Blog reader question – Alarm systems

I received a question from a reader and would like to bring it to all your attention also:

Good Morning Allan, hope you are well.

I had a query and seek your help in this matter – with more & more recent roll out of NBN in Commercial & Industrial areas, we have had a couple of clients complain that switching over to NBN from the old ADSL lines renders their existing alarm monitoring system useless unless they spend thousands of dollars to upgrade their entire alarm system.

This means, many small businesses may not have any alarm system in place and I believe this may further impact the crime rate and premium increases by the Insurers and perhaps increased rates depending on the products the clients deal in and the location.

I am personally having this issue with our residential alarm, system at the moment, if I switch to NBN, my monitoring will drop out. What are your thoughts on this and have you come across any such examples?

Kind Regards

Sarat [surname and email provided]

CCTV Home camera security operating at house. ** Note: Visible grain at 100%, best at smaller sizes

What you have raised is of concern Sarat. I am sure it is an unintended consequence of the government trying to keep Australia competitive and allowing all of us to benefit from fast internet.

From an insurance perspective, many commercial policies have what is known as an ‘Alarm Warranty’ which means that the coverage for burglary or theft normally provided by that section of the policy is voided if any alarm fitted is not maintained / not operational. In such circumstances it would be better to take the alarm out rather than have the useless one there.

Having said this, that may create a non-disclosure issue if you disclosed or answered a question to say you had a (working) back to base alarm. This same alteration of the risk issue would arise with the alarm no longer working as it should. It also defeats the whole reason why anyone installs an alarm in the first place. That is a risk management measure to reduce the likelihood of a robbery and minimize the loss if they are broken into through an early response.

A few things come to mind. I just upgraded the alarm in my home and the cost was much lower this time around than previously and the system much better. Perhaps shop around. Having said this, security is a bit like insurance. You often get what you pay for. The systems are not all the same and you want both to work properly when you call upon it. Interestingly, my new system connects via the internet and not the phone line.

This is not my area of expertise but if this was my property I would be doing my own research and not just relying on my existing alarm company who may just be trying to boost sales of new equipment. Perhaps one of my readers may have such a solution. They are a diverse and highly intelligent group. The bottom line is, get it working or replace it as the crime rate is increasing in many parts of Australia and my motto is always hope for the best but plan and insure for the worst. I am sorry I did not have a simple inexpensive answer straight up but hope this helps in some way.

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