There seems to be some confusion on this and also you have to be careful as insurance companies are being being more proactive when it comes to claims and more importantly if they feel you have not complied with their conditions then they may not pay a claim.
So lets sort a few things out would you expect to have a claim settled if you did not lock your car or house ? Well of course not insurance companies are about risk so there is no surprise when they say sorry you do not have a valid claim.
The average house contents insurance is £250 per year and an insurance company may give you a discount on this of about 10% if you have a intruder burglar alarm but they do have conditions listed below
- The alarm system must be fitted by a registered installer .
- The owner must have a yearly maintenance contract.
- The owner must set the system every time they leave the property with no exemptions .
So lets break this down
Insurance companies insist on this as companies have to have X number of employees to ensure there is emergency cover and that they comply with the current standards of servicing and installation.
Yearly maintenance contract
This can cost anything from £200-£300 a year and is similar to a contract on your gas boiler but be careful intruder burglar alarm systems due to modern electronics are more reliable and with your gas boiler there are exemptions such as the control panel battery may no longer replaced free of charge via the maintenance contract.
Setting the alarm
There is no discussion on this to comply with your insurance companies conditions you and more importantly your family must set your alarm every time you leave the house vacant.
Q. So whats the difference between the service you offer and a registered alarm company.
A. Well it depends on what type of service you are looking for as there are 2 types of customers. One wants the security and backup of say a national company and want to pay for that service the other does not want to pay £200-£300 a year and would prefer a pay as required system and these are my customers.
Q. Is a maintenance contract worth the money.
A. Well again its down to choice some people want to know they have a set payment for their alarm system but ironically the most common problem is the battery and most alarm companies make an extra charge for this . Where a lot of my customers prefer to pay for any repairs that they may require.
Q. Do I have to set my system every time I leave my house.
A. Well if you have a maintenance contract with alarm discount then yes where customers who don’t can suit themselves . Also if you ask your insurance company if this is the case the standard reply will be “Well yes this may affect any claim you make”
Say you pay £250 a year maintenance with a £25 a year insurance discount well after 5 years you have paid £1250 with a £125 insurance discount so £1125 in total but someone who has not but get their system checked and their battery replace every 5 years then they have saved around £1000 and yes they may have a problem but in my experience they feel they are still are financially better off plus they are not required to set their system all the time.
Your maintenance contract covers you for any breakdowns except battery change and any alterations you wish to make.
Words of warning
If you have an intruder alarm system but do not have a maintenance contract then make sure you check with your insurance company that you are not getting the alarm discount because if you are then your policy could be null and void . This can happen when you call for a quote and you say yes you have an alarm then there can be confusion with the salesperson as they enter yes to you having a maintenance contract. So for the sake of a £20-£25 discount make sure you confirm with your company you have an alarm but you do not have a maintenance contract.