After a call round10 home insurance providers, I was surprised by the lack of knowledge and clarity regarding how having a burglar alarm affects your premium.

While the majority of vehicle insurance providers offer reduced fees based on a number of factors, including age of driver and type of car, the same does not seem to apply across the board to home insurance.

Although having a burglar alarm will result in a discount of the annual payment, there seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding what aspect of the alarm constitutes a reduction.

Having Nacoss approval is a common factor, but my research confirms that it is not clear whether it is the alarm or the installer which needs to have the accreditation.

In addition, many insurance providers don't take into account the way the alarm functions - which in my opinion should be a primary consideration.

Having an alarm, be it burglar or fire, will go some way to managing risk. But a monitored system takes that one step further and will significantly reduce the risk as homeowners are guaranteed a response if they are not at home.

Not only should having a monitored system be seen by all insurance providers as a good thing, but householders should be encouraged to take responsible steps to reduce risk.

Insurers are not operating in a clear, straightforward manner to help customers. Instead they seem to be causing confusion and putting barriers in the way of customers being rewarded for taking sensible and affordable actions.

John Steel
Chief executive