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We all like to think of our homes as a safe place to protect us from harm and the elements. However, it’s clear that bad things can and do happen, so we protect our safe space with homeowner’s insurance. While absolutely necessary, homeowner’s insurance can be viewed as a nuisance when it comes to paying its premium every month.
But don’t lose any more sleep worrying about your insurance bills; there are plenty of other things to worry about. By upgrading certain aspects of your house, you can end up saving a significant amount on your insurance premiums. Oh, and these upgrades will actually help make your home safer too, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Home Upgrade Projects
Your insurance rates are determined by your provider’s risk assessment of your home. Basically, the lower your home’s damage risk, the less money your insurer has to potentially pay for a claim. Therefore, they can charge you less for coverage. Everyone’s happy! Therefore, any sort of project that can make your home safer, sturdier or updated can help save on insurance bills long term, not to mention prevent and mitigate potentially damaging situations. Let’s start with the larger-scale project.
Install A New Roof
Let’s face it, a sturdy roof is a pretty darn necessary part of any house, so it’s no surprise that insurance companies heavily factor your home’s roof when determining your rates. A new roof can reduce your insurance rates by 10% - 20% on average with potentially even more discounts in areas prone to wind, hurricane or hail damage.
If a hearty insurance discount isn’t motivation enough to upgrade your roof, consider that many insurance companies use a depreciation model when determining coverages. This means your old roof might not even be covered under your current policy! Therefore, a new roof is a great way to save money and to protect your family and belongings if the sky starts falling.
Install New Windows & Shutters
Modern, sturdy windows not only help you save on energy bills, but impact-resistant windows can save you money on insurance, especially in hurricane-prone regions. Upgrading windows along with other hurricane and flooding preventative remodels can save up to 23% on insurance costs.
Install A Home Security / Fire System
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Natural disasters aren’t the only threat to your property that your insurance takes into account when setting your premium. The average burglary accounts for $2,000 in losses so the best way to prevent any loss is to make your home unappealing to would-be burglars.
Homes with security systems are less likely to be broken into, so insurance companies offer premium discounts from 5% up to 20% to encourage installation! Also, some home monitoring systems can alert the fire department automatically when it detects smoke, which can provide even more of an insurance discount.
Install A Lightning Protection System
Unless you're literally living under a rock, your home is at risk from lightning strikes, which can cause fire and electrical damage. A lightning protection system can save you around 3% on insurance, but the average lightning damage claim is around $7,500, so while the savings might not be drastic, the system should help prevent paying a hefty deductible. Also, considering that there’s no place not at risk from lightning, the investment is worth the cost.
Maintaining Your Landscape
Not just a way to keep your lawn looking great, proper landscaping can help remove potential hazards to your home. Trimming tree branches near walls and windows reduces the risk of storm, wind or ice and snow damage. Also, clearing brush and dried leaves near your house can help lower fire hazards too, especially if you live in areas were wildfires are common.
Updating Your Home’s Electrical, Plumbing, & Heating Systems
Similar to upgrading your windows and roof, new electrical, plumbing and heating systems will help save you on energy costs as well as insurance. Newer, safer systems will reduce the risk of fire and water damage and can save you up to 10% on your premium. However, the amount you can potentially save does depend on where you live.
Install A Fence
A solid fence around your property can make your home more secure from burglars and vandals. Also, a fence helps reduce liability for someone getting injured after wandering onto your property. This is especially important if you have a backyard swimming pool. Some states even require a fence surrounding a pool to prevent potential accidental drownings. Plus, a good-looking fence enhances your home’s curb appeal!
Other Tips To Save
Luckily, there're a few smaller ways to save on your homeowner’s insurance. Simply taking a look at your insurance company and coverage policy can help you save. Obviously, you don’t have to stick with your current provider to get a lower rate, so shop around. If you do want to keep your provider, insurance companies often provide discounts for bundling home and other policies. You may also want to think about increasing your deductible if you can afford it. A higher deductible translates to a lower monthly payment; however, if you need to file a claim, you’ll be on the hook for a higher cost.
When your insurance company sees your house as less of a risk to them having to pay out a claim, it means your house probably is at less of a risk of a major catastrophe. So even if you prefer not to think about mitigating an unthinkable event to your home simply because you’d just rather not think of it, take comfort in knowing that any improvement project to make your home safer will end up saving you money.