Learn About Discounts Available on Your Homeowners Insurance

There are many ways to lower your homeowners insurance costs by qualifying for various discounts that might be offered through your policy. But did you know that there are home improvements you can make that will improve the functionality and safety of your home, while also helping you to save money on your insurance?

It can be helpful to contact your insurance agent and ask them to review your policy to determine if there are any discounts you may already be entitled to that have not been applied, such as a good credit discount or a retiree discount. Not all policies will offer the same rate reductions, but if you are considering any home improvement projects, many have the potential to reduce your homeowners insurance premium and your agent can help you verify the specifics of what may be eligible to help you save money.

Here are some home improvements that may save you money on your homeowners insurance:

Upgraded Plumbing, Heating and Electrical Systems

Flooding and fires can cause some of the greatest damage to a home. The risk of these threats is much higher if you do not have properly installed and updated plumbing, heating, and electrical wiring. Old pipes can burst and cause significant water damage or outdated aluminum wiring can lead to a fire. Older homes that have not had a recent update may not be up to current safety code standards and could benefit from a review by a licensed professional. Many insurance companies will offer discounts for completely replacing outdated plumbing or electrical systems.

Whole House Generator

Anyone who has ever lost power as a result of a storm and did not have a generator can attest this is a miserable situation to live through. Sometimes power can be restored within a few hours, but many times it can take much longer and when that happens, lack of electricity can turn into a much greater problem than an inconvenience. Extended electrical outages can result in damages that lead to insurance claims. Consider what would happen if you live in a cold climate and were without heat. This may lead to frozen pipes that could burst and cause water damage. Or, if your refrigerator or freezer were to fail, food could spoil. A whole house generator can prevent this by continuing to provide power to vital systems like heat, sump pumps and refrigerators. There are different types of whole house generators, including standby generators with automatic transfer switches that can come on even if you are not home when the power goes out. It’s best to speak with your insurance agent and see if there is a specific type of generator your policy requires to receive any available discounts, as well as a qualified electrician to find out what is recommended for your home.

New Roof

If you live in an area where there is the possibility of hailstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires, installing a new impact-resistant roof built with stronger materials may qualify you for a discount on your insurance.  You may also benefit simply by replacing an older roof with a new roof. It’s best to speak with your agent prior to having a new roof installed, as there might be specific criteria you must meet to receive a discount.

Disaster Preparedness

Weather events like blizzards, hurricanes, high winds or flooding can strike with very little warning and leave a wake of damage behind. Depending on the region where you live, certain home improvements can not only make your home more resilient to extreme elements, but may also qualify for discounts on your homeowners insurance. Some of the improvements to consider include hurricane or storm shutters, a fire sprinkler system, reinforced doors, roof or hurricane straps, shatterproof glass, and/or a lightning protection system.

Safety and Security

  • Safety Devices. There are a number of devices that protect the inhabitants of a home and the building itself, and in turn potentially qualify for discounts. Properly installed smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, fire and burglar alarm systems, sprinkler systems, water leak detectors, gas leak detectors, water shut-off devices and freeze alarms can all be beneficial to maintaining a safe environment.
  • Smart Home Devices.  There are many smart home devices available from thermostats to smart locks, with technology constantly improving. Many of these are easy to monitor remotely by way of an app on your phone. If a problem in your home is detected early by one of these devices, you may avoid a small problem from growing into an expensive insurance claim.
  • Video Doorbells. These can be a helpful safety tool in monitoring who is coming and going from your home. You can answer your door remotely, screen visitors, prevent package theft and deter burglars. Depending on the system you install, a video doorbell may qualify for an insurance discount as a home security device.
  • Deadbolts on Exterior Doors. By installing deadbolt locks on all of your home’s exterior doors you can increase security.

Insurance companies assess risk. If a home improvement project can increase the safety, security or strength of your home, it can reduce the risk an insurance company will have to pay for an expensive claim. To find out more about the insurance discounts you might be able to receive for making improvements to your home, speak with your insurance agent to discuss your specific policy.

When you can increase your security and safety with a few home improvements AND save money on insurance, you have found a win-win scenario.  If you would like more information, please contact us.