Does Neighborhood Watch Really Deter Crime?

Most people don’t give a second thought about crime rates when it comes to insuring their property or their vehicle, but insurance companies give more than a second thought to the matter. The fact is, where you live affects your insurance policies for several possible reasons:

  • People drive differently in different areas - which will affect your liability insurance rate.
  • Storms, mudslides and other natural disasters actually give opportunity to thieves and looting - which will affect your home and auto insurance rates.
  • The crime rate affects your likelihood of being burglarized either in your home or your vehicle - which will affect your home and auto insurance rates.
  • Even the crime rate of areas and cities surrounding yours affects your insurance rates.

So while most people do not know it, their insurance company is on top of regularly-received data from law enforcement agencies around the country and they use this information with special actuarial tables to determine the likelihood of it affecting their bottom line - which in turn affects your insurance premiums.

So What Can I Do to Lower My Rates?

The safety of a community is principally the responsibility of the members of that community. Citizen involvement and interaction with each other and local law-enforcement has been responsible for cleaning up some of the worst neighborhoods imaginable. Conversely, apathy and a “look-out-for-your-self” attitude among the citizens can very quickly turn a nice, safe neighborhood into a dangerous one as criminal elements realize that they can move in to ply their trade without too many people noticing or caring.

It is not a crime to say “hello” to your neighbor on occasion, or to invite them over for a meal. Starting a sense of community - which can lead to a neighborhood watch organization - is a sure way to begin to affect the prevalence of crime in an area. Neighborhood watches have proven effective in lowering crime rates all over the country. Citizens who band together to look out for each other’s homes, families and property deter thieves and criminals, and as a result, these citizens end up enjoying lower insurance premiums as a group.

Contact your local law enforcement agency about starting your own neighborhood watch. You may also contact National Crime Prevention. They will send you information on how to work with your community to set up a Neighborhood Watch, and with a little time, effort and diligence, you might all end up watching your insurance rates sink lower and lower.

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