Most people install security systems to reduce their risk of becoming a theft or vandalism victim, but they may not realize that increasing their safety measures can also lower their insurance premiums. Here are a few ways you can reduce your insurance costs and protect yourself, too.
Home Alarm System
The FBI reports that property crimes accounted for $14.3 billion in losses in 2015, with items such as jewelry, electronics, and other stolen goods accounting for most of this amount. Property crimes did drop by 2.6 percent, but they’re certainly still a major concern for homeowners. Fortunately, installing a home alarm system deters criminals and can reduce your insurance premiums as well.
According to a 2012 study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, most burglars convicted for their crime chose to bypass homes with a security system. Insurance companies may offer a small discount if you install a self-monitored system, but generally reserve larger discounts for those connected to a central monitoring station and emergency services. They realize monitoring a home means fewer claims, so they’ll often pass the savings onto you.
Many insurance companies reward accident-free drivers with a sizable discount. How long the driver must maintain their claim-free status depends on the company. However, some companies increase the discount the longer you maintain your impeccable driving record. Don’t assume your insurance company automatically applies the discount if you qualify. Always ask your insurance agent.
Discounts for a defensive driving course vary by state. Some states require drivers be 55 or older, while others have no age limitations. In some states, these courses also reduce points of your record.
Defensive driving courses are inexpensive and normally mean at least a 5% insurance discount, although this varies between carriers.
If you own a post-1994 vehicle, you may qualify for a deep discount on your medical-related coverage. Later model vehicles are usually equipped with air bags or other passive restraint systems which can decrease the risk of suffering a major injury if you’re involved in an accident.
Insurance companies also consider other features such as anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, night vision assist lights, blind spot detectors, rear view cameras, and lane change alerts. Discounts vary based on the make, model, and claims records, but they can reach 40% with some insurance companies.
Vehicle Anti-Theft Device
Alarms are the most obvious device which could qualify for a discount, but insurers often consider other approved devices, too. Electronic immobilizers, “kill” switches to shut down part of the engine’s electrical system, VIN etching, and vehicle tracking systems may qualify, as well.
Customer Loyalty & Multi Policy Discounts
Although not directly related to security, there are a couple of other common discounts that you should be aware of. Insurance is a highly-competitive business and most insurers offer discounts to loyal customers. Each insurance company’s time requirements vary to qualify for a discount, but always ask.
In addition, bundling your insurance needs with one insurance company can often lead to significant discounts. If you have home, renters, or condo insurance and insure vehicles, talk to your agent. It could save you up to 20% with most companies.
These are just a fraction of the discounts available, but many companies don’t offer them to you unless you ask. Buying insurance online may seem like an inexpensive option, but you miss out on the personalized service of an agent.
Your local insurance agent should take the time to learn about your needs, help you weigh your options, and dig deep for the discounts you deserve. They can often provide superior coverage at comparable rates. The team here are at Loiselle Insurance is ready to help! If you have questions about your coverage, give us a call.