Ask LH: Will Setting Up A ‘Dummy’ Security Camera Void My Insurance?

Dear Lifehacker, I want to set up some security cameras to deter would be thieves but they cost an arm and a leg. I’ve checked out some dummy ones, and must say they look extremely convincing. My question is, if I install fake security cameras and get robbed, would it give my insurance company an excuse not to pay me? Plastic Pretender

Dear PP,

That would depend entirely on your insurance policy. If you received a reduced premium based on your home security system, it obviously needs to be in working order. Otherwise, your claim will definitely be questioned in the event of a robbery – just like a broken deadlock or faulty house alarm would be.

With that said, as long as you don’t apply for a discount with your insurance provider, you shouldn’t run into any trouble for erecting fake cameras. The only way this would become an issue is if you put too much trust in them and become lax in other areas (forgetting to lock your doors or windows, for example.)

Incidentally, if you don’t want to fork out for a professional home surveillance system it’s possible to build your own with a little technical know-how. This guide explains how to make a DIY four-camera security system viewable from any web browser. These seven tried-and-trusted home security measures are also worth a look. Good luck!


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