If you’re thinking about investing in a home security system, do your homework. Selecting the right system for your home and your budget isn’t as easy as chatting with whoever’s behind the counter at your local home improvement store.
For starters, do you want a system you install yourself or do you want it professionally installed? You can avoid added fees by going with one of many wireless systems promoting easy, do-it-yourself installation, though there might be peace of mind from having your system set up by an expert.
If you go with professional installation, your security provider may require a monitoring commitment. Your system is connected to a monitoring center, traditionally, by landline, though connections using cellular towers are increasingly common. Monitoring center employees can contact you and the local police should your system detect trouble. Typically, there are monthly associated fees.
To avoid the monitoring fees, you can set up one of the many modern unmonitored systems to alert you to potential problems by text message.
You should also consider the system’s capabilities. Are you OK with something that just monitors doors or windows? Or would you prefer something that checks for smoke and fire as well?
Additionally, if you use smart home features such as remote temperature and lighting controls, you’ll want to know how a home security system would integrate with your existing technology.
Many companies offer homeowners insurance discounts for properties with security systems. Systems that can notify local safety officials usually lead to larger discounts than systems that only send a text message to your phone, said Jodi DeSantis, director of insurance sales for AAA Northeast.
To speak to a AAA insurance agent or get a quote, visit AAA.com/Insurance.