We all want to protect our homes from natural disasters, theft, vandalism, fire, and other dangers. As a result, many homeowners have installed additional safety measures like smoke detectors and fire alarms in their homes. Did you know that your home insurance company will reward you for adding protective devices to your home?
Home insurance companies like to acknowledge responsible homeowners with a reduced rate called a protective devices discount, also known as a home alert discount. Underwriters and researchers have proven that homeowners who take cautionary measures will have fewer losses and fewer insurance claims.
Drivers already save money on their car insurance by driving cars with airbags, anti-lock breaks, and anti-theft devices, so why not reward homeowners for protecting their investment too?
According to Michael Barry of the Insurance Information Institute, few homeowners are aware of the protective devices discount, even though it is an easy way to save money. He said, “I don’t think a lot of homeowners know about this. Consumers are probably looking for new ways to reduce their rates, and this is certainly one of them.”
For example, two recent studies have shown that owning an alarm system significantly reduces the likelihood of a break in. Researchers at Temple University noted that “an alarm-equipped, single-family home is more than 60 percent less likely to be burglarized than a similar home without an alarm.” At Rutgers University, a study showed that burglary rates dropped between 2001 and 2005 in Newark, NJ as homeowners installed home alarm systems in increasing numbers.
Having an alarm system will save you money. The Electronic Security Association examined the protective device discounts at ten large insurance companies. Their survey showed that homeowners could save as much as 20 percent. That is a significant break in your insurance rate simply for adding an additional layer of protection to your home.
Any number of installed devices may qualify you for a lower premium payment, including:
- Smoke detectors
- Smartphone-enabled smoke and fire alarms
- Fire alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Interior sprinkler system
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Burglary alarms
- 24-hour security system
- Deadbolts on the doors
- Water leak detectors
- Other water and theft protection technologies
When you purchase a homeowners policy, your independent insurance agent will ask you if you have any of these systems already installed. The amount that you save with a protective device discount will vary depending upon the insurance company your home safety measures.
Your insurer may have a ranking system that determines your reduced rate based on the type and number of safety devices in your home. For example, only having a fire or smoke alarm on each level of the building may only qualify you for a 2 percent discount. Having fire alarms, a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and deadbolt locks on each door may result in a 7 percent discount. But, having these safety measures plus a 24-hour security alarm with access to a local first responders notification system could net you a 15 percent discount.
Ask Your Agent
Speak with your independent insurance agent today to find out more about the protective devices home insurance discount. It could mean big savings on your annual premium. The agent will have the knowledge and expertise to recommend the right discount programs for you. Be sure to ask your agent for recommendations on home security system companies. They will know more about each alarm company’s reputation, whether they offer access to local emergency responders, and if they will work with your insurance company to meet the requirements you need to receive a discount.
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