Retractable grilles are a highly effective complement to make to any existing home security measures you have previously taken. Whilst alarms and cameras can act as a deterrent to housebreakers, their main function is to alert you or record evidence after a break-in has already occurred. Because security grilles are a highly visible and extremely tough addition to your home, they substantially decrease the odds of a burglar gaining access to your home in the first place. There are potentially some very significant insurance benefits to be reaped as a result of this.
Robust home security
Made from lightweight but tough galvanised steel, retractable security grilles are both unobtrusive and extremely resilient. When they are not required they can be folded away, taking up a fraction of their total width and remaining out of sight behind walls, curtains and pelmets. When deployed, they are highly effective and immensely resistant to all but the most determined efforts to gain access to your home. They can be locked in place even when the windows and doors are open, letting in air and light through their lattice but preventing unwanted entry. For this reason they are an ideal addition to patio doors and French windows.
These grilles are manufactured to high standards and will often have been rigorously tested for their ability to withstand a range of attacks, from casual attempts to break in to sustained and professional efforts using a range of tools. The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) is the UK’s leading independent certifier, and their standards are recognised by the Association of British Insurers and the Association of Chief Police Officers, amongst others. You can learn more about the different types and levels of certification at www.brecertification.co.uk.
If you buy security grilles that have been LPS (Loss Prevention Standard) certified, you may be eligible for reduced insurance premiums. However, this area is beset with a lack of reliable information, and it is worth considering carefully the circumstances under which you might enjoy any financial benefits before purchasing any grilles.
Insurance companies are all different and their premiums will vary considerably due to a range of factors. Your own circumstances will determine how expensive your monthly premiums are. Relevant factors include:
It is always worth researching several different insurance companies, since they will inevitably offer different quotes – sometimes markedly so.
Are they worth the investment?
At the simplest level, it’s hard to put a price on peace of mind. What the final cost will be is dependent on the area of window or doorway to be secured. Whilst it’s unlikely that you’ll quickly recoup the cost of your grille through any up-front reduction in insurance premiums, the savings can stack up quite quickly in ways you might not have appreciated.
The biggest benefit comes through the reduced likelihood that you’ll even have to make an insurance claim to begin with. How much actual cost do you put against peace of mind? Dealing with a break in can be a traumatic experience that some people never fully recover from because they feel the sanctity of their home has been violated. Most claims carry an excess of between £100 and £500, depending on your policy. Consequently many small claims are never submitted, since the cost of the excess plus the additional costs of increased premiums make it financially unfavourable. Instead, homeowners are forced to pay for minor repairs themselves. Because most theft is opportunistic, a visible and effective deterrent such as security grilles means that potential thieves are unlikely to try in the first place – they will simply move on to look for an easier target.
A further benefit can come in the form of an income tax deduction, if you work from home or use your home to run a business. This alone can account for 20 percent of the cost of the grilles, or more in some cases.
Are they right for you?
The choice of whether to install security grilles should not rest on financial considerations alone. Fundamentally they are about keeping your home and family safe. Although there can be benefits through reduced premiums, the biggest advantages are likely to occur by avoiding future expense – excesses, repairs and increased premiums following a claim – rather than through immediate savings.
Once you have decided to purchase retractable grilles, the best course of action is to contact a number of insurance companies and possibly your accountant to learn more about the impact they will have on any current and future insurance policies. You should also find out whether you should have them fitted by a certified company in order to meet the insurer’s requirements.