10 Ways to Protect Your Home (And How Much It Can Save You)
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020
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We love our homes, but they’re undeniably at risk for everything from being robbed to damage from inclement weather. So how do you protect your home, and save money while you’re at it? Add improvements, of course!
Worth noting: how much you save on your homeowner’s insurance depends on your home’s location as much as the improvement itself. Storm shutters don’t mean much in, say, Arizona.
There’s no such thing as making a home entirely fireproof, short of building it entirely out of concrete. But there are methods you can use to reduce the risk of fire and keep fire from spreading too quickly, which means more of your home can be saved and less of your home insurance policy will be spent on fire damages. Masonry or asphalt-fiberglass roofing, for example, slows the spread of a fire. Fireproof doors can also be used to limit the spread of fire: having these on your garage may help you get your family to safety.
And, of course, it provides peace of mind.
#2) Installing a Burglar Alarm
One of the best ways to prevent theft is to make sure anybody who tries to break in will be leaving in the back of a police cruiser. Theft prevention systems are the best way to ensure that. These generally take the form of an alarm installed near the front door, but there are other systems, including motion detectors and even surveillance cameras for outside your home.
Homeowners in areas with higher crime rates and homeowners who are often away from their home will see the biggest reductions when installing this, but a burglar system can benefit anybody, both in premiums and in peace of mind.
#3) Overhauling Your Heating and Air Conditioning
If you find yourself sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter, it’s probably time to revisit your heating system anyway, but these can have real benefits to your homeowners insurance, too. Removing old, possibly damaged systems reduces the risk of a catastrophic failure: that is, you wake up one morning without any heat. It also reduces the risk of damage to the electrical system, fire, and other things that keep your insurance agent up at night. You can convert from riskier sources of heat, such as oil, to more cost-efficient sources, like electricity. Finally, it makes living in your home so much more comfortable, and that alone is worth the cost. Take the time to compare online home insurance to find the best rates!
#4) Modernizing Your Electrical System
If you have an older home, the electrical system can be a real drain; not just on your wallet, but on your policy. Older systems are at more risk for blowing out and requiring a complete fix, or, even worse, starting an electrical fire that can quickly spread to the rest of the house. So, go in and make sure everything is up to date, and replace any old wires or other possible problems. It will save you a lot on your average home insurance, and make sure everything is fully charged.
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#5) Installing Storm Shutters
If you live in an area with a lot of storms, you’ve probably already considered this one. If you still haven’t put them in, do it sooner rather than later. Storm shutters do a lot more than just protect your windows.
To explain why requires some physics. You know how a hurricane can rip the roof right off a house? That can happen in two ways: the negative pressure of the wind blowing on the roof, or the wind blowing into your house, pressing up against the roof, and pushing it off like a weightlifter at the gym. The two tend to combine. With storm shutters, your windows stay intact and your roof is less likely to wind up in your neighbor’s yard. After all, you don’t want to have another Hurricane Katrina hit your home and raise your insurance costs.
#6) Installing Security Lights
It seems simple, but it’s both cost-effective and easy to do: install a few security lights. If you’re worried about the electricity, don’t worry: solar-powered ones are pretty common and will help you keep your electric bill down. In fact, in general, these lights are fairly simple to install, but make a big difference in your home’s safety: if thieves don’t have cover of darkness to work under, they’re far less likely to attack your home. So, for a trip to the hardware store and a weekend spent installing, you can have lower premiums and a safer house: deals don’t get better than that. Simple additions like this will keep your home from the highest home insurance costs!
#7) Sealing Your Foundation
A basement flood is among the most costly things that can happen to a house: it destroys appliances, ruins anything you’ve stored down there, and worse, erodes your foundation and causes cracks in the concrete, making another flood more likely. So, beat the water to the punch, and get your foundation sealed. Fill in any cracks you may find, add a layer to prevent any leakage from the soil, and do your best to get appliances (like the water heater and laundry machines) off the floor. Even placing them on pallets will reduce the risk of damage…and bring down that premium. If you are having trouble with flooding, make sure your homeowners insurance covers flood damage.
#8) Repairing Your Gutters
Your gutters may not be something you think about much, but a damaged gutter system can ruin your whole house. Leaking gutters can help mold grow on roof eaves, damage your home’s siding, put cracks in your driveways, and even destroy your foundation. So pull out the ladder and replace any gutter sections that may have holes worn in them, and also check your downspouts to make sure the water is emptying where there’s proper drainage. Also consider installing some type of gutter guards system to reduce the amount of debris that can clog up your gutters in the first place. Protecting your roof and gutters could keep you from having to get roof insurance on your home.
#9) Updating Your Plumbing
If you have an old plumbing system, you’ve probably wanted to do this anyway, and now you have a great excuse: the money you’ll save getting your house up to modern standards. Upgrading your plumbing both reduces the risk of water problems at your house and ensures your house will have higher value and fewer problems: something home insurers love to hear. After all, you (and your home insurers) don’t want to have your home insurance cover plumbing problems.
#10) Installing Deadbolts
Deadbolt locks are the most secure: research proves it. And with deadbolts, you both secure your home and make sure your insurance stays “locked down.”
How Much Can You Save?
To find out how much you can save on home insurance, just enter your ZIP code into the box below. We’ll give you the best home insurance quotes from local and national insurance carriers, and you can see for yourself just how much you can save. A few minutes now can save you hundreds of dollars in the future!