October 1, 2020

What You Need To Know About Home Security Systems For Your High-Value Home

Written by:
Cate Misczuk
Reviewed by:

Home security systems have always been crucial to help you protect your family, home and valuables. However, as the technology has become more comprehensive, home security systems have become totally essential for insuring your million-dollar home. 

Many homeowners don’t realize that to insure your high-value home, there are certain criteria your home security system must include to meet your insurance company’s standards. Often, your insurer will even endorse specific security systems which they believe to be the best option for your high-value home. Usually you can get a reduced premium if you go with their recommendation, too.

But because each insurer recommends different brands of home security systems, all of our clients get different advice from experts on how to best comply and protect their home. It’s imperative that homeowners understand the different kinds of home security systems on the market and what’s usually required by their carriers. So, we sat down with Kelly Klee’s President, Bob Klee, to obtain his insights. 

Fire alarm monitoring system

A fire alarm monitoring system is far more comprehensive than installing a fire alarm. This system consists of an interconnected series of smoke detectors and strobe lights that can warn you and lead you to safety in the case of a house fire. If you have a large, high-value home, a fire alarm monitoring system is needed to insure the property.

“You can even upgrade your fire system to include heat detectors and an in-home sprinkler system,” Klee explained. The National Fire Protection Agency says from 2013 to 2019 alone, there was $6.9 billion in fire damages to homes across the United States. A state of the art fire system — especially with features like a sprinkler system — can help protect your property and valuables from serious damage.

Central burglar alarm

“When homeowners think of home security systems, they often think of the central burglar alarm system,” Klee told us. “This is one of the most popular types of security systems — and if you have a million dollar home, you need to have one installed to insure it.”

These extensive systems monitor your windows and doors with motion detectors and set off an alarm when they’re tripped. Another main feature of a central burglar alarm is that it notifies the alarm company’s central monitoring service, who will notify the police if the system is set off and dispatch them to your property. Finally, these systems typically include window and door stickers to ward off possible intruders.

Monitored alarm system

Additional protection
A monitored alarm system is an extension of your local alarm system, connecting you to a 24/7/365 monitoring service with a professional. “Let’s say your burglar alarm is tripped. If you have a monitored alarm system and an intrusion is identified, an agent will call you to confirm if it’s a false alarm or a real break-in before notifying authorities,” Klee explained. Additionally, you can also have your fire and carbon monoxide system monitored by professionals to help keep your family and home safe. Klee uses an ADT  direct home security system and prefers the high quality service he receives by not using an authorized dealer.

This home security system isn’t usually required by insurance carriers, however, many homeowners prefer having a monitored alarm system set up. Whether it’s kids coming in late or forgetting to disarm the system before your partner comes home, having an agent ready to check in before notifying the police can save you a lot of headache. For Klee, using an alarm system offers protection for priceless memories including family pictures, his children’s artwork, and an heirloom quilt made by his grandmother. 

As the technology has gotten better, monitored alarm systems have been able to include many more features that allow homeowners to better access their home’s security. Some of these additional protection and control measures include:

- Remote access: Using a mobile app, access and monitor your home security system, like the cameras, for example. “The app makes it easier to form the habit of activating the alarm system whether at home or away,” Klee stated.
- Doorbell cameras: Screen visitors, whether you’re home or not, with a video camera doorbell. Some systems even allow you to speak and hear your visitors.
- Home automation:
These systems allow you to remotely control and monitor parts of your home, like locking your doors or turning on lights, via a mobile application.

Critical alarm system

Additional protection
Critical alarm systems protect your home against leaks by monitoring water flow in your pipes. Usually, this information is compiled in an application that you can monitor and even set up alarms for. We have previously covered critical alarm systems on our blog — speaking to both our CEO Jon Kelly and President Bob Klee about how these systems have saved them time, money and headaches.

“I have a 19,000 gallon pool, and just last year, I forgot that I was topping up the water, left home and came back to find my pool overflowing. I got a huge water bill,” Klee explained. “After I got FLO, they would actually call me after 30-minutes to tell me about an abnormal amount of water based on my normal use — for reference, one garden hose at full blast is about 200 gallons of water in 30 min. So when they call, they give me two choices, hang up and they shut it off, or press 2 and they let it run. Easy as that, and it’s saved me a lot of money.”

While most insurance carriers don’t require a critical alarm system, we recommend that homeowners install them. This technology can be incredibly helpful in protecting your property — whether that’s preventing frozen pipes before they happen or allowing you to quickly shut off your water in the event of a pipe burst. 

Get the right advice

When you speak to your Kelly Klee personal advisor, they will advise you on the home security system that makes sense for your family, property and insurance plan. Get in touch today to learn more about your options — we’re happy to help you.

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