Did you know that most insurance companies now insist that you have adequate home security? Maybe your home insurance company has come through with its insurance renewal and if you are one of those who unquestioningly renew each year, throwing the paperwork into a drawer until next year, you should dig them out this weekend and check your small print. You are at risk of being rejected when it comes to making a claim – and if your home is broken into, not only will you have that to deal with but you’ll also have the bellyache of an insurance company that will not pay out.
Insurance companies up and down the country are changing policies to include the fact that you may now need to have the right locks on the windows and doors and you have to find good Newcastle burglar alarms to get the right alarms in throughout the house. If you decide not to read new clauses or small print you are risking your home and your policy not paying out for you if you ever need it.
The trouble here is that insurance companies rarely explain policy requirements in common English and insurers are quick to use such terms to deny a burglary claim if the customer fails to double lock the front door, or put on the alarm, if these are the conditions of the policy. What you should do about security really depends on where you live and how much you are insuring. Households in low burglary areas are rarely required to have alarms as a condition of insurance. However, if you seek a high level of cover – like more than seventy five thousand pounds worth of goods – insurers often want an alarm. Insurance application forms tend to ask whether an alarm is fitted and how it’s monitored. Sometimes, householders will obtain a small discount because they have an alarm, but not always.
Make sure that whatever alarm you have installed, it’s done by a NACOSS/SSAIB approved installer but if you already have an alarm installed and your installer is no longer trading then it’s anyone’s guess as to whether they were certified. If you do not use the alarm and get burgled, well I hate to say it but not only are you inviting trouble by being lax in your vigilance, your insurer could turn down a claim. You can, as a householder, appeal this with the Financial Ombudsman Service if you feel it wasn’t made clear at the time of the policy sale or in subsequent communications.
Some insurers out there say that alarms have to be switched on at night time for all the rooms where no one is sleeping, which causes issues if you have a cat or dog as they can turn on the alarm when moving around. If your home policy requires night activation, contact your insurer and ask for the clause to be removed. There are insurers out there that don’t require the alarm to be used but just installed as they hope the existence alone is enough of a deterrent.