There are many reasons to make upgrades to your home, and some of these can even have the added benefit of reducing the annual cost of your home insurance. Here are some examples of home improvements that can help make your home safer and/or reduce the risk of damage or loss, and therefore, may help you to reduce your home insurance rates.
Home Security System Upgrades
Having a home security system can help prevent losses from both theft and vandalism. Adding sensors to your doors and windows that trigger alarms at your home can deter unauthorized entries. Adding or upgrading to a security system that is connected to a central monitoring station offers additional protection, and can therefore be eligible for greater insurance discounts. Some security systems can even be tied into other home protection systems, such as smoke alarms, CO monitors, and low temperature and water alerts.
Water Leak Detection Systems
Water can do significant immediate damage to your home, and also lead to longer-term problems with mold. Water damage can come from external sources, such as roof leaks, windows, gutter downspouts improperly placed, and flooding. Plus, water damage can also come from sources inside your home, such as washing machines, toilets, air conditioning condensate systems, piping leaks, and frozen pipes bursting. Adding water leak sensors at locations throughout your home can help minimize the damage to your home. You can get even better protection by having the sensors tied into either a central monitoring service or a cellular service that notifies your smartphone. If your home or vacation home is in a flood-prone area, having a foundation sump pump with battery backup can help prevent flood damage to your home.
Automatic Water Shutoff
Adding an automatic shutoff to your home's main water system can help prevent catastrophic damage to your home. Automatic water shutoffs work by having sensors that monitor your home's water pressure and flow rate, and home temperature. If the sensors detect conditions that indicate the potential for a major water leak, the main water supply to your home is automatically shut off.
Smart Home Devices
In addition to making life easier and reducing energy bills, some smart home devices can make your home safer and more secure. Examples of these include video doorbell systems and smart deadbolt locks for your external doors.
Whole Home Backup Generator
In addition to the inconvenience of losing electrical power to your home, adding an automatic backup power generator can reduce the likelihood of damage in the event of a power outage. Whole home backup power generators are commonly powered by diesel, propane, or natural gas. Backup systems that provide the most protection are ones designed to automatically kick in when utility power supply is lost to the home.
Fire System Upgrades
Hopefully, you already have smoke detectors on every floor of your home. For added protection, carbon dioxide ('CO') monitors should be installed near each sleeping area. As mentioned above, these detectors can be made significantly more effective by tying them into a centrally monitored home security system. Adding an automatic fire sprinkler system to your home that can instantly suppress a potentially catastrophic fire can provide significant home protection and peace of mind.
Adding deadbolt locks to all of your home's external doors adds additional protection and security to your home. As mentioned above, door deadbolts can be integrated into your smart home automation systems.
Roof leaks can lead to major water damage to your home. These can be major leaks that cause significant damage, and can also be small leaks that, over time, can cause rotting wood and structural damage. Repairing or replacing your aging roof maintains its integrity for protecting your home. Upgrading with hurricane straps, additional waterproofing, or impact-resistant shingles will provide an even higher level of protection.
Adding outdoor lighting provides additional protection for your home by helping deter potential burglaries and vandalism. Plus, adding well-placed lighting along pathways and driveways makes walking along these areas safer.
Plumbing System Upgrades
If you have an older home, you may have plumbing that has outdated piping systems made of lead, clay, or galvanized piping which has a higher risk of leaking and flooding your home. Replacing your plumbing with more modern copper or PEX piping will offer better protection.
Electrical Wiring Upgrades
Also if you have an older home, it may have outdated aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring. Updating to modern wiring can significantly reduce your home's risk of fires and electrical damage.
If your home or vacation home is located in a wind-prone area, adding storm-safe windows with impact-resistant glass and storm shutters can help further protect your home.
Pool Removal or Upgrades
Lastly, if you have a pool and are no longer finding it as useful as it once was, in addition to reducing your annual maintenance costs, having your pool removed eliminates a safety hazard from your home. If your pool has a slide or diving board, removing these will improve the safety around your pool. Of course, adding additional fencing, entry alerts, and pool alarm systems can significantly improve the safety of your pool.