The cost of homeowners insurance is one of several unavoidable expenses when owning a house. Depending on your location and the age of your home, the amount you’ll pay for insurance will vary, however, the average homeowner’s insurance cost in the U.S. in 2022 is $1,680 per year. That may feel like a large expense, but knowing you’ll be compensated if something happens to your home can be priceless. Your mortgage company may require you to keep a certain level of insurance on your home anyway.
Let’s face it, no one wants to pay more for insurance than they need to. While some people may look at raising their deductible or bundling, there are more fundamental measures you can take to keep the rates low for years to come. It’s important to keep your insurer in the loop when making decisions about your home and to see if you qualify for any discounts. Here are some of the best preventative measures you can take that’ll lower your homeowner’s insurance rates.
Many homes have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but more often than not, they don’t work. Most homeowners forget to keep their detectors up to fire safety standards which can cause extreme damage if an incident was to occur. They’re the first line of defense against fire damage. They should be installed in areas where you can hear them, such as the kitchen, inside bedrooms, and at least one on each floor. Without them, your home could suffer from extreme damage as well as loss of property.
If the first line of defense against a fire is a smoke alarm, the second is a fire extinguisher. Similar to smoke detectors, many families don’t know where the extinguisher is located or how to use it. A good rule of thumb is to keep one on each floor so they’re easy to access when needed. Although fire extinguishers don’t have a set expiration date, they also won’t last forever. Traditional extinguishers have around a 10-12 year life expectancy. You should be able to find a date stamped on the cylinder part of the extinguisher.
Adding fire safety features to your home is critical to sense and stop a fire quicker. The NFPA reports that between the years 2014-2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 172,900 fires per year were caused by cooking activities. These fires caused more than $1 billion in property damage per year. Fortunately, our products for your rangehood can stop a cooking fire at the source, even if the stove is left unattended. Our products are extremely low maintenance requiring neither inspections nor repairs throughout their six-year effective life.
Installing a fence in your yard may seem insignificant, but it can have a positive impact on the value of your home and insurance rates. Based on the material and condition it’s in, a fence can add to curb appeal and increase your home’s market value while promoting privacy and safety. Ensuring there is no easy access to your home will help lower your homeowners insurance rates.
Unfortunately, fences come at a price and a pretty hefty one at that, so if you don’t have money set aside, you may need to get creative with financing. If you’re a homeowner and have equity in your home, a home equity line of credit, or a HELOC, may be perfect for you. A HELOC allows you to borrow money from your home’s equity as you need for your projects and is even tax-deductible when used on home improvements. In general, a HELOC will have a lower interest rate than a credit card does, making it so you only have to pay interest on what you’re currently borrowing.
Insurance companies love to hear that you’re taking safety precautions to take care of your home. By adding weatherproofing features such as high-quality hurricane straps, waterproofing, or severe weather-resistant shingles, you’re decreasing the chances that your home may be severely damaged from bad weather. Wind-related discounts vary and may only be applicable if you happen to live in a state with high wind risk.
Those who do live in high-risk areas can take it a step further by adding reinforced roofs and structures to ensure your home will withstand the worst Mother Nature can create. In the basement, a sump pump can protect against substantial rainfall that may result in flooding and it will help save you on your premiums as well. These weatherproofing measures can also help to improve the value of your home while protecting it at the same time.
Unfortunately, burglaries happen all the time. Instead of waiting until it happens to you, take proactive measures to protect your home and family. Not only does installing home security systems offer protection to your belongings and loved ones, but it also offers you peace of mind. Obvious signs of an alarm system such as stickers on the windows, signs in the yard, or outdoor cameras can deter a burglar, whose crime is often based on where opportunity presents itself.
On average, installing security devices of all kinds can reduce your homeowner’s insurance up to 20%. If you have more than one protective device or if your security system includes around-the-clock professional protection, then you’re likely to save more. Be sure to discuss with your insurance agent how these upgrades can benefit you by offering protection and financial benefits.
Installing safety features in your home makes you less vulnerable to theft, natural disasters, or other incidents that could cause costly insurance claims. It’s not always cheap, but you can offset the costs with discounts and different financing options.