Replacing your roof, adding protective devices, upgrading home systems, investing in smart home technology, and hail-resistant structural features can all lower your home insurance rates.
Published February 2, 2021
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With homeowners insurance, you pay premiums to your insurance company so that if your home is broken into or damaged by a covered peril, you can file a claim and be compensated for the loss. If you take steps to make your home safer and limit the frequency of claims, your insurer will typically reward you with discounts and credits on your insurance rates.
In other words, certain home improvements like a new roof, wind or impact-resistant windows, or upgrading internal systems like your electrical and plumbing may land you lower policy premiums. Here are some housing upgrade ideas that can save you money on homeowners insurance.
If you make improvements to your home that lessen the chance of property damage or burglary, you’ll likely save money on home insurance
Certain safety devices like 24/7 security monitoring or water leak sensors can also land you lower home insurance rates
Not all home improvements or renovations result in lower rates
Your roof is the part of your house with perhaps the biggest impact on your homeowners insurance rates. Replacing an older roof with a newly constructed one could lower your homeowners insurance rates drastically.
If your house is in an area at heightened risk of wildfire or wind-related damage, you can save even more money by installing a roof with superior-grade construction, such as one that is fire- or wind-resistant.
If you install protective features like deadbolts, fire alarms, or a fully monitored security system, you can save a good amount on homeowners insurance premiums.
The size of your discount is based on the quality and effectiveness of the protective device. For example, a local burglar or fire alarm won’t net you as large of a discount as a central station device that alerts your police or fire departments directly.
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Replacing any aging pipes, upgrading your electrical from aluminum or knob and tube wiring to copper, or installing a new heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system or water heater could all lead to lower rates.
Home systems are a prominent cause of accidental fires and water damage, which are two of the most frequently filed homeowners insurance claims. If you live in an older house in need of serious upgrades, you’ll likely see a substantial rate reduction once you repair or replace your home’s internal systems.
Many insurance companies also offer policy credits and discounts if you install smart home devices in your home that help minimize risk. Smart locks, water leak detection systems, and gas leak or freezing pipe sensors are all a great investment if your goal is making your home safer and save on homeowners insurance
If you live in an area at risk of severe wind or hail storms, consider investing in impact-resistant windows, storm shutters, or reinforced garage doors that can withstand hurricane-force wind speed. Protecting the exterior of your home against inclement weather and fire damage can earn you some pretty massive discounts if you live in a high-risk area.
If you recently made improvements to your house or made it safer in any way, be sure to contact your home insurance company to see if you’re eligible for any rate reductions. It’s important to note that you don’t have to wait until policy renewal to do this. Your insurer is able to adjust your rates in the middle of your policy term. If you’ve taken steps to improve your home, make sure you’re getting credit for it with lower home insurance premiums.
Bear in mind that not every home improvement that was made during your latest remodeling project will result in homeowners insurance savings. In fact, certain renovations like adding a room onto your home, remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, and finishing your basement will all increase your home’s replacement cost. A higher replacement cost will likely result in higher policy premiums, but you should still notify your insurer of any renovations or additions to ensure your home is fully covered.
Pat Howard is a homeowners insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. He has written extensively about home insurance cost, coverage, and companies since 2018, and his insights have been featured on Investopedia, Lifehacker, MSN, Zola, HerMoney, and Property Casualty 360.
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