When you think of your home, what comes to mind? Relaxing on a comfy couch watching your favorite show? Loving a terrific renovation you just finished? Chilling and grilling in your backyard?
Now, what does your home mean to you emotionally? Comfort? Privacy? Safety? Security?
For sure, our homes are our personal spaces. They are our bunker in a sometimes stressful world. Our let-your-hair-down, relax and enjoy places.
These feelings of safety and security in our homes are important to our happiness, our well-being and our quality of life.
In Canada we are very fortunate. Our country, when measured against others around the globe, is very safe. Our crime rate is low compared to other countries (1.6 incidents per 100,000 in Canada. The United States has 4.5 per 100,000, notes safearound.com). In fact, the 2017 Global Peace Index ranked Canada the eighth safest of 163 countries surveyed.
Despite these stats, it’s still important to be aware of how we can keep our homes safe to ensure the safety of our families and our possessions. This is where home security systems can be helpful. They can bring greater peace of mind by improving your security and safety in your home. You may also qualify for the home alarm insurance discount which can help you save on your home insurance. Let's get into that now!
The home alarm discount is a home insurance discount that is applied to your home insurance policy when you have a professionally installed alarm system on your home. Savings are generally between 2% and 15%, but the discount amount can vary depending on the insurance company through which you are insured.
Other risk factors can come into play when determining your home alarm insurance discount such as where you live – do you live in a rural area with limited fire services? How far is your home from a fire hydrant? What type of homeowners insurance policy do you have? Another factor is what features your home alarm system includes.
Installing a home alarm can affect your home insurance by lowering your premium. The money saved on the home alarm insurance discount often varies between 2% and 15%.
When a professionally installed approved home alarm system in your home, you are lowering your risk and may qualify for the home alarm insurance discount.
When combined with other home and auto insurance (personal insurance) discounts, the money saved on your insurance can be significant.
Always ask your insurance broker about the home alarm insurance discount and other insurance discounts. Get the details. Insurance companies offer plenty of ways to save on your insurance and you should be sure you get all of the money-saving opportunities you are qualified to receive.
When an insured person takes steps to reduce the risks of a loss, generally speaking, the insurance company will lower its rates to reflect this reduced risk.
For example, winter tires are safer on snowy and icy driving conditions thereby reducing the risk of an accident, so a winter tire discount is offered by insurance companies to customers who install winter tires.
Here is a list of some popular insurance discounts:
The amount you will save with a home alarm insurance discount generally ranges from 2% to 15% on your home insurance premium.
The home alarm insurance discount may be one of several discounts you can qualify for to help lower the cost of your home insurance.
As you will see from the table below, the home alarm insurance discount is not always significant. However, every bit of savings helps. Remember too that the biggest benefit of having a monitored alarm system is your increased protection and peace of mind. Having said this, if you have a monitored alarm system or you are thinking of installing one, you should always ask your insurance broker about the home alarm insurance discount. A penny saved is a penny earned. (The phrase holds true for nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies, toonies and dollars!)
Assuming a home alarm insurance discount rate of 2% or 15% on your home insurance, here are some details on possible security system insurance discount you may receive.
Annual Home Insurance Premium (Before Discount)
|2% Home Alarm Insurance Discount||15% Home Alarm Insurance Discount|
You may save between 2% and 15% on your home insurance with a home alarm insurance discount.
Here are some details from several insurance companies on their home security insurance discounts criteria. Please note that discounts and criteria for home security insurance discounts can and do change. It is best to check with your insurance broker to discuss possible home security insurance discounts and the criteria to qualify for them.
The amount of the monitored security insurance discount varies depending on risk characteristics.
Required alarm systems:
Required alarm systems:
There are numerous benefits to installing a home security system. The main one is increased peace of mind with additional security that it provides for you and your family.
In addition to an increased feeling of safety and security, here are some other benefits to having a home security system:
A home alarm insurance discount can sometimes also be referred to as a home security insurance discount, a monitored alarm insurance discount, a security system insurance discount, a burglar alarm insurance discount or a monitored alarm insurance discount.
(Note that the number of features you have in a home security system will depend on the type and scope of system you purchase. More on this later.)
Home alarm systems can improve the security of your home. This is done by securing areas of entry such as doors and windows with monitoring devices such as sensors.
A system can also often include cameras – wired or wireless - and motion detectors.
Basically, the more points of entry that are secured with monitoring devices/sensors, the greater the security. The monitoring devices are connected to a central control panel which will be installed in your home. You may also have cameras installed inside and/or outside your home for additional surveillance.
