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How to Get Insurance Discounts for Home Safety and Security Improvements

Not only do home security companies offer breaks (ADT promises up to a $300 reimbursement on insurance premiums if a break-in happens when one of its security systems is in use), insurance companies themselves commonly offer discounts of 15-30% to homeowners who demonstrate a serious commitment to protecting their home and property.

Ways to Exhibit a Commitment to Security:

1. Inventory your property, including the make, model and value of your assets.  Including photos will add a professional finishing touch to a detailed home inventory;

2. Conduct a risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities and threats to your home and property.  The objective of the risk assessment is to determine the type of security system that best suits your needs and contributes to you lifestyle, and should include a thorough investigation of home security service providers and equipment, e.g., hard-wired vs. wireless system, numbers and types of sensors and cameras, access control technology and monitoring service;

3. Get inspected.  Some local governments, along with their departments of insurance, have pioneered efforts to reduce home insurance costs while subsequently preventing crime. Home Insurance Security Inspection programs give homeowners the opportunity to save up to 20% if they meet minimum security requirements.

4. Contact your local law enforcement agency or department of insurance to see what companies they partner with. Because some insurance companies prefer certain security providers - either because they meet certification requirements or because they have an alliance - it's a good idea to check with them before investing in a home security system.

The Texas Department of Insurance, partnered with insurance companies and law enforcement agencies, offer homeowners a scale of discounts depending on their degree of protection: 5% for exterior entrance locks and 15% for having a monitored security system.  In addition, they have a checklist that must be adhered to in order to pass the test, including such specifications as “Sliding glass doors must be secured by secondary locking devices to prevent prying and lifting;” and “If the dead bolt of door locks are within 40 inches of breakable glass, the bolts must be flush mounted against the door.”

Many other municipalities are following similar courses of action in response to budget cuts that severely limit police departments’ abilities to respond effectively to each possible threat.  In addition to delegating committees to sanction home security efforts, they also have begun to register and certify home security systems based on agreed upon industry standards.