When you get the documents for your home insurance through, have you ever really read them properly? Don’t worry if the answer’s no – a lot of people don’t! But somewhere buried in the small print are some details about home security, and what your insurance requires from it. If your home security doesn’t meet these standards (as a minimum), then at best you could face higher premiums, and worst the insurance company could refuse a payout if you should need to claim.
So, what does your insurance company expect from your home security? And can you improve it? The short answer is yes, but first we have to mention one thing – each and every insurer is different, and they all have slightly different standards for their coverage. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some
The most basic form of security in any home is your door locks, so this is what a lot of insurance companies will focus on. In general, there are 3 types of door locks most insurance companies will be happy with, which are:
5-Lever Mortice Deadlock: This might sound complicated, but it’s one the more common types of door locks, and you probably have one in your home. To check, just look at the lock on your door. A mortice lock is embedded into the wall itself and can only be unlocked with a key – while a deadlock is just a key hole and a bolt. Mortice locks can have many different levers, and the more levers they have, the more secure it is. The 5-lever mortice lock is one of the best locks for insurance purposes.
Key Operated Multi-Point Locking System: A key operated multi-point locking system is even more secure than the mortice lock. This is because it bolts the door directly into the frame and locks at multiple points with the turn of the key. They have 3 locking points, which means they all lock simultaneously when you turn the key. This makes it much harder to break into. These locks are usually found on uPVC doors, so if you have one, it’s likely you already have these in place.
Night Latches: Night latches are a good option, but most insurance companies prefer them to be used alongside one of the other types of door lock. This is because these locks can be mounted onto the front door, rather than in the wall, which makes them far less secure than a 5-lever mortice deadlock or a multi-point locking system.
Most home insurance companies will also tell you that you need to meet the following requirements:
- The final exit door is fitted with a mortice deadlock of at least 5 levers, or a lock conforming to BS3621:1998 (or higher).
- All singe external doors are fitted with key-operated security bolts at the top and bottom, or with the lock standards for the final exit door.
- All French or double doors are fitted with two ley operated security bolts at the top and bottom of the final closing door, and these bolts must be positioned vertically.
- Sliding patio doors are fitted with anti-lift devices to prevent the doors from being lifted off their running tracks.
Home Security Basics
One of the other things a lot of people don’t realise is that your insurance agreement will tell you exactly what they expect when it comes to your home security. These include the most basic of security measures, but if they aren’t followed, they could consider your policy void and won’t pay out if you make a claim. The most common example of this is in uPVC windows that are fitted with a key. A lot of people will leave the key in the lock for these windows, as they are very easy to lose otherwise, and it’s a pain to keep remembering to lock and unlock them. But if you leave the key in your windows (particularly if they’re on the ground floor) and your home is broken into, the insurance company will probably refuse the claim. Even if the windows were locked at the time, if the key is left inside, it’s grounds for a challenge. So it’s worth going around your home and just making sure you’re doing the basics – locking windows and removing keys, making sure there isn’t easy access to upper floors, not advertising when you go out for long periods, and double locking your doors when you go out.
Advanced Security Systems
Then there’s the advanced security systems like burglar alarms. Generally houses that have real burglar alarms and security systems (not dummy ones) installed are targeted far less than those without, so they are a great way to avoid having to call your insurance company in the first place! But if you tell your insurance company you have a security system installed, and what it is, there’s a chance you could reduce your insurance premiums by up to 20%. Each insurer is different though, so it’s worth checking with them.
At Securifix, we’re always happy to help you understand your home security, and provide the peace of mind you need to sleep at night. We’re also great at keeping the insurance companies happy, so if you’re not sure if your home security meets your insurance requirements, just get in touch with the team today for a free consultation.