Home Security & Home Insurance Discounts
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably searching for ways to save on your homeowner’s insurance. Well, you might be surprised to learn that the key to getting the best deal on homeowner’s insurance is to protect your home. Of course, you’ll have to buy a home security system (samurai sword won’t suffice), but thankfully today’s systems are becoming more and more affordable.
With this in mind, we’ve tested the best home security options available, and we’ve found that installing an alarm could shave up to 20% off your premium. 20%! That’s a good chunk of change back in your pocket.
Did You Know: You can save hundreds of dollars every year while also benefiting from the peace of mind of home protection. And it makes sense, as the better protected you are, the less likely you are to file a homeowner’s insurance claim. Insurance companies must know that security systems work!
That said, scoring the discount is not always so cut-and-dry. That’s why we created this resource on home security and home insurance discounts. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Does Home Security Lower Home Insurance?
In most cases, you should be able to lower your homeowner’s insurance premium by installing an alarm system (smoke detectors and deadbolts are also great ways to save here). However, keep in mind that the discount will differ from company to company. Note that most brands will advertise this on their site, and they’ll even have a Certificate to download to give to your insurance provider.
How Much Can I Save on Home Insurance with a Security System?
The exact discount that you’ll receive on your home insurance premium varies depending on several factors and features discussed below. But it’s worth mentioning that while some brands advertise a 20% discount, you’re more likely to find around a 10% savings. Still, $50-$100 back in the bank is nothing to sneeze at, right? Unfortunately, the only way to find out the exact savings is by reaching out to your insurance provider and getting a quote.
FYI: To learn exactly how much you can save, you’ll want to contact your insurance provider, as they can give you a custom quote. That said, the owner of a $2 million home outfitted with an alarm, cameras, smart smoke detectors, etc. will save much more money than the owner of a small home with just entryway sensors installed.
Security System Features for the Most Savings on Your Policy
We’ve rounded up the best features to look for in a home security system to get the most savings on your homeowner’s insurance policy. From professional monitoring, to environmental hazard protections, cameras, and smart locks, these are all features we recommend even without considering insurance savings (after all — you want to keep the bad guys out, right?). Here they are in no particular order:
- Professional Monitoring – Most insurance companies require that the system be professionally-monitored to get a discount. Now, if you’re looking for a professionally installed system with the best monitoring, we recommend checking out Vivint smart home security. You can read our full Vivint review here.
- Flood and CO Detection – Security systems that can also detect water or carbon monoxide (CO) leaks can save you even more on your homeowner’s insurance. Some sensors can send a notification to your smartphone to alert you to a leak before it turns into a flood. Others can automatically shut off the water at the first sign of a leak (pretty neat!).
- Monitored Fire and Smoke Alarms – Another great way to save on homeowner’s insurance is to install monitored fire and smoke alarms. Just like flood sensors, the best fire and smoke sensors also send a notification to your smartphone when smoke or fire is detected. This way, you can jump into action and call 911 — even if you’re away on vacation.
- Home Security Cameras – Adding security cameras might save you even more on home insurance, especially if they feature 24/7 video monitoring. We recently wrote an in-depth rundown of the best security cameras on market (after testing them hands-on in our homes), and we can say that security cameras pull their weight. And if you can get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance by having one or more installed, they’re a no-brainer in our book.
- Smart Locks & Deadbolts — Many of the top smart lock brands offer a discount program on homeowner’s policies. For instance, the ever-popular Yale smart locks offer savings, and August smart locks has teamed up with Liberty Mutual to offer discounts to customers as well. Now, if you only have a smart lock or deadbolt installed, you probably won’t save as much as if you had a complete home security system in place. But combine the two and you’re really in business!
Which Home Security Companies Can Help to Lower Home Insurance?
Remember, not all home security systems offer a discount on home insurance. If you go with a DIY brand (self-install) that doesn’t offer professional monitoring, you’ll be out of luck. That said, considering how cheap DIY systems are these days, you probably won’t miss the 10% to 20% insurance savings. Because remember, professional monitoring requires a monthly fee (typically $25-$45 per month), and monitoring is required for the insurance cost savings. So you’ll want to do the math to ensure your dollars make cents, if you know what we mean.
Pro Tip: If you’re like most homeowners, you probably forget to lock your door from time to time, or maybe you’ve accidentally left your garage door open before going to bed (oops!). All of these mishaps increase your risk by tempting a would-be burglar who might be casing the neighborhood. So never underestimate the importance of cultivating safe habits around your home. In other words, lock up!
Fortunately, there are smart home security systems that allow you to lock your doors from anywhere or send instant notifications to your smartphone when your garage door is left open. Since these features lower risk, many insurance companies offer even greater discounts for folks who have them. Here are some home security companies that offer advanced security features:
- Vivint – Vivint delivers complete home security with professional installation and 24/7 monitoring. Advanced features include smart locks, doorbells cameras, smart thermostats, and the best smart home automation we’ve seen. If insurance providers are looking for maximum protection, trust us, you’ll be in good hands with Vivint.
- ADT – With more than 140 years of home security experience, ADT is the most well-known name in the business. ADT’s systems come with intrusion detection and professional 24/7 monitoring, and they have indoor and outdoor camera options, environmental sensors, and a lineup of smart home features (though not as extensive as Vivint’s). If reputation matters to you, we suggest looking into our hands-on ADT review here.
- Frontpoint – Frontpoint is a good option for customers who want DIY installation. This affordable system is easy to install and includes features like 24/7 monitoring, environmental monitoring, and a host of custom rules and automations to automate your system. We also really liked Frontpoint’s web-based dashboard, which you can read more about in our in-depth Frontpoint review.
- SimpliSafe – SimpliSafe is a highly-ranked, award-winning home security system. If you’re a DIYer, then SimpliSafe is probably the best choice for you. This system is extremely easy to install (took us less than 20 minutes). And features include entry sensors, motion detectors, panic buttons, and more. Fire, smoke, and environmental sensors and monitoring are also available. To learn more about SimpliSafe, one of our favorite picks, see our comprehensive SimpliSafe review.
Is a Home Security System Tax Deductible?
The home security industry offers us tons of variety and flexibility these days, a far cry from the strict contracts and unsightly equipment we encountered in older, wired systems. But one thing hasn’t changed: If you’re using your system to protect personal property and not your business, you can’t claim a tax deduction.
We wish we had better news here, but by and large, home security systems are considered nondeductible expenses by the IRS. The exception, though, is if you use part of your home to run a business, like a home office. If that’s you, remember this: While you won’t be able to claim a deduction for the cost of the system, you can claim a portion of it as a business expense. We recommend discussing this in more detail with a professional tax accountant or preparer.
Where Can I Find a Home Security System?
Do you need a security system but don’t know how to choose from the seemingly endless options out there? If so, we recommend comparing systems on our site. We’ve painstakingly compared all of the major professionally-installed and DIY systems to help you find the best home security system for your needs. We have reviewed all of the major systems and compared things like monitoring fees, features, and more. Get started today and enjoy a home security package that meets your needs. And don’t forget — home protection can bring more than peace of mind. You might even get a discount on your home insurance!