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Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Post : 6 Home Improvements That Will Lower Your Insurance Rates

Owning a home is something most people hope to do. It gives them a sense of security. Having a structured environment to come to after a hard day at work is psychologically fulfilling. Being a responsible homeowner means making sure you're protected from possible loss due to accidents or natural disasters by carrying adequate insurance. Spending money for insurance is necessary, but there are ways to lower your premiums without endangering your family or your property. Following are a few home improvement tips that will lower your insurance rates.

Home Security System

A security system with some sort of alarm can often lead to lower insurance premiums. The best systems cost money, but they are more than likely worth the cost. A system that connects directly to a home security business that is monitored 24/7 by live human beings will save a bundle in insurance premiums. An alarm that is directly linked to local law enforcement will also lower your premiums. A simple audible alarm will undoubtedly save a few bucks in premiums, but not nearly as much as a system that alerts security personnel directly.


Something as simple as deadbolt locks installed on all exterior doors, including outbuildings, which serve as a deterrent to potential thieves, will lower your insurance premiums. A deadbolt lock is stronger than conventional locks. A typical thief will usually seek an easier property to steal from when they realize your home has deadbolt locks. Don't forget the windows when installing deadbolts. The locks won't prevent a thief from breaking the glass, but thieves generally don't like to call attention to their efforts, and will most likely move on when presented with difficult locks. While you're at it, you may want to think about installing break-resistant or shatter proof glass. Improvements such as these should lower your insurance premiums.


Another method of securing your property is to install a set of motion detecting lights. Having motion sensitive lights will discourage thieves from sneaking up on your home, and may help save on liability insurance costs by providing adequate lighting for late-night visitors. Installing solar-powered lights along walkways will also offer security for visitors and help lower liability insurance rates.

Update Infrastructure

By updating the systems that make your home function comfortably, such as the electrical, plumbing and heating systems, you can save money on insurance rates. A bonus factor is that by installing a modern, energy efficient furnace you will undoubtedly save even more money on heating costs. An up-to-date electrical system will significantly improve the safety factor of your home, and a new and improved plumbing system will probably save on your water bill, as well as lower your insurance premium.

Fire Safety

Improving your home by installing a fire alarm system will also help you save a little on your insurance bill. If the alarm rings directly into the local fire department it will greatly increase their response time, thereby providing you with greater protection from loss by fire. The same goes for a carbon monoxide detection system. Another thing you can do to lower your insurance premiums is to install a sprinkler system inside your home. Virtually anything you do that will decrease the threat of potential fire damage will ultimately save you money. Spending a little up front can save you quite a bit over the long haul.

Natural Disaster Protection

If you live in a place that is prone to some sort of natural disaster, there are steps you can take to improve the property that will lead to lower insurance premiums. Homes in geographical areas that are subject to high winds, such as tornados, hurricanes, or severe storms, can be made storm resistant by installing shutters on windows or re-roofing with wind-resistant shingles. Even small improvements that can be proven deterrents to potential damage will usually result in lower insurance rates.

Before Doing Any Home Improvements

Before investing too much money in home improvements, you should call your insurance company to make sure your efforts will pay off. Every insurance company is different. Although most offer discounts for the home improvements shown above, discount levels can vary. Get specific numbers from your current company. Then, seek out a few online insurance quotes along with information on the discounts other companies offer. Comparison shopping will supplement your home improvement efforts and help you get the best available deal.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey enjoys writing about home improvements, insurance, finance, and related topics.

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