Unfortunately a neighborhood watch program will not typically have any impact on your homeowners insurance policy. There are a few organizations that help residential localities to organize watches, and many of them encourage that you ask your insurance company for a discount. But, the majority of insurance companies will not offer any direct benefit.
What are the benefits of a neighborhood watch program?
Having a neighborhood watch in your area is certainly beneficial, regardless of a homeowners insurance discount. According to a neighborhood watch coordinator working with CrimeReports.com, “It’s reduced crime in certain areas because citizens are much more vigilant and more aware.”
Neighborhood watch programs can take on different forms, including email, text, or phone alert systems and neighborhood meetings. The idea is for everyone in the neighborhood to get to know each other and their habits so that changes in regular patterns or activity around another person’s home can be detected quickly. Most neighborhood watch groups work closely with law enforcement so that members can learn how to better identify and report suspicious activity. Crime watches do not recommend members putting themselves in the path of harm or trying to do the job a trained police officer should do. They focus on safety and measures that will prevent residents from becoming the victims of crimes.
A properly run neighborhood watch program can be incredibly valuable as a crime deterrent to you and your neighbors and even though it will not impact your homeowners insurance policy directly, a safer community with less crime and claims will have a beneficial long term effect your policy.
How can I lower my homeowners insurance premium?
In terms of safety and security, there a couple of insurance company approved methods that may help in reducing your rates. In terms of general safety, you’ll receive a small credit for having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. The discount is higher if they’re hardwired to alert emergency responders to a potential critical situation.
The highest discounts usually come from having a security system, especially with a large security company using a 24/7 monitoring system. This is likely to deter criminals and shows your insurance company you are serious about protecting your home and belongings. The benefits of having a monitoring system extend far beyond a homeowners insurance discount. Some of today’s advanced systems not only protect your valuables while deterring crime, but can also give you remote home access and allow you to keep visual tabs on the people in your home.