How Much Does a Burglar Alarm Save on Home Insurance?

A home burglar alarm can provide peace of mind for any homeowner. You can leave the house or sleep knowing that your loved ones, pets and possessions are well cared for at all times.

There is a wide variety of home security systems available. All come with some sort of cost, but a lot of that cost can be offset by the savings you’ll see on home insurance.

We’ll discuss some of the insurance savings you might see, some different alarm systems and help you make the best choice to keep your home safe.

Does Having a House Alarm Lower Home Insurance?

Any security measure you put on your house, including an outdoor alarm siren, will lower your home insurance. Exact numbers will vary depending on who your insurer is and where you live, but premiums on homes with alarms are typically between 2% and 10% lower than homes without.

Before installing any kind of home alarm, contact your insurance agent and find out the best options and where you can maximise your savings.

What Type of Burglar Alarm System Should I Get?

You know that a burglar alarm will help you save on insurance, and you want to take the next step, but there is an ever-increasing variety of alarm systems available. Do you want a no-frills system or a system that comes with a service? Do you want a traditional wired system or a smart home system? How do you know the right fit?

We’ll walk you through several of the more popular varieties so you can make the most informed choice for you.

Bells-Only Alarms

Bells-only alarms are by far the most uncomplicated option. They’re affordable and easy to self-install and maintain. They’re designed to create a loud noise that will deter any potential burglars from entering your home.

However, as burglar alarm systems have evolved, these bells-only systems have become a less attractive option for many homeowners. Unlike a smart home system, there is no app or service behind a bells-only system. Police will not be alerted during a break-in and neither will you. If you’re not at home during a break-in, you’re relying on neighbours or passersby to notice that something’s wrong and alert the authorities.

If you’re looking to make a quick and fast investment, a bells-only system could work, but we recommend something a little more robust.

Wired Burglar Alarms

A wired burglar alarm is the next step up from a bells-only system. It includes a shared control panel with sensors set up around your home. There will be an extra cost for you because you’ll need a professional installation.

However, once they’re installed, they’re generally reliable and low-maintenance. They also don’t rely on a wireless signal, so these alarms are pretty simple.

However, there are some potential red flags. Many wired burglar alarms can be set up to notify you of a break-in, but they lack the monitoring services that top providers can offer. In addition, depending on how and when your system was installed, it can be prone to burglars cutting electricity.

Wireless Alarm Systems

Wireless alarm systems offer the same type of whole-home coverage that a wired system does but in a much simpler package. Wireless systems are battery-operated and communicate with a control panel via radio signals. Because there’s no wiring, these can be installed directly by the homeowner.

Wireless alarm systems aren’t perfect, though. First, a homeowner using one needs to have the self-discipline to regularly change the batteries. Past that, sophisticated burglars can use a radio jammer to block the waves to and from the control panel, potentially leaving your home vulnerable. This is one of a number of ways you can defeat cheaper burglar alarms.

Dummy Alarms

A dummy alarm isn’t an alarm system at all. It’s nothing more than a plastic box, usually shaped like an alarm or camera. Some have LED lights, and some are static.

The only protection that a dummy alarm provides is the chance that a burglar will be duped by it and not try to break in. That’s a huge risk to your home and not worth it. Even the most straightforward system will provide more protection at a slightly higher cost.

Monitored Alarm Systems

Monitored alarm systems provide a much deeper layer of protection to your home than any we’ve discussed so far.

A monitored system involves a professional installation, similar to a wired system, but comes with the additional layer of 24/7 monitoring. That means that, even if you’re across the globe, your home is protected. The monitoring company is alerted of any potential break-in and will alert the authorities on your behalf.

The big issue with monitored alarm systems is cost. You do get a lot of protection, but the monthly or annual fees can be prohibitive.

Smart Home Security Systems

A smart home security system takes the protection of a traditional monitored system and adds modern capabilities to it. A smart home system can be as simple or robust as you like, including video monitoring.

Smart home systems, such as Boundary, include mobile apps which allow you to monitor your home from any distance. You can receive push notifications and customise your system to the way that fits your situation best.

Smart home systems will often have monthly fees, but because so much functionality has been placed into the self-service apps, pricing structures are much more flexible and can provide a much greater value.

Can I Install a Burglar Alarm Myself?

In almost any case, you can install your own burglar alarm system. However, that does not mean that it’s in your best interests to do so.