Unmonitored home alarm systems will include alarms that will sound if there is a breach in the security system and/or smoke/fire in your home. Alarms for the system will be loud enough to alert those inside the home and your neighbors.
Monitored systems have also have loud alarm alerts. The important difference between monitored and unmonitored home alarm systems is monitored systems are linked to a third-party provider – a home security company hired by you – which will oversee/monitor the system and notify fire, police and/or other emergency authorities when needed.
Many home security systems also provide stickers which you can apply near doors and windows to deter criminals.
The control panel is ‘command central’ in your home. This is where you can operate your system, including arming and disarming it.
Yes, there are many different types of home security systems. Not all systems offer the same level of security. Prices also vary a lot depending on system type and features.
There are wired home alarm systems, wireless home alarm systems, monitored home alarm systems and unmonitored home alarm systems.
These are considered the most basic systems and are used on windows and doors. When a window or door is opened, the system is activated, and an alarm will sound.
These are similar to wired home alarm systems, but they are wireless. Sensors are linked to transmitters and the system is activated when a signal is sent to the control panel.
These systems also use sensors connected to a control panel which will activate when there is a breach. This system will not alert a third-party upon activation. The alarm will sound to alert you and your neighbors only.
These are the most effective home security systems. The difference between this and an unmonitored home security system is the monitoring by an alarm security firm, also referred to as a third-party. With these kinds of home security systems, authorities can be notified of smoke/ fire or an intrusion to your home and a local alarm sounds to alert occupants of the home and neighbors.
When you are considering installing a home alarm system, it’s good to ask yourself what level of security you want to have.
Here are some things to think about when determining what kind of home security system you may want.
We encourage you to shop around for a system that meets your needs.
Most home alarm systems qualify for a home alarm insurance discount if they are installed by a professional home security provider.
The company that installs your system will provide a certificate or similar document stating that your home alarm system meets standards set safety standards organizations.
You can get the home alarm insurance discount from an insurance broker as long as your system meets the criteria for the home security insurance discount.
An insurance broker will ask you about your home security system to determine if you qualify for the home alarm insurance discount offered by the insurance company with which you are insured.
If you are getting a new home insurance policy, you may want to ask your insurance broker what home security insurance discount different insurance companies offer.
Be sure to ask your insurance broker about other home and auto insurance discounts. Your broker will work with you to help you get as many money-saving insurance discounts as possible.
The best way to determine if you qualify for the home alarm insurance discount is to speak to an insurance broker. The broker will ask you about your security system and let you know if you qualify for a security system insurance discount.
Keep in mind that insurance companies change their home security insurance discounts and their criteria for home alarm insurance discounts over time, so it is best to speak directly with your broker to get information.
If you are moving your insurance to another insurance company, your broker can tell you if you qualify for the home alarm insurance discount at the new company.
There are many additional steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of a break-in at your home.
Here are some tips to help crime-proof your home:
Here is some data on burglaries provided by the Conference Board of Canada.
There are plenty of home alarm companies that offer a variety of systems. Often it is helpful to ask friends for recommendations. Look online for reviews. Consider how long the company has been in business. It is also a good idea to get a few different quotes.
False alarms are not good. Put clearly: An alarm is a request to provide emergency, police or fire services due to a threat. False alarms can reduce the effectiveness of your system.
According to Toronto Police false alarms may:
Toronto Police also note that false alarms can be due to inadequate training by the user, wandering pets, weak or low batteries, open, unlocked or ill-fitting doors or windows, and movement by curtains, plants, balloons or other items that may move in the home.
Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent false alarms:
Yes, communities impose fines for false alarms. Check with your local municipality to find out about possible fines if any.
According to the Canadian Red Cross, house fires are one of the most common emergencies experienced by Canadians in their home.
Here are some tips from the Red Cross and Health Canada to help increase fire safety in your home:
For more tips on fire safety and the importance of having a fire escape plan, search online for fire safety in Canada and Health Canada. There are also fire safety tips provided by the Red Cross, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and many other recognized fire safety organizations.
In closing, a monitored alarm system can increase your safety and make your feel more secure in your home. The security system insurance discount is an ‘extra’ reason to have a home fire and burglar alarm system. Your safety is important. Always ask your insurance broker about a home alarm insurance discount - and all other insurance discounts that may be available - to be sure you are saving as much as possible on your personal insurance.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.