, whereas alarms that connect locally will only result in a 1% reduction.
But that is just the first piece of the proverbial puzzle. A burglar alarm is just the start, as there are many other ways in which you can influence your annual homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Types of home security systems that influence homeowner’s insurance
Insurance companies essentially run a gambling business with stacked odds. Of course, it is much more complicated than that, but that is the gist of it. What they are doing is betting that your home will be safe and sound. As you might imagine, the safer your home is, the more likely the home insurance company is to bet that nothing will go wrong. The lower the risk, the lower the premiums, after all.
There are many ways in which you can increase the safety of your home. Here are some of them that may be particularly valuable to most home insurance companies:
- Smart home insurance
- Home fire protection
- Water detection systems
- Miscellaneous add-ons
Again, all these security measures may or may not influence the insurance rates of your particular home insurance company. It is always best to be certain that your improvements will qualify your home for lower premiums before you start implementing them. Yes, you will still improve your home security regardless, but it is always better if you can “earn” some money on the side while doing so. Now, let’s take a look at some of these options and how they relate to homeowner’s insurance.
Smart home insurance
Something that has been all the rage lately is “smart” home insurance. More and more insurance companies are offering significant discounts if your property has smart home features. The reason for this is quite obvious, as smart homes are generally much safer than “stupid” homes, so to speak. They are constantly connected to the internet, for one, meaning that safety monitoring becomes much easier. Owners of smart homes have the ability to check the performance and integrity of their devices from their smartphones, allowing for easier maintenance and added security.
However, smart homes can be a bit finicky. More often than not, you will need to hire professionals to install security improvements to smart homes. In fact, when it comes to smart homes, the risks of DIY home security installation are usually too high. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you can easily make it, so your security system is downright unreliable.
That is why many home insurance companies also offer rebates for smart security systems. This allows you to hire professionals to install the system for you at a lower price. Not all companies offer the same deals, of course, so you might want to “shop around” until you find those that do.
Home fire protection
As you might already know, fire is the #1 cause of home insurance claims. Therefore, you can expect lower premiums if you improve your home’s fire protection. The best thing to do, of course, is to invest in a dedicated home fire protection system. However, if you want to fire-proof and burglar proof your home on a budget, you may consider only installing additional fire and smoke detectors. However, these detectors need to be connected to a monitoring system to maximize the savings. This is because early detection usually decreases the damage that the fire can cause, resulting in lower claims. And the lower your claims are, the cheaper your home insurance, simple as that.
Water detection systems
Water damage is another very common claim, one that can cause thousands of $ in property damages. It is not surprising, then, that many home insurance companies will offer lower premiums to homeowners that install water detection systems. A high-tech water detection system offers both leak detection and the possibility to shut down the water source itself. This, in turn, can (and will) prevent most of the damage from a burst pipe, for example. For best protection, you may also want to consider one of the best home warranty programs, as they will protect your water system and have it repaired before any damage can occur. A home warranty is not something that you want to consider in lieu of home insurance but in addition to it. Not only will the home warranty increase the price of your property, but it also might lower home insurance premiums in some cases.
Miscellaneous home security add-ons that influence homeowner’s insurance
While installing a burglar alarm is a quick and easy way to lower your annual home insurance premium, there are many add-ons that can increase your home’s safety and lower the insurance costs. They include, but are not limited to:
- Sprinkler systems
- Fire alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Water leak detection systems
- Smoke detectors
You can get most of these as part of a comprehensive home security system, of course, but you can also purchase them separately. The more “lines of defense” you have in your home, the safer it is going to be. And the safer your home is, you’ve guessed it, the lower the home insurance premiums will be.
Most of the time, homeowners focus on their home’s interior when thinking about security. However, securing your backyard from intruders can be as important as making sure that your doors and windows have locks and deadbolts. There are a lot of ways in which you can improve the security of your home by landscaping alone. Basically, you want to make sure that potential burglars have the fewest possible options when it comes to invading your home. Trees and bushes at inopportune places, for example, can provide cover for the intruder. Or they may make it so it is easier to access your home’s windows. While most home security companies will not offer discounts based on landscaping alone, your commitment alone may influence their decision.
Home security premiums are infinitely variable, and they are specifically tailored toward the property. The more you can prove that your property is safe and sound, the more inclined the home insurance company will be to provide you with a discount.
Benefits of installing a home security system
So far, we’ve covered how having a good home security system helps lower insurance rates. However, that is but one aspect. There are many benefits of installing a home security system, such as crime deterrence, remote access, improved electricity management, etc. And, most importantly, peace of mind. We all need to know that our living quarters are safe and sound and that, once inside, we can relax. A home security system will do this for you and more. By installing some of the newer versions, you will have access to numerous quality-of-life improvements. For example, your home security system can help you “keep tabs” on your kids.
A home security system can help you track what is going on inside your home
While we would love to think that our children are without faults and that nothing can go wrong even if we leave them alone, the reality is often different. That is why you may want to have access to security footage so you can see what has been going on while you were away. The possibilities only expand with home automation. You can, for example, have the capability to remotely unlock your home, allowing your kids to go in and out without the need to carry their own keys. If your kid can’t be trusted with a key for whatever reason, this might be your best solution.
Newer home security systems offer improved electricity management
You would think that with all the electrical components included in smart home security systems, your electricity bill will skyrocket. However, not only is this not the case, but it is actually the opposite of the truth. By installing smart features inside your home, you will actually save on electricity bills. You can do that by setting timers for your thermostats, controlling various devices in your home remotely, or turning the outlets on and off when needed.
Peace of mind
The ultimate benefit of home security systems is that they provide you with a feeling of being secure inside your home. The peace of mind that you get from knowing that you are protected is always worth the cost.
Home security impacts homeowner’s insurance – now what?
The fact that home security impacts homeowner’s insurance, coupled with the fact that you get to take advantage of all the benefits that improved home security offers, is usually enough to make most want to invest in their home security. In some cases, you can even get the entire investment back in only a few years. However, that depends on the particular home insurance company, your situation, whether you have a home warranty, and a host of other factors.
If you want to know more about the best home security systems, the best home security companies, as well as top home warranty providers, there’s no better place for it than the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our expert articles will help you make the best decision concerning both the safety of your home and the integrity of your wallet.