Home security systems aren’t always on home owner priority lists. However, comparing the cost of security alarms & back to base monitoring to the losses from being unprotected is quite revealing, especially when one factors in the insurance benefits of a home alarm system.
Actually, the cost of a normal home security system would not be more than 1%-3% of an average Australian home’s total value. This cost is almost negligible, especially considering the benefits of installing security alarms:
1) REDUCED INSURANCE COSTS
Most insurance companies offer reduced-rate coverage for dwellings with home security alarms. Whether you are purchasing home insurance, contents insurance or both, you usually get a discount. It may be small, or significant, depending on the company you choose and your specific situation – so ask about this benefit when selecting your insurance company.
Insurance companies deem the risk in insuring a client to be less if you have a home security system, since you are less apt to be burglarized to begin with. Upon installing your home alarm, your security company will give you signs for your home, letting would-be criminals know your house is alarmed. These signs are effective as crime deterrents, and those burglars who aren’t deterred by the signage tend to steal less upon entry after tripping security alarms. All of this translates into savings for the insurance company, which they are willing to pass on to you to get your business.
Your insurance provider may state that you must have your home security system serviced regularly in order to maintain your discount. Be sure that you understand what is expected of you when it comes to alarm service and maintenance. Just like a car needs regular tune-ups, your security alarms will need routine maintenance as well. They’ll function better and remain more reliable that way.
2) INCREASED HOME VALUE
Aside from protecting your home, family and valuables, installing a home security system will add lasting value to your house. It is a long-term investment that will pay off down the road. Remember, the cost of purchasing and installing security alarms costs just a small fraction of the value of your home. Keep in mind that you’re likely to get back what you spent for it when you sell, since a home alarm system is an attractive selling point your real estate agent can use if you place your home on the market.
3) CONTRIBUTE TO A SAFER NEIGHBORHOOD
Consider some home burglary statistics. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 5.4 percent of Australian homes experienced break-ins or attempted break-ins in 2005 (the most recent year for which stats are available). This translates to almost 450,000 homes.
Your alarm may help reduce crime in general in the environment, even if other houses are not alarmed. Especially with CCTV camera installations. A study by Rutgers University indicated that “a burglar alarm…not only protects the home without displacing burglary to nearby houses, but, in fact, also provides these other houses with protection from burglars” as a side-benefit.*
Be part of stopping crime before it happens – installing security alarms in your home lets it be known that you are serious about your family’s safety, particularly if the alarm is monitored back to base, 24 hours a day.
4) PEACE OF MIND
You’ve probably heard it said that you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. This is especially true when it comes to your home and your family. Even investing $1000 in a home security system can end up saving you twice that or more in lost possessions and/or the price of your insurance. You’ll also sleep better at night knowing that you are protected by a back to base alarm, monitored by a security company you trust.
Those who rent or lease a home may still be able to get an alarm installed, even though you do not own the property. Talk to your landlord or Real Estate Management company (your landlord’s representative) about installing security alarms. After all, both you and he will benefit from doing so. It will be worth it, and it may be possible for your landlord to shoulder some (or all) of the cost of a home alarm system. Remember, as a property investor, he may get an income tax benefit and/or property insurance discount by having the alarm installed.
Make sure that you choose a security company that understands the specifications of your insurance provider. They should be willing to work closely with you to choose an insurance-approved system, and be made aware of any installation specifications that your insurance company requires.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It’s important to note that security alarms probably won’t cost as much as you think, especially when the insurance benefit is factored in. It’s true that today’s home security systems are more elaborate and advanced than ever before. However, if you live in a normal home, you probably will not need to purchase the most advanced system on the market to get reliable home protection. As a type of technology improves and becomes easier to manufacture, it also becomes cheaper.
Basic home security systems for the average Australian home can be purchased from a security company for less than $1,000 dollars, including all parts and installation. These systems will provide more than adequate protection. A security company charging much more than that for a basic level system is charging too much.
Additionally, 24/7 back to base alarm monitoring by a licensed security company control room is also reasonably priced – the average person might spend more on coffee per week than it takes to monitor an alarm.
However one looks at it, the benefits of a quality security alarm outweigh the risks, and when you use the tips in this article to start saving when you spend, the financial expense is less too. Contact a security company you trust and gain something important for yourself and your family – peace of mind.
*(See the Alarm Industry Research & Educational Foundation website – AIREF – for more info on the Rutgers study referred to in the article.)
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