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Morse Insurance Weighs the Pros and Cons of Smart Home Security Systems

If you are following recent news, you are most likely aware of the increase in smart home device hacks that are startling residents and their pets all across the United States. And if you haven’t seen the stories on TV or read about them in the Boston Globe, you may have stumbled across the viral videos while scrolling through your Facebook feed.

Over the years, wireless internet and smart home automation have made the lives of homeowners significantly easier. With the swipe of a finger or simple voice command, renting a blockbuster movie, checking in on your napping newborn, turning on the heat, and locking the front door can all be done simultaneously from the comfort of your bed, couch, or even the restaurant downtown. Yet, the circulating video footage of real-life cyber attacks has left many homeowners wondering if the state-of-the-art technology is actually worth the investment.

As your trusted insurance agent, Morse, of course, wants to make sure you are safe and your property secure while at home and away. Undoubtedly, a home security system is a great way to safeguard your family and valuable assets. However, as recent news has pointed out, there may be a few things to be mindful of before scheduling an installation. To help aid in the decision-making process, we are examining a few of the Pros and Cons right here on the blog.

The Pros of Smart Home Security Systems

Pro: Smart doorbells and surveillance systems increase your safety.

Wireless security systems are a great option for homeowners who are looking to monitor their home and protect their property. Not only do they allow homeowners to see and greet visitors, they are also capable of recording high-definition video footage, which may prove useful if a crime were to take place. Although the devices themselves cannot stop a crime from happening, they can aid the police with their investigation or an insurance carrier with a claim.

Currently, there are no concrete statistics linking smart doorbells and other security devices to a decrease in crime. Still, we think it’s fair to say that the mere presence of a video doorbell, security camera, or lawn sign will likely deter vandals and thieves from striking. Additionally, these visible devices and accessories may provide property owners with a greater sense of comfort.

Pro: Your insurance carrier may reward you with a discount on your home insurance.

Most of the top-rated insurance carriers provide homeowners with a discount if they take steps to improve their home security. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), homeowners may receive a 5% discount for installing smoke detectors, a burglar alarm, or deadbolt locks. Additionally, III reports that some insurers have been known to cut home insurance premiums by as much as 20% for property owners who invest in a “sophisticated sprinkler, fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations.” However, it’s important to remember that every home insurance policy and carrier is different. Therefore, before you can be certain that investing in additional security measures will save you money on your insurance, we would encourage you to give the Morse team a call, so we can help you determine your discount eligibility.

The Cons of Smart Home Security Systems

Con: Smart home security systems are a sizable financial investment.

In addition to the cost of the system itself, you will likely have to shell out for a professional installation and one-time activation fee. The upfront investment alone can cost you upwards of $600 depending on the security company, in addition to a monthly monitoring fee. So, while the extra peace of mind is a no-brainer, it will be important to make sure that you and your family can afford the additional expenses.

Con: Homeowners must adopt smart cybersecurity practices.

As effective as smart home security systems are, they do require some maintenance on behalf of the homeowner. Business Insider reports that many of the reported cyberattacks are preventable when owners adopt proper cybersecurity practices. Additionally, they suggest that users follow seven steps to minimize their risk of an attack.

  1. Turn on two-factor authentication.
  2. Confirm that your passwords have not been compromised in a past data breach.
  3. If applicable, verify that all outdoor cameras are securely attached to your home and garage.
  4. No matter how cute or funny, refrain from sharing footage on social media.
  5. Regularly delete stored video footage.
  6. Change your passwords on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
  7. Routinely update your systems’ software.

Morse Can Help You Protect Your Home

The team at Morse, of course, wants to make sure that you, your family, and your property is properly protected. It is important that you feel safe in your own home. If the recent hacks make you feel uncomfortable about installing a smart home security system, there are many alternatives that provide similar protection, including:

  1. Installing a deadbolt lock on all exterior doors.
  2. Hiding your spare key in an unsuspecting place.
  3. Wedging a long dowel between your doorknob and floor or between your sliding door and the wall.
  4. Installing high-quality locks and windows, especially on the ground level.
  5. Investing in motion-detecting exterior lights.
  6. Hanging a “Beware of Dog” sign on your fence or in your front window.

Additionally, a custom home insurance policy from Morse provides financial support in the event of a break-in as well as covers the cost of repairing and replacing any damaged property or stolen belongings (up to the limits of your policy), among other potential threats.

However you decide to protect your home whether it be a smart home security system, guard dog, or expertly designed home insurance policy, Morse, of course, is here to make sure all of your bases are covered. So, whether you are looking for a competitive home insurance quote or are interested in learning more about discounts that may be available to you, give us a call or visit us at one of our four convenient Massachusetts locations today.

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