Home & Garden

Moved and need to use existing alarm

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[OP]
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Jun 12, 2003
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Moved and need to use existing alarm

My home insurance company (intact) requires a central station monitored alarm system. I moved into a home with an existing alarm system. How can I get the alarm working with a monitoring station (I have no landline)?

I've done some reading and many recommend the EnvisaLink. I'll need to find an installer and hopefully it's compatible with my existing alarm system.
ShadowVlican
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Jan 21, 2018
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Did you get the installer code for the existing alarm system? Sometimes the old alarm company that installed the system won't give that up without a payment.
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Apr 8, 2010
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toronto
check with your insurance again. EnvisaLink is mostly a self monitored system. though they do have a paid monitoring service if you opt in, the insurance company might not classify that as a traditional alarms monitor company
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Some alarm companies will come swap out the motherboard for a fee if you subscribe to their monitoring service for a specified period.
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This is one of the reasons I still have a landline, although I do need to look at alternatives.

For monitoring, a lot of RFD'ers use The Monitoring Center I think. $10 a month. I've been with them for years - need to give them a shout and talk about alternatives to my landline.
[OP]
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torontotim wrote: This is one of the reasons I still have a landline, although I do need to look at alternatives.

For monitoring, a lot of RFD'ers use The Monitoring Center I think. $10 a month. I've been with them for years - need to give them a shout and talk about alternatives to my landline.
Yea I hear this company mentioned a lot due to their affordable pricing, but seems they don't support monitoring over Internet. I could be wrong, I've never contacted them yet...
ShadowVlican
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I just got off the phone with The Monitoring Center.

For my simple alarm system they installed (not sure what it is - typical older keypads, wireless sensors) they have a dual-monitoring GSM / Internet module they can add on for $130 one-time (including install) and then $12 monthly extra for monitoring, which includes the ability to arm/disarm the system from your smart phone.

Definitely seems cheaper than keeping my Bell phone line, but I need to confirm the impact to my TV/Internet/Phone bundle with Bell first.

Being able to control the system from my phone would be nice - the keypads are on the main floor and we sleep on the third, so this would negate us needing additional keypads or fobs on the other floors to control it.
[OP]
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Jun 12, 2003
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torontotim wrote: I just got off the phone with The Monitoring Center.

For my simple alarm system they installed (not sure what it is - typical older keypads, wireless sensors) they have a dual-monitoring GSM / Internet module they can add on for $130 one-time (including install) and then $12 monthly extra for monitoring, which includes the ability to arm/disarm the system from your smart phone.

Definitely seems cheaper than keeping my Bell phone line, but I need to confirm the impact to my TV/Internet/Phone bundle with Bell first.

Being able to control the system from my phone would be nice - the keypads are on the main floor and we sleep on the third, so this would negate us needing additional keypads or fobs on the other floors to control it.
Thanks for sharing this information! Seems like they have the most reasonable rates for monitoring (and they provide the certificate my insurance requires). I'll send them a photo of my existing alarm system and hope they can work with it.
ShadowVlican
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torontotim wrote: This is one of the reasons I still have a landline, although I do need to look at alternatives.

For monitoring, a lot of RFD'ers use The Monitoring Center I think. $10 a month. I've been with them for years - need to give them a shout and talk about alternatives to my landline.
How is the service with Monitoring Center? Any incidence when the alarm go off and they had to call you? Thinking of moving from ADT because of high charges and now Telus owns ADT so it is a matter of time when they will try to impose a bundle with their services.
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Haven't had much experience with actual calls from TMC (thankfully). They've always been quick to answer the phone and seem to have decent customer service/support.

For me it ends up better if I keep my phone line with Bell (losing it kills my promos - I'm paying $119 + tax for basic TV, 1GB internet and phone w unlimited NA LD and caller ID). I can reduce my Bell bill by $21 by killing caller ID and long distance, keeping it for incoming calls from the family out west (same number for 20 years) and monitoring.

But when it's time to ditch Bell altogether, I'll go internet-only and move to a GSM/internet monitoring service. At $25 or so a month to The Monitoring Center, I'm not sure how other services start to compare like ADT or Rogers etc. Probably still much cheaper with TMC.
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ShadowVlican wrote: My home insurance company (intact) requires a central station monitored alarm system. I moved into a home with an existing alarm system. How can I get the alarm working with a monitoring station (I have no landline)?

I've done some reading and many recommend the EnvisaLink. I'll need to find an installer and hopefully it's compatible with my existing alarm system.
Why does Intact require your alarm system to be monitored by a central station? Are you hoping for a discount on the insurance? The discount may be less than what you'll paying monthly for the monitoring, unless you personally want the monitoring. Some insurance companies will still give you a discount even if your alarm system is only local (aka non-monitored).
Tis banana is IRIE 😎

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
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Same as Op, our house came with an upgrade ADT alarm system, all windows, doors and motion alarm sensors. Nothing was working and when we call ADT of course they said we have to pay the montly fee in order for the alarm to work.

We called our friend who at that time was an alarm installer, he did put some code and voila! We being using the alarm since then with out an issue (of course with out the ADT monitoring Center).

OP check online maybe you can find the codes for your alarm system.
[OP]
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chimaican wrote: Why does Intact require your alarm system to be monitored by a central station? Are you hoping for a discount on the insurance? The discount may be less than what you'll paying monthly for the monitoring, unless you personally want the monitoring. Some insurance companies will still give you a discount even if your alarm system is only local (aka non-monitored).
I have no idea why they require it, but my broker has told me that Intact requires a central station monitored alarm system, along with an alarm certificate.

