As the weather warms up, it’s a fun time to take on DIY projects around the house. Why not upgrade your home and lower your homeowners’ premium at the same time? With a few repairs and upgrades, you can improve the standing of your home to reduce risk and liability, which may help you get a discount on your homeowners’ insurance premium.
Here are some summer projects you can take on that can make your home safer and lower risk in the eyes of your insurance company!
Home Projects That Can Help You Save on Homeowners Insurance
1. Install security cameras.
Security cameras are the best way to prevent (or catch) theft and vandalism. Homes without security systems are three times more likely to be burglarized than homes with them. Alarm.org found reported that 90% of convicted burglars said they avoid homes with known alarm systems.
A security system gives you and your insurer peace of mind. Smart home cameras are especially worth the cost, because you’ll have remote access to your cameras, locks, and more. You can connect these to local emergency services as well to ensure the right people are deployed in the case of an incident in your home.
Once you’ve installed a home security system and received your installation certificate, give your insurance agent a call to see if your homeowners insurer offers a discount.
Our insurance advisors can help you determine whether you qualify for a home security discount with your current insurer and if not, they can help you compare quotes and discounts from other insurers in your state. Give us a call today at (844) 824-2887.
2. Add storm shutters.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, and high winds can all result in costly insurance claims. Storm shutters are an effective way to “batten down the hatches” and protect your house in the case of extreme weather. Most insurance companies will offer a discount if you install storm shutters and weather-resistant doors, especially if you live in a high-wind zone. Talk to your insurer to see what kind of weather home improvements they reward!
3. Update your roof.
We’ve actually heard of some homeowners having their insurance cancelled on them if their roof isn’t up to code. A roof will usually last 20-30 years, depending on weather and location. Most people don’t even know when their roof was last updated, though, and they wait until something goes wrong—like it starts leaking or falling apart—to fix it.
Your roof is your first defense against external elements, though. Neglecting to care for your roof puts you, your family, and your home at high risk.
This summer is the perfect time to (carefully) get up on a ladder, look at your roof up close, and see if it needs any updates. Look for broken or torn shingles, missing shingles, corrosion, animal markings, and puddles. Pay extra attention around vents and chimneys.
(You may want to call in a professional roofer if you notice any damage on your roof. It’s important to ensure you’re roof is installed correctly and effectively. This isn’t a project for the amateur DIYer.)
P.S. While you’re on the roof, clean out your gutters! This helps prevent ice dams and rain or snow leaks.
4. Take a home inventory.
When was the last time you updated your contents coverage? Contents coverage is the part of your homeowners insurance that helps replace your own personal property and possessions in the case of an incident. This includes anything that would “fall out” if you you’re your house and shook it upside down, like clothing, furniture, appliances, and jewelry.
Take some time on a hot day to enjoy the A/C and go through everything in your house. Your contents quickly add up, so don’t forget anything. If something isn’t accounted for on your contents coverage, it won’t be covered in the case of an incident. God forbid your home were entirely lost in a fire, you’d want enough coverage to replace all of the goods in your home.
These home inventory apps can help you quickly and easily take stock of your belongings and many offer the option to store the info in the cloud, so your inventory isn’t subject to any damage in your home.
You’ll especially want to take note of jewelry, fine art, guns, and other specialty items. These may need a rider, which allows for a higher value limit in case of damage or theft.
5. Fix the beeping detector.
Updated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are critical to protecting your home. Nearly a third of all detectors don’t work or aren’t updated. And it’s a simple solution—you usually just need new batteries!
Summer is the perfect time to replace the batteries in all of the detectors to get them back to peak performance. You can also test your detectors with the test button to make sure the alarm is working.
If you can’t remember the last time you changed your detectors or it was more than 5-10 years ago, it might be time to replace them. You can buy these at a local hardware store or online. Don’t have detectors at all? Time to order them!
P.S. You can buy smart home detectors that alert you even sooner to an instance. They can be connected to emergency services for improved interaction and detection as well.
6. Secure handrails and pavers.
Many high-cost liability cases are the result of loose handrails or uneven footstone pavers. If your handrails are missing or insecure, someone could fall and get injured on your deck or patio steps. If your pavers are imbalanced, you increase the risk of trips and falls, especially in icy weather.
So warm weather is the perfect time to re-secure handrails and level out pavers. These DIY projects are pretty easy, and there are a lot of YouTube videos that show you how!
7. Install a fence.
Fencing your yard, especially if you have any attractive nuisances on your property, can minimize liability and risk of accident. Putting in a fence can also add a beautiful touch to your yard that may even make your land appreciate in value.
Fencing isn’t an easy feat, but it’s definitely possible for a medium-amateur DIYer. Learn how to install a fence here.
8. Modernize your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Insurers want to see that your plumbing, heating, and electrical systems are all up to date and up to code. Modern systems are less likely to malfunction or break, which lowers the risk of an incident in house. So take some time to make sure your systems are in working condition. You should especially take note of leaks, breaks, or corrosion. If your system is old or you notice any issues, do some DIY or call in a professional.
P.S. Getting your heating system fixed in the summer usually costs less than in the winter, since demand is lower in the summer.
9. Add fire resistant landscaping and sealant.
Fire can cause some of the costliest homeowners’ claims. You may end up having to replace entire rooms, structures, and all of the contents inside your house. Fire is also the most likely to lead to total loss of your house, which can require an entire-rebuild and can displace you and your family for months. A lot of insurers worry about the risk of fire, so minimizing this risk is a great way to lower your premiums.
Consider applying fire sealant outdoors on roofing and siding as well as on walls and wood furniture. Look for eco-friendly sealants that won’t put any chemicals in or on your home. Fire-resistant landscaping is a great way to reduce wildfire risk as well.
Summer is the right time to take stock of your house, fix any concerns, and get your home prepped for the incoming fall and winter stressors. Check out these 11 safety features that can lower your homeowners premiums as well.
How much could you save by installing a few home upgrades and safety features? Give one of our insurance advisors a call today at (844) 824-2887 to find out!
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