I currently have Smartthings as my home monitoring. But that does not qualify for an Alarm certificate for insurance companies.
What is the easiest and/or cheapest way to get home monitoring that would be certified by insurance companies, while also continuing to use Smartthings, and not having to make a huge investment in another service.
Step one: find out what discounts your insurance company offers
The discounts vary by insurance company and region, so the first step is to check with your insurance company and find out what, if any, discounts they have available. For example, some insurance companies will require that you have fire monitoring, some will not. Some require that there is a Camera branded the same as the monitoring system, some will allow you to use other cameras, and some don’t care whether you have a camera or not. Some will only give a discount for a professionally installed system.
After that, you can start looking into what your options would be to match those requirements.
Easy, reliable, but not the least expensive: SmartThings/ADT Security System
There’s no question that the easiest way is to switch to the ADT/smartthings security panel And sign up for the ADT service. Many insurance companies will accept that, Particularly if you have their fire monitoring. It’s also a decent low-cost security system, and should have fewer false alarms and better reliability then the scout option, as well as having cellular back up for the ADT part.
Indeed, if you follow any of the “security“ links on the SmartThings website now, they will all take you to descriptions of the ADT system.
No cellular backup, no fire monitoring, but somewhat less expensive
There is also an official integration with Scout Which will work with the SmartThings V2 hub.
Note that this does not cover fire or leak detection even if you have those sensors connected to your SmartThings account, so you cannot get an insurance certificate that lists fire coverage
Scout covers only Security/intrusion alarms at this time; Scout does not currently monitor or dispatch for fire/CO (Smoke), Leaks, or Custom alarms.
Another possibility: add a third party monitoring service
This one depends very much on where you live. It’s not available everywhere. But in some Locations you can sign up for a third-party monitoring service, typically 10 or $15 a month, and they will use your existing sensors. However, a lot of them won’t work with smartthings because there’s no cellular back up, you just have to check and see. And they may not be able to issue an insurance company certificate either. So this is one where you just have to start doing your own research to see what’s possible where you live.
There’s also this company, Safemonit, which offers a dashboard solution but they also claim to have a monitoring service that can meet requirements for homeowners insurance discounts.
I’m not sure how many people have signed up for their service or what the experience is like. There hasn’t been a ton of discussion in that thread since it was created a few months ago.
Personally, I would not rely on a monitored home alarm service that is dependent on smart home monitor to trigger the initial alert, regardless of the magnitude of the insurance discount.
As a cloud-dependent service without cellular backup, SmartThings is too unreliable to depend on for police, fire or ambulance dispatch in an emergency, IMHO. That’s presumably why anyone would pay money for a service like that in the first place (reliable response in case of a true emergency), the insurance discount is just a bonus.
@JDRoberts makes the very good point that the first thing you should do is find out from your insurance agent what is required to qualify for any discounts. Everything else you read or hear about discounts in this forum or elsewhere may or may not be relevant to your insurance policy.
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
If anyone reading this actually gets an insurance discount via SafeMonit, please let me know. Thanks.