The premise of alarm systems is deterrence. Over the years, insurance companies have recognized this benefit and offered discounts to homes and businesses installing security systems. This not only helped the electronic security industry, but also reduced costs for customers, who got a lower insurance rate by decreasing their vulnerability and lowering their potential for large losses, and ultimately reduces the insurance company’s exposure.
Yet over the years, we’ve grown complacent about this insurance discount and there is now talk that it could go completely away. However, there’s now an opportunity to rebuild this relationship, and publicize the additional benefits today’s security systems offer. We believe our industry needs to be vocal on this front and get the word out about the new features of our equipment, and the proven preventive nature of security systems, as well as the fact that alarm systems help protect neighborhoods, not just the location where a company sign is posted out front. We have the data to prove this, particularly from the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF).
Insurers find a prioritized police response compelling because it eliminates or reduces losses. Response by a well trained, professional law enforcement officer, combined with the threat of arrest, makes a difference. The concept of a prioritized response when the information provided by the alarm equipment warrants it further encourages installation of new technology, like video intrusion alarms.
We have the opportunity to work with the insurance industry to include new technologies and publicize what’s being done to maintain police response or even a prioritized response to alarms. We need to continue delivering positive results, and share this information with insurance companies. If the electronic security industry does this, the insurance industry should step forward with lower cost insurance for their policy holders.