Remodeling? Include plumbing and security upgrades to help you out on the insurance front Not only will it help protect you in case of accidents, it may even cut down your premiums

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So you’ve finally decided to remodel your home. You’ve got new furniture, the walls have a fresh coat of paint, and maybe you’ve even added an additional room on your property. Is it time to call it a day? Well, maybe not yet.

Before you put your wallet back in your pocket, you might want to consider taking a stab at upgrading the inner workings and security of your home. It’ll cost you a bit now, but it might help bring your insurance premiums down to a more reasonable level in the long run.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, making a house more disaster-resistant is one of the best ways to lower home insurance costs. This can include everything from adding storm shutters to reinforcing your roof. A protected house is less likely to sustain damage, and makes the owner less likely to file an insurance claim in turn, which is something that insurance companies love.

Depending on the insurer, you may also enjoy discounts by modernizing your heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. Not only that, your home also becomes more protected against potential problems that could wreak havoc on your claims history and even your health.

Water claims are particularly troublesome. According to Bill Wilson of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, water damage isn’t even the worst thing. It’s the mold it leads to that insurance companies fear. “Companies are scared to death of water claims because they can lead to mold, and mold is very expensive to remediate,” he told MSN.

By upgrading your plumbing, you run less risk of water damage, which ranks as one of the leading causes of insurance claims all around the world. In the US it ranks second and accounts for around $11 billion annually. The scenario holds true in both Canada and the UK. UK and Ireland insurer Aviva lists it as the top cause of claims in England. The company estimates that a leaky pipe alone could lead to problems costing an average of £3,500 (almost $6,000).

Finally, home security should also be on your list of remodeling plans. Consult with your insurer to find out which security upgrades will be most beneficial in terms of your insurance premiums. Even just a modern burglar alarm could possibly shave a few bucks off your premium. Plus, it’ll cut down the chances of your home getting burgled, which could be a worse fate than having to pay for expensive premiums.

 

4 Responses

  1. Ondria Witt

    January 24, 2014 8:12 am

    Definitely a good idea- my hubby works in home restoration, and always comes home to tell me about folks who didn’t factor plumbing into their remodel.

  2. Scrappy Geek

    January 24, 2014 8:58 am

    I agree, updating your systems and installing proper security (If it’s not already in use) should be on every homeowners to-do list. I don’t know about cutting insurance rates, but it does make it less likely that your systems will fail and leave you scrambling for a repair man… Preventative measures are always better than reactive measures (they cost less too!)