Not only can security systems and other safety features help you feel more at ease in your home, but they can also help you save a significant amount on your insurance premiums. In fact, homeowners can often save up to as much as 20% on their homeowners insurance premiums if they qualify for a discount by adding a safety or security feature to their home, such as an alarm.
An independent insurance agent can help you find any discounts you may qualify for on your home insurance coverage if you've secured your home. But up first, here's a breakdown of how home alarms and other security features can help you save on coverage.
How Do Alarms Help Decrease My Insurance Premiums?
Homeowners insurance companies can offer discounts to folks who install deadbolts, smart locks, burglar alarms, or security systems in their homes. These discounts can range up to 20%, and are typically higher the more security devices you install. Here are just a few of the most common security features that can earn you a discount on home insurance:
- Home monitoring and security systems: Many security companies offer 24/7/365 monitoring of your home, which can help you feel much safer, as well as enjoy lower policy premiums. Smart homes with monitoring systems like ADT can often also detect if your home has a water leak or if there's a fire on your property.
- Burglar alarms: A burglar alarm can be an easy, quick installation that makes your home safer. But these easily added security features can also score you a nice discount on your home insurance.
- Gated community discount: You can't necessarily add this to your home, but if you choose to purchase a house in a gated community, you can often earn a hefty discount on your home insurance. Likewise, if you move from a non-gated community to a gated community, you may now be able to qualify for this discount.
Safety and security features on your home help protect not only your property and family but also your insurance costs. Ask your independent insurance agent about any safety and security discounts you may qualify for on your home coverage.
How Security Alarms Can Help Lower Your Premiums
Most anything that can decrease risk to your property can earn you a discount on your home insurance, which includes security alarms. Depending on your needs and wants, any of the following products may interest you to satisfy both of these categories:
- Ring: This company offers a ton of different products, from alarms and cameras to video doorbells. You can install these security features yourself, or hire one of their professionals to do it for you. Professional monitoring can be added to have Ring request police, fire, or medical services. Your whole system can be controlled through Ring's free smartphone app.
- Simplisafe: This company offers a no-contract, install-it-yourself home security system. This security system is professionally monitored and comes with affordable rates, making it a great choice to both protect your home and save money on your coverage and security features.
- ADT: A veteran in the home security game, ADT requires you to sign a contract but offers several different packages so you can find the best one for your needs. The service provides 24/7 monitoring and smart home devices.
- Vivint: This is one of the more expensive home security systems on the market today. But Vivint comes with plenty of bells and whistles, offering 24/7 monitoring, a mobile app, smart cameras, and more.
If you're unsure of how to best protect your home and earn an insurance discount, your independent insurance agent may be able to advise on which types of security systems your insurance company favors.
How Smoke Alarms Can Help Lower Your Premiums
Smoke alarms also help lower home insurance rates by decreasing the risk of fire, which is the main peril home insurance companies consider. Smoke alarms alert members of the family to the detection of smoke in the home, by sounding and/or flashing when smoke is nearby. State laws dictate how many smoke alarms must be installed in every home, and where.
For example, the state of Utah requires homes to have smoke alarms outside of each sleeping area or bedroom and on every level, including basements. For larger homes, additional smoke alarms may be required. It's recommended that smoke detectors be tested monthly, and have their batteries replaced once or twice annually for maximum protection.
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How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Help Lower Your Premiums
Carbon monoxide detectors can alert homeowners to the presence of an otherwise-undetectable gas that's known as a "silent killer." Since carbon monoxide is odorless, it requires a special alarm to alert family members in the home to its presence. If carbon monoxide goes undetected for too long, it can lead to the poisoning of both humans and animals.
Almost all states require, by law, for homes to come with installed carbon monoxide detectors. Currently, only Hawaii and Missouri do not require them by state law. Carbon monoxide detectors can help save lives as well as save you money on your home insurance premiums and should be tested on a monthly basis.
How Water Leak Alarms Can Help Lower Your Premiums
Water alarms can alert you to the presence of a leak in many areas of the home, which can help you avoid serious water damage and flooding. As a result, home insurance companies can award you a nice discount on your premiums if you use them. Some of these alarms are also designed to alert you if there is frozen water in your home.
The presence of a water leak or flood alarm can help you detect a smaller, less severe leak so that you can repair it before it turns into a catastrophe. Products are available from Simplisafe, Honeywell, and many other brands. Depending on the product, these alarms can connect to a monitoring system or smartphone app to allow you to be aware of the presence of unwanted leaks, flooding, freezing, etc. in your home at all times.
Any Other Updates I Can Make to Lower My Premium?
There are many ways to get home insurance discounts on your premiums, including by making updates to your home's security. Other easy and cost-effective ways to make your home more secure include:
- Updating your roof: Home insurance companies love new, updated roofs. If you take the time to update or replace yours, you might be able to score a nice discount on your premiums.
- Installing storm shutters: Storm shutters can save your windows and house during a hurricane, tornado, or other severe storms. If you don't have them already, installing them at your home can possibly help you earn a home insurance discount.
- Upgrading smoke detectors: Modern smoke detectors can warn you of smoke even if you're not home. Replacing outdated smoke detectors with modern ones will potentially help you increase your home insurance discounts.
- Improving home systems: Upgrading your major systems like electrical, heating, and plumbing systems can make your home less vulnerable to fires, leaks, and other disasters. In turn, this can result in lower premiums.
- Getting a generator: If your electrical system dies, a generator can help keep your appliances running, which in turn reduces the risk of frozen pipes, spoilage from a broken down refrigerator, etc. The reduction in risk for these disasters can lead to home insurance discounts.
- Installing a sprinkler system: A sprinkler system can help eliminate fire risk inside or outside your home. Since home insurance companies focus on fire as a primary risk, the more upgrades you make to your property to prevent fires, the more likely you'll score additional home insurance discounts.
An independent insurance agent can suggest even more ways to qualify for home insurance discounts, even beyond adding safety and security measures to your home. Securing your home is a great way to not only save money on homeowners insurance but also help you and your family to rest easy. Having the right coverage on hand before disaster strikes is also a critical step in keeping your home and family as safe as possible.
Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll cut through the jargon and clarify the fine print so you'll know exactly what you’re getting.
Independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best home insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.