Security systems come in many forms and fashions and date back many centuries. If you think about it, security systems were around long, long ago. Look at the Great Wall of China or even old European castles where men with swords and bow and arrows guarded kings and queens or an entire village. Bringing it more local here to Charleston, look at Fort Sumter, built to help protect Charleston and where the first shots were fired that started the American Civil War. So what does all of this have to do with homeowners insurance?
In a recent article by the Electronic Security Association, president Dom D’Ascoli quoted, “When selecting a security system for your home, you think about peace of mind, keeping your family and your assets safe and secure but have you thought about the discounts you can receive on your homeowner’s insurance policy? By selecting the proper security system for your home, you can maximize savings and protect your family.
One of the frequent questions asked by many clients and potential clients are how can we reduce our premiums without sacrificing coverage and protection on our homeowners insurance policy? One way is a security system. By having a security system installed and properly working and maintained you can save anywhere from 2 percent to up to 20 percent on your homeowners insurance premiums. Are you maximizing this savings? The more sophisticated your system, the more you should expect in discounts. Let’s be honest here…I don’t care who you are, everyone loves discounts! You see, if a security system can help monitor or eliminate break-ins, capture a burglar on video, sense a water breakage, notify the fire department of smoke or fire, this obviously has an impact on an insurance company’s bottom line and because of this they will reward you. Insurance companies aren’t that bad after all, right? Don’t think so fast, you must be very diligent to make sure the insurance companies know what system you have and what it does or else you could not be receive the deserved discounts. (Side Note: All great insurance advisors should be doing this for you.)
“Will I get 2 percent, 20 percent or more?”
Security systems today are extremely advanced. Some security systems are very basic while on other systems, you can pull up an app on your smart phone and see video streaming live inside your house or see who is at the front door of your vacation house when you are states away. Many systems today can detect motion, heat, gases, water, smoke…the list goes on. Quite frankly, security system might even be the wrong word to use. Maybe we should use the terms Monitoring Systems or Protective Device Systems or even the “peace of mind system”, instead. Nonetheless, having a security system installed in your home can reap many rewards that go far past that of just the assurance, peace of mind and safety of your property, assets and most importantly, your family.
Let’s look at an example to bring this back around. You live on Sullivan’s Island and have a pretty sophisticated security monitoring system installed that is costing you $79/month to have it managed for you, or $948 annually. Let’s say you pay $7,500 for your homeowners insurance (this does not include flood, umbrella, or wind-for coastal exposures) but your insurance advisor never asked about the security system you recently had installed because they didn’t contact you for your renewal. Are you aware you could be leaving anywhere between $350 and $1500 on the table…annually? In some cases this could pay for you annual security system fee. Let’s say you already have a security system installed and are receiving a credit but maybe you can receive a larger credit with a newer and more sophisticated security system in place. This discount could possibly pay for the upgrade. Isn’t it worth checking out? Lastly, let’s say you never had the discount but have had a security system in place for years, how much has that cost you in additional premiums?
I am not saying that the only reason you should get a security system is for the premium savings you can experience on your homeowner’s insurance policy. I think you should get a security system first and foremost to help keep your family safe and have a peace of mind that your property is secure…the by-product is premium savings on your homeowners insurance and it can be a pretty nice size savings at that. My recommendation is to talk to your insurance advisor as well as your security system consultant and work together to maximize all the benefits of having a security system installed or upgraded in your home; working with an insurance advisor and security system company that work well together is key for all the benefits to be reaped.
Should you have any questions related to homeowners insurance or discounts you can receive on your homeowners insurance policy, feel free our office to see how you can benefit. 843.763.4200