Five Quick Upgrades to Lower Home Insurance Rates and Protect Your Property
Home insurance is often a mystery to a lot of homeowners. Yes, you know you need it, but how are the rates calculated? Why won’t mine go down, and worse, why do I end up paying more when something breaks or considerable damage is incurred — isn’t insurance designed to protect me from house fires, burst pipes, burglaries, and other damages?
All these questions are running through every homeowner’s mind. On top of the monthly mortgage, home insurance is the next most important household expenses because it protects you and your family from the financial impact of accidental damages to your home.
But the rate, or cost at which this can be done, depends on the amount of risk your property is exposed to. The biggest factor in determining home insurance rates is the condition of your home, as broken fixtures indicate a high potential for impending damage, pointing to the need for greater protection.
With monthly bills and expenses constantly piling up, one of your main priorities is ensuring that your house is protected from accidental damage. But what’s a protection when it’s not cost-effective? Affordable home insurance rates are possible with the right maintenance and upgrades for your house. These simple fixes are often overlooked, but when taken care of can unlock generous savings for your insurance rates.
1. Repair broken plumbing
Plumbing is one of the main areas of concern when it comes to home insurance. Even the smallest leaks can turn into a huge disaster when left unattended, resulting in massive water damage.
If you’re a proud owner of a vintage find or fixer-upper from the ’80s or earlier, you might want to get a jumpstart on lowering your home insurance rates by checking the plumbing system and considering potential upgrades.
Aside from higher monthly utility bills, faulty plumbing can damage the kitchen and bathroom, whether through clogged pipes and drainages or flooding as a result of a major leak. But a complete plumbing overhaul might not be realistic on a tight budget.
Instead, you can opt for step-by-step upgrades, such as working on the kitchen plumbing first before fixing broken toilet fixtures. Ask a professional plumber to take a look and help you decide what to work on first. Even minor upgrades to your plumbing system done in stages can help to reduce your home insurance rates greatly.
2. Fix faulty wiring
Ageing wiring and electrical systems can easily cause house fires, on top of other slightly minor inconveniences in comparison, such as appliance damage. Faulty wiring usually occurs in older homes, which a home insurance company will note in their initial quote.
These wiring systems usually employ easily flammable aluminum materials, especially when you add the demands of modern home appliances and technology; plus, these systems are often no longer up-to-code. This increased risk results in higher insurance premiums.
Even without a complete rewiring, you can still take small, but vital steps towards reducing the electrical risk in your home, resulting in lower insurance premiums. Insurance companies take note of the effort taken towards at least lowering the risk of house fires and ensuring that new controls are in place to at least keep up with residential building code standards.
Talk to a professional electrician about these minor upgrades — and as a nice bonus, you may even earn energy efficiency incentives from the government for these eco-friendly retrofits.
3. Patch up the roof
The roof is an integral part of the structure of your home, essential for protection from external weather conditions. The most damaging of these occur in the winter, made worse by hail storms. As a result, roofs incur wear-and-tear damage over time, along with the increased risk of greater structural damage when a disaster strikes.
It’s no secret that total roof replacement is expensive — sometimes even going beyond the standard home insurance coverage. The added expense can be burdensome, but the good news is, you don’t have to wait until your roof is damaged beyond repair.
Simple maintenance, such as upgrading shingles to hail-resistant and dent-proof models already greatly reduces the risk of damage, and in the process, help to lower home insurance premiums. Enjoy long-lasting overhead protection and unlock generous insurance savings to go with it.
4. Add fire-suppression features
A close cousin of electrical wiring upgrades, fire-suppression mechanisms are designed to mitigate house fires and reduce the damage they cause the moment they occur. While the goal is to prevent house fires altogether, it’s a good idea to prepare for worst-case scenarios and ensure that your house is equipped with the right mechanisms to protect as much of the property as possible.
Fire-suppression upgrades such as sprinkler systems take on the work of first responders before they can even respond to the emergency. Sprinklers are designed to go off the moment that a fire is detected, immediately cooling down the rest of the house to avoid extensive damage to your property and valuables. But these don’t come cheap.
The cost of fire-suppressors may be expensive upfront, but this life-saving investment can make all the difference in terms of both your long-term safety and home insurance rates. By taking proactive steps such as installing sprinklers, home insurance providers are more inclined to note that you are a responsible homeowner who does everything in their power to lower the risk of extensive property damage.
5. Install a home security system
Next to fires and weather damage, property crime — such as burglaries — is the most common danger that homeowners are exposed to. Home appliances, cars, and valuables lost to theft are hard and expensive to replace, and even more so with an insufficient home insurance claim.
While most home insurance policies provide coverage for this type of accidental damage, they often investigate the cause and risk factors that contribute to the theft. The most common contributing factor is the lack of a home security system that effectively traps burglars in their tracks and prevents from escaping with their loot until the police can respond.
Installing a home security system is one of the most common and effective ways to protect your property from theft and the additional damage in broken doors and destroyed locks. Having this protection in place also indicates to your home insurance provider that crime and property damage are less likely to occur, as your house is effectively locked and protected from burglars.
The most common home security systems include alarms and CCTV cameras which you can activate via a smartphone app, providing complete control, access, and break-in updates even when you’re away.
It doesn’t take much to protect your property and the people you love. Simple, cost-effective upgrades to your house provide both peace of mind and ensure affordable home insurance rates. Protect what matters today, starting with affordable, comprehensive home insurance.
To learn more about how to reduce your home insurance premiums, call Oegema Nicholson at 613-224-1455 or contact us here.