Home security is one of the most important factors that insurers look at when deciding on what premium any given customer should pay for their contents insurance. The actual value of the items to be covered does make a difference, but it is the integrity of your home protection methods that determines the final value; a person could have valuable artworks at their property, but their insurance premium will depend on their door and window locks, the general crime rate in the area and whether or not they have an effective alarm. With secure locks on windows and doors (the minimum required is usually a lever mortise lock (or multi point locking on PVC and Composite) on doors and key operated locks on windows) and an alarm system (whether audible only or a monitored system) the insurance premium will often be far less than if the property has inadequate locks and no burglar alarm.
Many insurance companies require an NSI approved burglar alarm as a standard feature in order to validate their schedule of insurance; those that don’t may introduce this as a requirement without explicitly informing their renewal customers, potentially leading to non-payment of claims, if the homeowner has not read through every word of their insurance schedule and policy documents. For this reason, it is vital that homeowners check their insurance policy at renewal time and ensure that they are meeting the criteria set by the insurance company. There have been many reports of homeowners falling foul of changed rules, simply because they had not read through a notification of changes to a schedule in enough detail.
It is also worth checking whether there are any clauses relating to the operational hours of your NSI approved alarm system. In some cases, simply having one installed is enough to satisfy the requirements of your insurer, as the external box often acts as enough of a deterrent for thieves not to attempt a break in. If your property has been burgled before then your insurer may insist that the alarm is set at certain times, or whenever the property is left unattended for any period of time or at night time when you are in bed. Again, homeowners should undertake due diligence and check their policy documents for any such clauses.
Insurance companies can dictate the type of alarm that is required by standard, and may also offer a discount to policyholders who opt to install a superior system that will tighten up home security. Generally speaking, insurers require any alarm system to be supplied, installed and maintained by an approved company, whether that is NSI Gold Standard or other is usually at the discretion of the insurer. The type of alarm that insurers require as standard is normally an audible only system, which scares off intruders with sirens at the property but does not notify a central monitoring station, the police or the homeowner via text. If you are keen to get a discount on your insurance premium as a result of fitting an NSI approved alarm system. It is best to check with your preferred company whether they will offer a reduced price, if you opt for a burglar alarm which surpasses their minimum requirements.
Any NSI approved intruder alarm system you choose must cover the entire home and not leave any part of the building unprotected and therefore vulnerable to a break in. If you have a safe or a particular room where most valuables are kept, it is best to ensure that your alarm system is set up to provide the most effective detection method to the area. Of course, you must remember to shut off that space when leaving the house with pets inside, to prevent false activation of the system, but it is far better to be over-protected than be prone to theft when it comes to the security of your home and treasured possessions.
If you have an alarm system that was installed before you bought your property or one which is older, then having it checked, updated and serviced by an NSI approved supplier can help reassure your insurance company that the system is up to scratch. Insurance companies require NSI approved engineers and suppliers to be involved in the installation and maintenance of your alarm system, so don’t take any chances with an inferior supplier as this could bite back, in the event of a claim being made. If the company who installed the alarm is not NSI approved (and this can be checked with NSI) or are no longer trading, it is often best to upgrade to a new system from an NSI approved supplier. Doing this ensures that not only is your home security top notch, but that your insurer is also happy and cannot refuse to pay out a claim on the basis that the system was not supplied by an NSI approved company.
At P&R Alarms we can supply all types of intruder alarm with NSI Gold certification of compliance. We offer bells only systems as well as centrally monitored one with a police response and everything in between, giving you the choice of system to satisfy your own and your insurance company’s requirements. With our yearly service package on top, you can leave your home secure in the knowledge that it is protected and covered by valid insurance. Call us today on 01905 799949 and see how we can help you stay safe.