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Security and Insurance

Cheaper Home Insurance and Fitting Alarms

One of the ways you may be able to obtain a cheaper home insurance quote is by having an alarm fitted at your property. Depending on your circumstances, an insurance company may be willing to provide you with a discount. However, some homes will not qualify for a discount for underwriting reasons, the sum insured may be too low or having an alarm fitted may be a pre requisite of cover because the value of the contents or valuables contained within the home is above certain limits.

There are a number of considerations to take in to account before fitting an alarm to your home, firstly at not least is the cost involved, home alarms are not cheap and if you want one to be professionally fitted and maintained, there will also be ongoing monthly costs. If your primary motive is to obtain a cheaper home insurance quote, then you may be dismayed to learn that the discounts from home insurance premiums are not that large, between 5% & 10% per annum is fairly typical, however over a period of time, this could eventually pay for the cost of the system.

The next thing to consider, is that not all home alarms are the same, simply popping to your local DIY store and buying a kit and installing it yourself ( a bells only alarm) is unlikely to secure any discount at all. For an insurer to consider a discount from your home insurance premium, you are likely to have to have a system fitted by a professional installer and the alarm monitored by a call centre. There is usually a proviso that the system is kept under some kind of annual maintenance agreement and of course, there will be a charge for this and for the monitoring. Leaving home insurance aside, providing you can afford the money, there is no doubt that an alarm system is a good investment to protect you family home, statistics show that you are less likely to have a burglary at your home if you have a professionally fitted and maintained alarm system.

There are a large number of alarms on the market and really there is no substitute for professional advise from a company that specialises in the fitting of home alarms, they will be able to make sure that any device you choose reaches certain standards. You should be aware that the police response to an alarm activation is very much governed by the type of equipment you have installed at you home, this is as a result of false alarms reaching a staggering 92% of all call outs in recent years.

The types of alarms you can purchase fall in to,two main groups: Bells only and Monitored, If you decide to seek to the help of a professional company to fit your home alarm, make sure they are accredited : SSAIB & NACOSS are the two names to look out for, if you are to receive a discount from your home insurance premium your insurer may ask you if the installation company is accredited by one of these two companies.The two main categories of alarm are as follows:-

Type A – Remote Signalling Alarms, including intruder alarms terminating at approved central monitoring stations. These alarms work by alerting a monitoring station ( or in some cases the home owner) if one of the alarm components is activated. They must be maintained and used in accordance with British Standard 4737, BS 7042 (high security systems) or BS 6799 Class VI (wire-free alarms). Such alarms will be registered with the police who will allocate a unique reference number (URN) Personal attack alarms can also be allocated a unique number. The police response to their activation will be based on the assumption that an offence is taking place, but attendance is not guaranteed, police resources at the time of activation will be taken in to consideration. There are many types of alarm within this group with different types of signalling and confirmation technology with monitoring packages dependent on your choice of company and budget, sometimes a fire alarm can be linked in as well. You may find that even with a monitored alarm, the police response time will be down graded , if you have too many false alarms in a 12 month period. This can have a serious effect on your home insurance. If you policy contains a clause that your home must be protected by a certain alarm type and then the police withdraw their response because of false alarms, you may find your home insurance cover is compromised. If you receive a letter from the police saying they are down grading response time to incidents at your home, be sure to tell your insurance company to make sure that your cover is maintained.

Type B – Audible Only and Hybrid Alarms, including bells-only and automatic dialling alarms, when the alarm is triggered by one of the alarm components, ( say a movement censor) an outside bell or siren is activated. This will alert the burglar that they have been detected and may make them decide to leave, however it may not, as most burglars will know that without the interaction of a witness, obtaining police presence is not guaranteed. This type of alarm is fitted by home owners themselves or by non-compliant companies or companies that operate a non-compliant central station. These systems are not fitted with police URNS ( unique reference numbers) , thus as mentioned above without interaction of a witness, there may be a delay in the police attending the home.

If you are considering fitting an alarm in return for a discount from your home insurance or for underwriting reasons, always check with the insurers as to the suitability of a system prior to installation.

For a Home Insurance Quote contact Assetsure. We are able to offer insurance for a wide range of Uk property types including nonstandard construction

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