For a bells-only or wireless system, you’re generally safe to self-install. Technically, if you have the technical and electrical know-how, you can install a wired or smart home alarm system. However, we don’t recommend it, and there are several reasons:

  • Police response: in many areas, systems that can trigger a contact to local police must be installed by a professional. If that’s a feature you want, you’ll need to contact a pro.
  • Precision: you may be a handy electrician, but do you want to risk your home and loved ones? A professional will have expert knowledge of your system and how to set it up correctly.
  • Run-through: an expert installer will also understand how a system works and can show you. You might be capable of figuring this out through tutorials, but having an expert there can help you learn your system more quickly.

Professional installations do come at a cost, but that tradeoff is worth knowing that your system is installed correctly and will be ready to protect your home when you need it.

Do You Need a House Alarm for Insurance?

Most insurers will insure you if you don’t have a house alarm. However, any home security measure will help you with your premiums. A home burglar alarm system will help you the most there. Contact your insurance agent to understand exactly how much you can save and weigh that against the cost of an alarm system.

Other Home Security Measures

Home alarm systems are the most effective way to protect your home, but there are other security measures that you can consider. These should ideally be used to supplement your home alarm system to ensure the best possible coverage.

CCTV Security Systems

Closed-caption television (CCTV) is an option to help protect your home. This video-based system includes setting up a network of cameras outside your home, ideally in the most high-traffic spots. This might include any entryways, doors, or large windows. CCTV systems can be set up to constantly record so you can go back and review needed footage.

However, CCTV systems are passive, meaning that they won’t stop an active burglary or other incidents. In addition, they can be complicated to set up and install. Most importantly, though, much of the capabilities that you could previously get from a CCTV system have been replaced by things like smart home systems and smart doorbells.

Strong Door and Window Locks

Securing your doors and windows is a must, no matter what other solutions you have. Many DIY stores will offer things like deadbolts and sliding window locks that are simple to install and increase your home’s level of security.

Past that, some other solutions include reinforcing any glass (although this is expensive) or getting a glass film, which is less expensive but doesn’t look quite as nice.

Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors

Fire alarms and smoke detectors should be in your home and regularly checked. The cheapest option is a battery-operated combination fire alarm and smoke detector. However, for better home coverage, you can invest in an interconnected system. This involves placing sensors throughout your house, and should smoke or fire affect one, all alarms will go off in the home.

In addition, some newer fire alarms and smoke detectors are WiFi-enabled and can send notifications or alert authorities. These come with an extra cost but are more likely to be supported in the future.

Most cities and towns have precise guidelines for what is and is not acceptable in terms of wired and wireless, so consult your local fire safety guidelines before making any purchase.

Invest in a Security Safe

A security safe is a smart way to protect your valuables. Safes come in a wide variety of sizes and can be as simple as a combination lock or more modern and use fingerprint or other biometrics to open.

If you wish to invest in a safe, we recommend getting one marked as fireproof. That will ensure that, in a worst-case scenario, your most precious valuables are kept safe. You’ll also want to think about where in your home you’ll keep your safe. A safe is an easy target for many burglars and a sign that you have valuables, so you’ll want it to be hidden from view. You may also consider a more low-profile safe that can be easily hidden away from suspicious eyes.

Join Your Neighbourhood Watch

Any home alarm system will protect your home, but you can also help to keep your entire neighbourhood safe by joining the local neighbourhood watch. This is a great way to meet your neighbours and learn about anything that’s going on in the neighbourhood.

This activity will help build a local network of people who care about your safety, and you can feel great knowing that you’re helping the community as well.

Keep Your Home Safe with Boundary

Boundary offers the best of all worlds in home protection. Its smart home protection system provides all the security of a traditional monitoring system but with a all the modern smart features you need to feel secure.

Boundary is the only wireless system in the United Kingdom that will be able to generate a level 1 direct response from local police, which was previously available only to hard-wired systems. It is also the only United Kingdom smart system undergoing testing to meet UK and European alarm standards BN 50131. Once graded, the only higher grades are generally reserved for banks, so you can rest easy knowing your home is protected.

Boundary’s Z-Wave® technology stops any criminal attempts to circumvent WiFi hacks, and the Boundary Hub features a cellular backup that will keep your home safe in case you ever lose WiFi and/or electricity.

Boundary’s native mobile app makes managing your home a breeze, and Boundary is built to integrate seamlessly into your smart home. Boundary has developed 16 IFTTT applets to help trigger actions when a sensor is triggered or your alarm goes off, like turning your exterior lights on, making it look like you are at home even when you’re not. Boundary also works incredibly well with smart hubs like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or just looking for a way to better protect your family, Boundary’s excellent customer support and smart home integration make it the top choice to protect your home for years to come.