The right security system

Rest easy in your choice of a security system

Your home insurance policy may cover theft, but it can’t reimburse you for the sense of violation you feel when you’re a victim of crime. Obviously, one way of preventing such non-dollar damage is to prevent the crime from happening in the first place. That’s where a security system can come in.

The numbers don’t lie

According to the 2021 Crime Data Explorer report from the FBI, in 2021 — the most recent year for which data are available — nearly 600,000 burglaries cost Americans more than three-quarters of a billion dollars.

The right level of protection

While you can thwart property crime by spending thousands — or tens of thousands — on security systems, not everyone needs a level of protection fit for Fort Knox. These days you can get a setup that will be appropriate to your budget and your needs and different systems have varied up-front equipment costs and contract terms. Here are a few things to consider as you decide what kind of system will meet your needs.

  • Read the fine print. Due diligence is always a good policy, but there are multiple levels of commitment and system monitoring associated with many security systems, so know what you’re signing up for and what you should expect to see on your bill. In addition to charges for equipment, you’ll likely see installation and activation fees, monitoring costs, and contract period minimums, as well as hidden fees that could come as a surprise.
  • How smart is your house? You can tie some home security systems into other smart systems in your house or business, including thermostats, locksets, lighting, digital assistants, and even music.
  • Consider ordering a la carte. Do a realistic assessment of your needs and choose your system accordingly. For instance, do you need professional 24/7 monitoring, or will you be satisfied monitoring the system yourself? And if you do opt for professional monitoring, do you want to be tied into the monitoring center via landline, broadband, or cellular connection? Do your homework and be sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the suite of features you settle on. Other options include motion detectors, security and doorbell cameras, glass-break sensors, audible or silent alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, flood/leak sensors, temperature sensors, and panic buttons or pendants.
  • Should you leave it to the experts? You should also be realistic about the level of your technical ability. If you feel confident you can design and install a working security network for your home or business, by all means go the DIY route. But if your toolkit consists of a hammer and a screwdriver, you might want to hand installation off to the professionals.

    The information included here was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any training, materials, suggestions, or information provided. It is the user’s responsibility to confirm compliance with any applicable local, state, or federal regulations. Information obtained from or via Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company should not be used as the basis for legal advice or other advice, but should be confirmed with alternative sources.

    Sources:; FBI Crime Data Explorer