We understand the safety and security of your home and family are of the utmost importance. Which is why a good home security system is important. But, did you know a good home security system can reduce how much you will need to pay on your home’s insurance?
Your home security could potentially save you up to 15 per cent on your insurance premiums (Youi).
Our top security tips that can save you money on your insurance bill:
Check the area you’re buying into
Searching for a new home is an exciting time. However, the area you choose to live in can have a big effect on how much your insurance premiums costs. Make sure you do your research when you’re buying. The risk of flood and fires can impact how much you'll need to pay.
Also, check the local crime rates. Even if you have the security of Fort Knox, insurance companies will often increase your premiums if you live in an area with higher crime rates.
However, if you do have your heart set on a particular neighbourhood the premium you will pay also comes down to the claims experience of each individual insurer. This is great if you have already bought a house. One insurer may treat your neighbourhood as high risk, while another insurer may not. It can all depend on each of their individual claims experience.
This means that it pays to research the neighbourhood, and also shop around to find the best rate for your postcode.
Update your home security
Insurance companies love security systems. When you have a security system, insurers see your home as less at risk of break-ins, which means you’ll be less likely to make a claim.
Before you go ahead with buying a security system, find out what your insurance company recommends and how much you’ll save on premiums.
Some insurance companies will require you to have deadlocks on your doors and windows. Even if they don’t, I highly recommend installing a sturdy double cylinder deadbolt on all main entrances to your home and having locks installed on your windows.
Installing a security alarm system will help reduce your insurance premiums. Security alarms are one of the best deterrents of intruders. Would be thieves will think twice about breaking into your home if they can see it is firmly secure.
With some insurance companies, you can potentially reduce your premium as much as 15 per cent (Youi) if you install a monitored back-to-base alarm systems. The alarm system will alert a central security monitoring centre if the alarm system is triggered. Someone from the security company will then respond accordingly to the alert.
Installing security lighting can also save you money with some insurance companies. Security lighting also acts as a great deterrent. Security lighting works by having a light switch on every time a sensor is triggered. If someone is sneaking around in the dark and triggers a motion sensor, the light will illuminate the area. The last thing a burglar wants is to have a light attracting attention to their illegal activity.
Estimate the value of your contents accurately
If your home gets broken into you will want to make sure that your insurance policy covers any valuables you may have. However, you don’t want to spend more money on your coverage that you need.
The first step is to keep a detailed record of the items in your property. If your home is broken into then this record will make it easier to replace and claim any stolen items.
The details of each item you should document include:
- Manufacturer details
- Model name/number
- Serial number
- A photograph of the item
- Estimated monetary value of the item
These details should ideally be kept off your property, or in a fire-proof safe. A good tip is to email these details to yourself, so you have a digital copy that is not stored on your computer.
When estimating the price of your house contents, make sure you do not over-estimate. A common habit is people will round-up or add on extra costs. This will increase the premium you pay.
If you have an item whose value diminishes over time, you will want to regularly update your contents cover and to reduce your premium.
The value of your items should be checked and updated annually to make sure you’re not paying for unnecessary extras.
Items to consider documenting include:
- Valuable collections (coins, stamps etc.)
- Gaming consoles
- Garden and power tools
- Stereos, iPods and iPads etc.
- Kitchen goods
- Musical instruments
- Office equipment
- Radios and music players
- Anything else of value
Double check which items will and will not be covered by your insurance policy.
Consider engraving or using ultraviolet ink to mark your property. This won’t necessarily reduce insurance premiums, but it will help recover any stolen property. Write something that is traceable, like your drivers licence number, on your belongings.
Double check with your insurance company before you start engraving anything. Make sure that engraving doesn’t void the cover for that item.
For items that cannot be engraved, use an ultraviolet pen to mark them. These pens don’t damage your property and can only be seen under ultraviolet light. These marks will fade over time, so make sure you renew the marks when you get the chance. A good time to remark your items can be when you update your itinerary each year.
With these updates to your home security not only can you can save yourself money, but also reduce the chances of your home getting broken into.
Nathan Hughes is a founder of LocksmithsInSydney.com. Locksmith Sydney provides the resources you need to make sure your home is safe and secure. Check out his free security checklist to securing your home against intruders.
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