Using home security camera footage for insurance claims.

Husain Sumra profile image June 27, 2019 | 4 min read

Home security has come a long way in the past couple decades. We’ve gone from simple locks to wired security systems to wireless and modular systems with affordable, easy-to-use smart security. We can now do things like capture a burglary on video, and some cameras have face detection and can give us a look at the burglar. It’s invaluable information, but sometimes you can apply it to monetary value.

That’s right, you can use your security camera footage for your insurance claims. It’ll back you up with evidence, making it more likely your claim comes through. However, there are some other things you need to know about security cameras and insurance claims.

What to do first.

It can be a chaotic time after you’re robbed. You feel violated and unsafe in your home. You also have to worry about doing a whole lot of things at the same time, and it can be easy to forget what to do or when to do it. We get it, and we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to do as soon as you’re robbed.

Contact the police.

This is the first thing you do. You absolutely have to call the police and file a report with them. This is important for a number of reasons. First, the sooner you let the police know the higher the chance they’re able to find who did it. Second, when you do file an insurance claim they’re going to want to know you filed a police report.

Unfortunately, insurance fraud is a real thing and insurance companies will try to fight back against it. Filing a police report helps your claim.

Take some photos and video.

Immediately after you deal with the police, take a look around your home and at what happened. You’re going to want to document where the break in took place and anything that looks off. Prepare a list of what you’ve lost and, if possible, try to find a receipt that proves its monetary value. The more evidence you can gather, the better your claim is.

If you don’t have receipts, you can try to find proof of its monetary value. All of this will help prove to your home insurance provider what you’ve lost.

Get your footage.

This is where you involve your security camera footage. You’ll first need to go through the footage and look for the incident. Look for when they entered and if the break-in is captured. Try to see if your camera or cameras captured what was taken as well.

This, paired with the photo documentation of your home post-break in are valuable assets for dealing with your insurance company. Keep in mind that this step might also be required when dealing with the police. If you have a security system, the police may request the footage to check themselves.

Call your insurance agent.

Now that you’ve gathered your evidence and done your police report, it’s time to call your insurance agent. Send them everything you have and file your claim. Your security camera’s footage should back up your claim, and help you get the money you’re owed.

Security Cameras and Insurance Discounts

Security cameras can help you with your insurance claims, but can they help you get an insurance discount? The short answer is maybe. Security cameras by themselves aren’t enough to receive a discount. Instead, you’re going to need to invest in a monitored security system. Different insurance companies have different requirements here.

For instance, Farmers requires a security system with an outside signal and a connection to local police. What does that mean? It means that it needs to be watched 24/7 by a monitoring center and also maintain a direct line to the police, so that when the alarm is tripped the police are automatically dispatched to your home.

Unfortunately, a lot of these security system insurance discount policies are unclear. The best thing you can do is call up your local insurance agent and ask them about any discounts. For example, State Farm says discounts are possible if you have “fire, smoke, burglar alarms or any other home monitoring system” installed.

When we called, State Farm clarified a 10% discount was possible if we had both a burglar and fire or smoke alarm installed. It also didn’t specify whether a home security system without 24/7 monitoring and automatic police dispatch was required.

So why do insurance companies provide discounts for home security systems? It reduces their risk. Home security systems minimize the chance a burglar will rob your home or that you’ll be a victim of package theft, which makes it a less likely target than other homes in your neighborhood or city. The less chance your home gets robbed, the less chance your insurance company has to process a claim.

Get a fully featured home security system.

Getting a discount for having security cameras depends on both your system and your insurance provider. The best thing you can do is to get a home security system that integrates with security cameras. Not only do you have a good chance at a discount, you’ll have the security cameras providing footage you can use to help file your insurance claim.