If home security alarm monitoring is in your plans, you’re in a great position to get a good deal on the alarm equipment itself. Home security prices can often be combined, giving you the best of both worlds.
While you may be shopping for cheap alarm monitoring, don’t miss the chance to save money on the system and the monitoring service!
Many alarm companies offer “free” or “$99” home burglar alarm systems, provided you monitor with them. This basically rolls the cost of the equipment, installation labor, and the monitoring fees into one price, then breaks it up into monthly payments. At the end of the contract, you will have paid enough to cover the dealer’s equipment and labor costs, along with the monitoring.
A typical contract might be three years long. It could include a free basic system and installation, and monitoring paid monthly for the three years. Let’s say you own your own home, and you plan on staying in your house for at least that long.
You’ll get a system installed, and pay a monthly fee for three years. This will cover all equipment, labor, and monitoring charges.
If you decide to go this route, be sure to find out who owns the equipment at the end of the contract. Some companies always retain ownership of the system; some let you keep it, depending on the offer they’re promoting at the time.
If you do want to keep the equipment at the end of the contract, make sure the panel can be programmed and monitored by any alarm company. This is important, since some national chains and smaller companies use “locked” panels that only they can access.
Some home monitoring companies like Vivent offer security, energy management, and home automation control in one package.
Like many standard alarm systems, you can operate the Vivent system with a touch-screen keypad while at home. Away from the house, you can use a computer or smartphone to arm and disarm the system, view cameras, receive alerts, and turn compatible appliances on and off.
A monitored fire or burglar alarm system may earn you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance premiums.
A monitored burglary system might get you a 10 % discount, while a monitored fire system might earn 15% off. The higher fire discount makes sense, since losses due to a fire are typically more costly than in a burglary. Check with your insurance agent for details before committing to putting in a system.
To get any kind of discount, you’ll need to provide your insurance company with paperwork showing what protection you have installed in your house. Your alarm company can do this for you, and Fax it to your insurance agent.
Insurance companies sometimes require that a monitored burglary and/or fire system be installed in homes they insure. Usually this is reserved for homes over a certain value. If this is the case for you, your agent will likely tell you how many and where to place detectors, based on the square footage and floor plan of the house.
This seems to be a growing trend. If you don’t like this, you can try changing insurance companies. But, who knows how long it will be before the new company follows suit?
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Most alarm companies give discounted rates for multiple accounts. If you happen to own a rental property, business, or a second home, consider using one alarm company for all of your alarm needs.
With a discount of even ten or fifteen dollars a month for two accounts, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. This also makes your life easier, since you only have to deal with one alarm company for billing, service, and record keeping.
Some security companies also offer discounts if you refer another customer to them. This may be in the form of a discount on your monthly bill, a cheaper installation price, or an additional keypad, motion detector, etc.
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It's possible to do your own monitoring and avoid a monthly fee, but it's not for everybody. Learn more here: Should You Self Monitor Your Alarm System?