Security News & Tips
Is my insurance valid if I don’t have my alarm system set?
Stay safe – Get it serviced
Most insurance companies will ask you if you have a burglar alarm, and if yes, is it monitored securely? The higher the level of security, the lower the risk, which will push down the cost of your household policy.
Paul Kavanagh, Managing Director of McCarthy Insurance Group, explains that “If you don’t use your alarm, or are prone to forget to turn it on, and are subsequently burgled, there is a strong probability that your claim will be turned down. Your insurer can argue that you have failed to take reasonable steps to protect your property.”
So you are right to assume that not setting your alarm in the event of a burglary could invalidate your claim.
Insurance is one of our most expensive outgoings, and if you have a mortgage, you’ll be paying premiums to protect your home. Your insurance company calculates a custom price based on a range of factors, and your home alarm system will work in your favour when it comes to calculating the fee.
Most insurance policies stipulate that the alarm must be on when the property is empty. But how does it work when you’re asleep? Can you leave the alarm off at bedtime, or would it invalidate your insurance to do so?
Check your policy
Policy wording varies, but they key thing to remember is that your actions should be seen to be reasonable. In the eyes of your insurer, you should take adequate steps to protect your property at night.
You might notice a clause that says your alarm has to be on when you’re asleep – but only in rooms that nobody is using. That normally means you should alarm the downstairs rooms while the family is asleep in the upstairs bedrooms.
If you live in a bungalow, or you tend to move around during the night, the situation becomes more complex. Your insurer may argue that the living room and kitchen should be alarmed, but you might get up in the night to make a cup of tea.
Worst case scenarios
So what are the consequences if you have an alarm, but you fail to use it properly?
If you don’t use your burglar alarm, your insurance company may refuse to pay out in the event of a claim. That could leave you thousands of euros out of pocket. You can’t predict a burglary, so it’s important to consider the implications now, before the worst happens.
If you forget to set the alarm frequently, you may as well not have an alarm at all. If your alarm is faulty, your insurance company will argue that you didn’t take reasonable steps to secure your house.
In this case, it might be worth asking your insurance company to re-quote for your insurance, so you know you’re definitely covered when it isn’t on. However, this is likely to result in a hike in premiums and possibly a fee for the change.
Alternatively, you could contact ESP Security for a quote for a new intruder alarm that’s easier for you to operate, so you can control which zones are alarmed while having the freedom to move around at night.
Stay safe: get it serviced
A burglar alarm can dramatically reduce the cost of home insurance, but if you don’t use your alarm, you could be in for a shock. A staggering 4 per cent of homeowners lie about having an alarm system in order to lower the premiums on their home insurance. If your alarm isn’t working, you could be left high and dry when you make a claim. When was the last time you checked it?
ESP Security offers affordable maintenance packages that will keep your burglar alarm up and running. For a no-obligation quote, give us a call today.
Contact ESP Security today for more information and a quote