Here at Ocean, we’ve been helping people pay for their dream homes for over 20 years, and that’s why we understand the importance of keeping your home safe.
After all, the home really is where the heart is, and keeping your family safe and your belongings secure is one of the keys to creating a dream home.
That’s why taking out a home insurance policy that suitably covers you and your family should the worst happen really makes sense – but just how secure your home is can have an effect on how much you have to pay for it.
How it affects your insurance
When you are buying a home insurance policy, all insurers will usually require you to have a minimum level of security in place. In the worst case scenario, if you are targeted by a burglar and you haven’t got the minimum level covered, your insurance provider could actually invalidate your claim. This could be disastrous, and could hit you hard at a particularly vulnerable time. Having your home broken into can be a terrible shock, and the financial loss if you find your belongings aren’t covered may come at the worst possible time.
However, taking the appropriate home security measures could not only protect you and your belongings, but it could actually mean you pay less for your insurance premium. The security your provider requires of you will be detailed in the paperwork they send you. They are usually fairly simple – such as having 5 lever mortice deadlocks on your access doors and window locks on all your ground floor windows. You can find a guide to the different types of locks here.
Deterrence is the best form of security
Adding an elaborate security system to your home is unlikely to bring the costs of your premium down to a level that covers the cost of installing the system in the first place. However, having a strong security system in place could still be an invaluable asset to your home, as it will reduce the chances any burglars will be successful in an attempted break-in.
Some quick steps you should take to keep your home secure include:
- Don’t leave a spare key outside, regardless of whether it’s under the doormat or behind a plant pot.
- Keep expensive gadgets away from windows or anywhere else they may be visible to potential intruders.
- Avoid keeping large sums of cash in your home.
- If you have any tools or a ladder outside, keep them secure or lock them up as thieves may use them to break in to your home.
- Putting a light or small lamp on a timer when you’re out can make your house look occupied.
- If you have bicycles that you keep in a shed or garage, make sure they are also locked to something secure.
- There may be a local Neighbourhood Watch that you can join. You might receive discounts in your insurance premium by joining, and your neighbours will be able to look out for your property when you’re away.
- If you plan on being away for an extended period, ask a friend or family member if they would mind checking on your home every now and then.
- Remember to lock all your doors and windows before going to bed, as even the smallest window could provide an entry to a determined burglar.
- Aside from these quick fixes, there are some more costly, but ultimately more effective measures you could take.
A burglar alarm system is a major deterrent for thieves, as the alarm on the property’s exterior will signal to potential burglars that your home is protected. If you have a good quality alarm fitted by a professional you may also be able to get a discount on your insurance premium – especially if you opt for a monitored system. It’s important to remember to turn it on when you’re out and before you go to bed, especially if you’ve told your insurance provider you will.
Some final insurance tips
If, since taking out your insurance policy, you’ve bought any expensive jewellery or gadgets like laptops and smartphones, it’s wise to let your provider know so they can include them in your cover. It can also make sense to mark gadgets and valuables with your postcode using a UV pen. You won’t be able to see anything until under a UV light, but doing so will help to identify your goods if they are recovered after a break in.
Most insurance policies will only cover a very limited amount of cash – so it really doesn’t make sense to keep larger amounts of cash in your home.
Home security doesn’t have to be costly (measures like window locks are cheap and easy to install) but could make all the difference to your home insurance premium and reduce the chance of a break in.