I would totally prefer to monitor the alarm myself. I've been a long time SmartThings user and I'm also in the Google Nest ecosystem.
ShadowVlican
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ShadowVlican wrote: I have no idea why they require it, but my broker has told me that Intact requires a central station monitored alarm system, along with an alarm certificate.

I would totally prefer to monitor the alarm myself. I've been a long time SmartThings user and I'm also in the Google Nest ecosystem.
Try calling Intact directly and ask. Who knows, they may still give you a discount, though it might be less than if it were to be monitored.

Monitoring these days just doesn't make much of a difference IMO. The police will rarely come, and if they do, the thieves will likely be long gone before they do arrive. IMO you have the same level of protection when it isn't monitored. The alarm will go off, you hope the neighbour looks out their window, and if they see a crime occurring, you hope they call 9-1-1, at which point, a crime is in progress and the police will come. This is versus, monitoring system goes off, oh, alarm is activated, let's first call the home owner... oh no response, okay, now we'll call the police and let them know something suspicious maybe occurring, so at which point, low priority call. By the time all that happens, thieves are long gone.

I would see it more beneficial if the monitoring central system also detected smoke alarms and water leakage (flooding), then yeah, that I could see being worth it, but if it's only for tripped entrance alarms... meh.

I feel money would be better spent on closed circuit cameras, then at least you can catch the thieves in the act and hopefully use that to catch them after the fact. I know I'm considering getting one installed.
Tis banana is IRIE 😎

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
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My main smoke detector is linked to my system, so monitoring is important to me. Spend a lot of time away from the house too so it's peace of mind.
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torontotim wrote: My main smoke detector is linked to my system, so monitoring is important to me. Spend a lot of time away from the house too so it's peace of mind.
That I would pay for in terms of central monitoring, but I think the OP said it's just a simple alarm monitoring.

*edit*
Oh, he/she never indicated...
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ShadowVlican wrote: My home insurance company (intact) requires a central station monitored alarm system. I moved into a home with an existing alarm system. How can I get the alarm working with a monitoring station (I have no landline)?

I've done some reading and many recommend the EnvisaLink. I'll need to find an installer and hopefully it's compatible with my existing alarm system.
Will they cancel your insurance if you don't have a monitored alarm? Or will they just charge you more?

Envisalink has nothing to do with your existing system. In fact, you may not be able to install the Envisalink. It only supports Honeywell and DSC systems. With Honeywell, you need the master code to add the Envisalink. The Envisalink acts as a virtual panel and connects your alarm system to the internet. Your best bet is to replace the control board for the existing alarm system.

If you need an installer, I have an installer that can replace the control board. If you are using SmartThings, I would definitely get an Envisalink and self monitor in addition to using a central station (if necessary). It should easily integrate with SmartThings. The Envisalink can be self installed in 15 minutes.
[OP]
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Gee wrote: Will they cancel your insurance if you don't have a monitored alarm? Or will they just charge you more?

Envisalink has nothing to do with your existing system. In fact, you may not be able to install the Envisalink. It only supports Honeywell and DSC systems. With Honeywell, you need the master code to add the Envisalink. The Envisalink acts as a virtual panel and connects your alarm system to the internet. Your best bet is to replace the control board for the existing alarm system.

If you need an installer, I have an installer that can replace the control board. If you are using SmartThings, I would definitely get an Envisalink and self monitor in addition to using a central station (if necessary). It should easily integrate with SmartThings. The Envisalink can be self installed in 15 minutes.
I'm told that Intact insurance requires a central monitored alarm system for homes insured about $1M dwelling.
ShadowVlican
[OP]
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chimaican wrote: Try calling Intact directly and ask. Who knows, they may still give you a discount, though it might be less than if it were to be monitored.

Monitoring these days just doesn't make much of a difference IMO. The police will rarely come, and if they do, the thieves will likely be long gone before they do arrive. IMO you have the same level of protection when it isn't monitored. The alarm will go off, you hope the neighbour looks out their window, and if they see a crime occurring, you hope they call 9-1-1, at which point, a crime is in progress and the police will come. This is versus, monitoring system goes off, oh, alarm is activated, let's first call the home owner... oh no response, okay, now we'll call the police and let them know something suspicious maybe occurring, so at which point, low priority call. By the time all that happens, thieves are long gone.

I would see it more beneficial if the monitoring central system also detected smoke alarms and water leakage (flooding), then yeah, that I could see being worth it, but if it's only for tripped entrance alarms... meh.

I feel money would be better spent on closed circuit cameras, then at least you can catch the thieves in the act and hopefully use that to catch them after the fact. I know I'm considering getting one installed.
I just called them and indeed they say that a central monitored alarm system is required for "high value" homes.

I completely agree with what you said about monitored systems. I feel it's useless. I'd much rather monitor it myself with cameras.
ShadowVlican
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ShadowVlican wrote: I just called them and indeed they say that a central monitored alarm system is required for "high value" homes.

I completely agree with what you said about monitored systems. I feel it's useless. I'd much rather monitor it myself with cameras.
Well, just weigh the pros and the cons then. If it's for an added layer of safety you want for your home & family, then definitely get the alarm monitoring plus the additional discount. However if it's ONLY for the discount, then ask them the difference in premiums between discount and no discount. I mean, if the discount is $40/yr but the alarm company costs you $120+/yr, well, the math speaks for itself.

Does your alarm system also hook up with your smoke & CO?
Tis banana is IRIE 😎

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!

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