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House Alarm - what to consider House Alarm - what to consider

AA Home Insurance

House Alarm - what to consider

Published 17th October 2018Read Time 4 min

Investing in your home security by fitting a house alarm will help secure your home and offer you peace of mind. It may also help reduce the cost of your home insurance - making it a steal! (See what we did there?) With AA Home Insurance, a discount of up to 12.5% is available where an NSAI-approved alarm has been installed.
What house alarm should you choose?
  1. Bells only and dialler alarms: 
A bells-only house alarm is all bells and no whistles. It'll make lots of noise which will hopefully disturb any intruders and/or alert neighbours' attention, but they won’t contact the Gardai or a keyholder when it goes off. Dialler alarms, however, automatically dial keyholders' numbers when the alarm is set off.
  1. Monitored alarm system:
A monitored alarm system uses telephone or mobile lines, sensors and sometimes cameras to help keep a home secure. The company monitoring the alarm system will notify emergency services or keyholders when the alarm or sensors are triggered. Bear in mind, however, that in addition to the initial cost of installation, you will also pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
  1. Smart home security systems
Smart home security systems contact you when the alarm goes off through a smartphone or tablet app. It is another type of monitored alarm system and also entails a monthly or annual contract. As this type of system connects to your smartphone or tablet, you can control your security system from your phone, wherever you are in the world.
What are the alternatives?
If your budget can’t stretch to a fitted or monitored alarm, there are other ways to fortify your home security. Investing in doors, windows and locks can make a big contribution to home safety. Consider adding sensor lights, door peep holes, door chains and bolts as well as extra secure locks on your windows. Some security experts suggest replacing front and back doors with steel framed security doors, but these can be quite expensive. A pull-up security bar which can be installed to front and back doors offers resistance to burglars and will hopefully deter them from going any further.
How much will this cost me?!
The cost of alarm systems varies of course, depending on who you go with. It’s worth noting that purchasing and fitting an alarm system is included under the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) although the minimum spend to qualify for tax relief under this scheme is €4,405. If you were doing other renovation work to your home as part of the HRI, you can add in the cost of fitting a security system to your overall spend. In order to qualify for the scheme, works must be done between 25th October 2013 and 31st December 2018 for homeowners, between 15th October 2014 and 31st December 2018 for landlords and between 1st January 2017 and 31 December 2018 for local authority tenants. The only exception to the closing date is if planning permission is required for the work. If this is the case, planning permission must be in place by 31st December 2018 but you have until 31st March 2019 to complete and pay for the work.
Will it affect my insurance premium?
If you decide to install a house alarm or make security upgrades to your home, let your insurer know. Your premium could be discounted by between 5-15% as a result. Keep in mind that your house alarm will need to be to up to an EN50131 standard and installed by a recognised installation company. Check out www.psa.gov.ie to see if your chosen company is licensed by The Private Security Authority. To get a home insurance quote from TheAA.ie click here.  Don't forget that with AA Home Insurance, you can currently get a €60 discount on any online quote as well as a 40% No Claims Discount.

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