3 min read

The Link Between Contents Insurance & Home Security


February 27, 2024

By First For Women

As the year's end rapidly approaches, you may go on holiday or take it easy at home. Whether you plan to use the time to unwind or catch up on household tasks, it's an ideal time to evaluate how well you're protecting your home and determine if your current home security and insurance cover adequately address your needs. You may have a home security system or House Contents Insurance from 1st for Women, but not both. Discover why the two are linked and how this reciprocal relationship can provide extra protection for your home. 

The link between home security and Contents Insurance

According to the South African Police Service's crime statistics for 2023's second quarter, the number of reported home burglaries has declined compared to the same period the previous year. Despite this, home burglaries remain a challenge for homeowners and remain the biggest crime subcategory in the country.

In many cases, having a visible and reactive home security system is enough to put off opportunistic criminals wanting to try their luck at breaking into your home. For more persistent criminals, its rapid response to your home's triggered alarm leaves them little time to sweep your home for valuables. Security and surveillance technology advances also mean you can remotely control who accesses your home and view your property's cameras via your phone, even if you're hundreds of kilometres away.

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean you're guaranteed never to experience any losses. It's a reality that as home security systems have gotten smarter, so have criminals. Even if you have a cutting-edge home security system and armed response service, there is still a chance that a criminal could steal from you. Insurers and security companies alike often recommend homeowners invest in a home security system and Household Contents Insurance.

You may even find that having a home security system in place results in lower monthly premiums for your Contents Insurance as it reduces your risk factor. This means you're less likely to be robbed because you’ve taken proactive measures to prevent this.

Assessing your needs: how much Contents Insurance do you need?

To get the best Contents Insurance coverage for your needs, you should begin by thoroughly and accurately assessing your coverage needs by following these steps:

1. Evaluate your risk factors

Research your location, the type of home you live in and your choice of home security system, as this will impact the likelihood of someone robbing you. For example, your neighbourhood may have experienced higher-than-average break-ins over the past year, increasing your risk. You may only have a security system for your outer property but not your actual home, requiring you to upgrade. If you live in a gated estate or complex, you may have on-site security guards, lowering your risk compared to a freestanding property.

2. Evaluate your possessions

To ensure you choose a coverage level that will recover your losses, it’s highly advisable that you should maintain an updated list of your insured possessions and their market or retail value. This could require you to get a third-party appraisal of an item's value, and rare or costly items may require their own dedicated insurance.

3. Be realistic but fair

It's recommended that you insure any item that would be costly to replace and take a worst-case-scenario approach to what you insure. That said, overinsuring an item or being misleading in your coverage can result in your insurance claim being rejected.

4. Stay up to date

Electronics and technology items can decrease in value over time and become obsolete. When insuring these items, take into account if you'll want a model upgrade later on or what features you'll want in a suitable replacement. It's also important to note if you replace items with a newer model, upgrade it for a more expensive one or do away with it altogether.

Home security tips from the insurance experts

To optimise your home security towards a more favourable insurance premium or favourable insurance claim, check that you meet the following requirements:

  • Attend to any faults or errors in your home security system and entry points to your home the moment you notice them. You could have a claim rejected if it's determined you ignored an alarm fault that allowed a criminal to enter your home or if you didn't immediately fix a broken window that was used to gain entry to your home. 

  • Create anti-theft deterrents. Make sure you lock every entry point when you leave your home and keep valuables out of sight—whether you're popping down to the shops or going away for a month-long break. Ensuring that your home is well-lit with outside security lighting is equally important. 

  • Take a proactive approach to your home's safety by getting involved in any local community watch or crime watch groups.

How to claim for theft on insurance

You've invested in insurance and a home security system. Unfortunately, you could still get robbed. That’s what insurance is for, so follow these steps to recover your losses as quickly and efficiently as possible:

  • If you suspect your home's been broken into before entering it, contact the police or neighbourhood watch before attempting to enter. Your safety and that of your family come first.

  • Once your home is safe to enter and you've reported the theft to the police and obtained a report or case number, create a document detailing what's been stolen, damaged, or destroyed.

  • Compile any additional documents (such as appraisal documents or proof of payments) and contact your insurer. They'll likely take these documents and assign an assessor or insurance adjustor to your case.

  • The better prepared you are, the quicker you can expect your claim to be processed. Once it is, make sure you review the settlement and are happy with it before accepting it and using the payout to replace any broken, damaged, or stolen items.

Get a Home Contents Insurance quote from 1st for Women

Now that you're aware of the benefits of having both Contents Insurance and home security, you can relax and go on a holiday with more peace of mind. Contact us for an obligation-free Home Contents Insurance quote. 

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