Home Improvement Projects that Might Affect your Homeowners Insurance
Now that the weather in Texas has become warmer, it’s likely you’ll be considering some home improvement projects to spruce things up. Be mindful of what home improvement projects you tackle, as they might affect your insurance – both for good and for bad.
Here are some home improvement tips to help keep your home insurance in check.
Home Security Improvements
By installing security improvements to your home you will not only help protect your investments, but may even reduce your insurance costs in the process. Here are some great ways to add to your home’s security.
Windows are reinforceable
With safety glass or motorized shutters. Motorized shutters are particularly functional, and can protect from high winds, hail, or stronger storms like thunderstorms and hurricanes. Remember to change pre-installed window locks and connect windows to your security system. These measures hinder easy breaking of glass or forced entry and can give your home a safer feel – inside and out.
Are a preventative measure that often lower insurance premiums by a few dollars. Installing one on your home can help you feel safer, monitor activities at home while away or sound an alert when there is an open door or window. These systems typically include a sign to warn any potential intruders that you’re protected – a great signal to insurance companies as well.
Automatically activated lights
Inside and out are helpful to keep intruders at bay. These may also serve you for outdoor activities or that driveway basketball game that lasts past sundown. The more well-lit your home is, the less likely it is to be the object of criminal activity.
Improved locking systems
Such as deadbolts, keypads, or other sophisticated locks might also improve your home’s security. After all, sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.
Damage from storms can take a great toll on your home’s exterior. Hail, strong wind, Texas summer sun and prolonged rain are all culprits of home damage. But with some preventative measures, you might be set up to have lower costs, both in repairs and in premiums.
Reinforce your roof or windows
Against raging storms. You may also benefit from investing in high-strength roofing materials if you are frequently beset by hail storms. Some types of roofs even qualify for additional discounts on your home insurance policy!
Maintain awnings and patio covers
To avoid them collapsing during long storms. These types of installations can wreak havoc if they collide with the structure of your home, but are comparatively easy to keep in good condition.
Update your HVAC and plumbing systems
To prevent unexpected fire or flood damage. These systems are easily forgotten, but can have some of the most disastrous effects on your home if left to decay.
Have Electrical Outlets Checked
By a professional to ensure frayed wires, fire risks or loose-fitting plugs are repaired. Make sure outlets are not overloaded with too many plugs and devices.
Test your smoke detectors, fire alarm, carbon monoxide and water alert devices
On a regular basis to be sure that they still function properly. Test the device batteries monthly, and replace them at least twice a year.
Improvements that might increase insurance
If you’re looking to save on insurance costs, it’s also important to consider things that might raise your premiums if installed. These are additions or alterations that could cost additional money, and should be reflected in your insurance policy to be considered in the event of a loss.
Increase the liability risk associated with accidents around your home. As your neighbors (and their kids) use your pool, the risk of injury or damage increases. Be sure to limit unwanted access to your pool by the curious and family members in the home. Check with your insurance agent to see if your policy covers the new pool and your increased liability risk.
Like granite countertops, artisan molding, cabinetry, or expensive flooring upgrades may impact your insurance premiums if you depend on your insurance to cover your home’s rebuild costs in the event of a disaster. Think of it this way: reinstalling a custom imported marble countertop costs much more than a laminate piece, right? Most common cosmetic renovations have little to no impact on your insurance premium. However you should keep your insurance agent notified of all upgrades so if there is a claim, your new granite countertops, stainless steel fridge or that relaxing Jacuzzi tub are protected adequately.
Additional rooms or add-ons
Have to be assessed with your home’s value. Square footage is one factor a considered in calculating premiums and if the livable space increases, your dwelling coverage amount should be increased to compensate for your new home value.
As always, the best way to know whether or not your insurance costs will shift is by consulting your agent. At Britton and Britton Insurance, we’ve made it a priority to be available to discuss your insurance personally. If you’re thinking of remodeling or renovating your home, give us a call to see what changes you can expect on your insurance!