Increase Your Security to Reduce Your Premiums
By Diane Tait
|Image courtesy of picpedia|
Security is like the weather. Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it. Well, almost nobody. That’s because savvy consumers and business owners know that bolstering the security of homes, businesses and vehicles not only makes burglars think twice, it can also reduce the cost of insurance. Since insurance premiums are calculated on risk, reducing the risk can also reduce your premiums. Let me explain.
How Safe is Your Home?
That sounds like a trick question, but it really isn’t. Depending on the location, orientation and age of your home, insurance statistics can spell out how likely your home or business is likely to become burglarized.
1. Installing a burglar alarm is one way to up the ante when it comes to making a burglar think twice about hitting your home or business. Especially if the alarm system is tied into the police and fire departments. If you do choose to install an alarm system, make sure you mention it to your insurance agent, since having an alarm is one way to get a discount on your premiums.
|Image courtesy of flickr|
2. Wireless surveillance systems can also be a real deterrent to crime, since no thieves wants to see their faces on the 6-o’clock news. Wireless systems today are affordable and easy to install. They store their footage on a hard drive that can be hidden anywhere in your home. Many of them even come with apps that allow you to monitor your home or business remotely.
3. Motion-detection lighting is another way to make it harder for thieves to access your property unseen. These can be especially useful if you have shrubbery around your home that would otherwise conceal would-be burglars.
4. Upgrading your home’s windows and doors is another way to deter theft. If your home is more than 20-years old, chances are your windows are not only child’s play to jimmy, they may not even lock properly. Modern replacement windows today come with several different types of built-in security that not only make it harder for thieves to get into your home, they can even let in a cross-breeze without admitting thieves. Doors have also become much better able to stand assault from even the most determined thieves. Featuring reinforced door jambs, extra-long bolts and hardened keepers that prevent thieves from pulling out your locks and hinges, modern doors let homeowner’s sleep soundly at night.
These Deterrents Mean Business.
|Image courtesy of Pixabay|
5. Aside from added physical security, when it comes to protecting your business assets, it could be time to beef up your digital security. Today, thieves are able to steal more with a mouse than with a gun. According to US News & World Report, hackers cost businesses more than $445 billion each year. What’s even worse is that the police and even the FBI is unable to stop cyber-thieves. Here's what US News & World Report had to say:
“We don’t catch most cyber-criminals and we don’t catch the most successful ones,” said James Lewis, a CSIS senior fellow and co-author of the report during an event unveiling the report Monday. “That’s the heart of the problem. So far there is impunity for cyber-criminals.”
This means any business can be a target. Not only can your data be stolen and your bank accounts cleared out, you could walk into the office Monday morning only to find that all your office machines have been infected with malware or held hostage by ransomware. If you haven’t had your computers, server and smartphones analyzed for vulnerabilities and hardened by adding several layers of security, you are a sitting duck. Should your system be compromised, the cost to recover the data and compensate clients whose data was stolen from you could cripple or ruin your business.
One way to help you combat cyber-criminals is to consider acquiring Cyber Liability Insurance. This way if your business is hit, you won’t have to cover the expenses of recovering your data, shoring up your digital defenses and dealing with any lawsuits filed by clients whose data was compromised all by yourself.
The Unintended Road Trip
|Image courtesy of Max Pixel|
If you own a vehicle, there are a number of things you can do to increase security and decrease the possibility that it will be stolen. Just as with homes and businesses, by making your vehicle harder to steal, you can reduce the cost to insure it. Here are a couple of ways to accomplish this:
1. A car alarm is always a good way to deter not only having your vehicle stolen, but having items stolen from it. Many cars come equipped from the factory with alarms that will sound if the car door is opened or the window broken. Better still are alarms that alert the police to a theft in progress. The best are equipped with a GPS that pinpoints your car’s location to make it that much easier to locate. Some of the pricier models even include an app that will not only alert the owner that their car has been stolen, it allows them to remotely disable the car, then tell the cops where to find it.
2. A couple of low-tech approaches make it physically impossible to steal your vehicle. The first are ignition-kill-switches that once activated make it impossible to start the engine. The switch can be hidden beneath the dash to make it easy for the owner to defeat, but next to impossible for a thief to find. The second kind of device is a steering wheel lock, that once deployed makes it impossible to turn the wheel.
With the new year right around the corner, you should make a new year’s resolution to increase your security while lowering your insurance premiums next year. That’s a resolution we can all keep.
Diane Tait owns and operates A&B Insurance. To find out more about how you can save money on renter’s insurance, go to or fill out the form at right.