Here are 5 home features that could impact your insurance rate, and some upgrades that can lower it! Interested in writing smaller checks? Take these upgrades that commonly impact rates into consideration, and you might save some cash.
It is easier to understand how to save money on insurance when you understand what features the insurance companies are looking for. To lower your home insurance, review some key features of your home that could be costing you some major moolah! The following upgrades commonly impact rates and should be taken into consideration.
A home's plumbing system is one of the biggest concerns for an insurance company. Damage from water leaks is among the most common home insurance claims, and it can cost both you and your insurance company a pretty penny. Older homes (built in the '80s or before) are higher risk and might require you to pay higher premiums.
Updating your home’s plumbing system is very attractive to an insurance company, and they’ll reward you for it. However, updating the entire house at once can be costly. Making changes to the water system one room at a time, such as the kitchen or bathroom, can still help.
Another feature to consider - especially with some of our lovely older homes - is the wiring system. Older buildings may have had aluminum wiring installed, making the home more susceptible to fire, and therefore, expensive premiums. Also, older homes may have wiring that is no longer up to state code, which could negatively impact your rate.
Insurance companies take note of homeowners who put in the effort to update their wiring system. Decreasing the risk of fire damage, as well as bringing any aspect of your home up to current state code, can have a dramatically positive impact on your insurance rate.
Yes, it's true that in St. Louis and the surrounding metropolitan area we get "all the seasons", but this can really do a number on your roof! An older, weathered, and weak roof is one of the biggest features that can cause your rate to skyrocket. Replacement costs can be huge for insurance companies, as roof damage commonly extends beyond what a deductible covers (often reaching between $9,000—$20,000).
Especially since we experience a good amount of hail any given year, upgrading your roof to hail-resistant or dent-proof shingles will eliminate a major risk factor for both you and your insurance company. Homes with these upgraded roofs installed most likely won’t need a replacement for decades, and insurance companies will reward the homeowner for it.
4. Fire Suppressants
Fire damage is one of the biggest home insurance claims in both frequency and cost. Fires may be caused by any number of incidents; no matter where you live, the risk of fire damage is always present. Insurance companies know this, so any installation of fire-suppression features, such as sprinkler systems, is highly attractive to insurance companies. Though installing a sprinkler system can be costly (typically between $8,000—$10,000), it can save you in the long run, with both peace of mind and a much lower insurance rate.
5. Security System
Theft losses are another frequent and pricey home insurance claim. A burglar may not only steal from your home, but they may damage it upon their unwanted adventure. Installing a burglar alarm and displaying the signage that your home is equipped with such a system can significantly reduce your risk of break-ins and theft. The less attractive your home becomes to burglars, the more attractive it becomes to your insurance company - and they will reward you! Spending money on a security system up front can save you on insurance in the long run and give you a little peace of mind.
If you do upgrade any of your home’s features, reconnect with your insurance agent. They’ll reach out to your insurance company and try to negotiate a new, lower rate for you, or they’ll go ahead and shop new insurance policies across multiple companies. Ultimately, they’ll get you set up with a rate that matches your home’s updated condition.