Learn how to protect your property and save big on premiums with these burglar-proofing and alarm ideas.
Perform a Personalized Review. Develop a plan of action based on existing security measures and needed upgrades. Create an inventory for each door, window and room in the house. Do you have dead bolt locks? Fire alarms with battery backup? Make a note of deficiencies; then visit a store to begin your own DIY upgrades.
Contact Your Insurance Agent. Now that you have taken care of the basics it is time to contact your insurance agent for more specific information. Be sure to mention the addition of deadbolts or other first-line-of-defense security measures implemented in step one above then ask about discount levels for each of the below to determine which is the best buy for your situation.
Evaluate Options. Most security systems fall into three general categories:
- Passive DIY: This is primarily an extension of other security measures you may have already put into place. For example, enhanced security lighting along the perimeter of the property, or sirens or alarms that sound in the event of a security breech, as well as other measures designed to prevent intrusion into the home. No monitoring or notification is included. Typical insurance discounts range from 2% to 5%.
- Passive Monitoring: The advent of wireless technology combined with the Internet has created a new breed of security system within the reach of most homeowners. Security cameras along with standard alarms, locks and other devices provide passive monitoring and record the home and property with a visual backup of all activity in the event of a breech. No automatic notification is included. Typical discounts range from 5% to 10%.
- Active Monitoring and Notification: Typically provided by a third party, this type of security system is available in a wide range of pricing plans. Security monitoring may include fire, burglary and even health threats, with 24/7 surveillance and immediate emergency notification. Discounts range from 10% to 20%.