Home Improvement · Insurance · Safety

Security Systems and Homeowners Insurance

Expert Advice from our friend Pearl Rankin, Nationwide

A home burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the United States. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program estimates that property crimes in 2015 resulted in $14.3 billion in losses. There were a total of 7,993,631 property crimes in the nation for 2015; of those crimes nearly 20% were burglaries. Insurance companies know that a home with a security system is less likely to be involved in a property crime; about 30% of private homes have a security system and those that do not are 2-3 times more likely to be broken into.

Many security systems are able to monitor doorways and windows, the most common entry point for a burglar or thief. Certain systems also have motion sensor options available and smart phone/online monitoring, allowing you to check your home during different times of the day. Most burglaries occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., having a feature that allows you to check your home at the first sign of suspicious activity greatly reduces your chances of suffering a major loss.

Most insurance companies provide a discount for having a security system because it does reduce the chances of your home being the target of a burglary, but also because it can reduce the damage total from both burglaries and fires. The best discounts are provided for systems that monitor both fire and burglary; however they will give a smaller discount for systems that do at least one of the two.

5 ways to help protect your home from thieves:

  • Home security system – Deter thieves with noise or an automatic call to the police.
  • Proper outside lighting – Thieves may choose to bypass a well-lit home.
  • Strong exterior doors – Solid wood or metal provides stronger protection against break-ins.
  • Block windows for the basement or locked window well covers – Use these to keep thieves from seeing or entering your basement.
  • Locks for pet doors – Make sure your pet door isn’t a point of entry for a thief.


Written by Pearl Rankin, Associate Agent of Nationwide Insurance on 9/28/2016. Statistics and facts cited from FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program and Nationwide’s Safety Tips.

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