How to Reduce Home Insurance Costs with Renovations

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by Ratehub.ca April 24, 2019 / No Comments

As a homeowner, you have the power to make changes to your residence, be it in a house or condo. While some home renovations, like upgrading your kitchen or installing a pool, can increase the price of your home insurance, there are a few that can help reduce your monthly premium. Here is a list of 10 home renovations aimed at helping you save money on your home insurance.

Alarm system / security system / video monitoring

For many years, companies have offered discounts for alarm systems, but not all alarm systems are the same. In order to qualify for this home renovation discount on your insurance policy, your alarm system must be centrally monitored by an approved company. For example, Rogers video monitoring is a solution that allows you to monitor your home remotely and they will send emergency services as required.

Installing a sewer backup valve

Sewer backup is one of the most unpleasant things that can happen to you, and if you’re doing some home renovations it’s a great idea to add it to your list of to-dos. Basically, it means that municipal water storages are full and when it has nowhere else to go, they push the sewage water (including everything associated with it) directly into your home. Insurers know it costs a lot to clean and restore a basement back to its former condition and so some insurers will reward their customers that decide to install a sewer backup valve. If you do this home upgrade, be sure to inform your home insurance provider and ask about a discount.

Fire monitoring system

Smoke and CO2 dioxide alarms are a good, inexpensive investment even if there were no insurance discounts associated with them. Luckily, there is sometimes an insurance reward, but for just a few dollars per unit, don’t skimp out on these lifesaving devices. If it’s centrally monitored meaning that if you’re out of town and the fire alarm goes off, a third party company can send a fire truck to help, you can expect to receive a better discount on your home insurance quotes.

Install a sump pump

Basement flooding is one of the most frequent issues that homeowners face, as shown by the 2013 floods in Alberta and Ontario. Thanks to climate change, it’s only going to get worse. Although overland flooding—flooding resulting from rising water levels in rivers or from melted snow—is generally not covered under standard policies, you can add an overland water insurance to an existing policy for an extra cost. However, to avoid the flooding in the first place having a sump pump with a battery backup is a smart move and is often rewarded by home insurance companies.

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Home renovations to your plumbing system

Houses built in the 1960s and 1970s may still be using lead, clay or galvanized piping. This type of plumbing is susceptible to increased corrosion, can crack under extreme temperatures, and can be hazardous to your health. It is highly recommended to substitute these with more modern copper/PEX supply lines and PVC/ABS drains. This would positively impact both your health and your insurance premiums.

Home renovations to your electrical wiring

If your house still has aluminum or knob and tube wiring, you should look at upgrading it to modern copper wiring. If you don’t, you might have to get your policy from high-risk insurance providers. Some companies may offer you coverage, but they will likely require an inspection through a certified electrician. A lot of old wiring resulted in fires, upgrading to the new, safer standards will reduce the chance of a fire destroying your valuables and save you money on your home insurance premium.

Home renovations to your roof

It costs more to insure homes with older roofs and some providers may not offer you coverage at all if your roof is too old. Any roof leakages can be very costly for insurers. Water damage to the inside of your home and costly repairs to your roof are claims an insurer wants to avoid and they will charge you extra for an old roof. Investing in a new roof will reduce your home insurance premium. Also, know that home insurance is not a maintenance plan. If there is damage to your roof you’re ignoring, your claim may be denied altogether.  If you can afford it, opt for more than asphalt shingles and look for something that may cost more, but has a much longer life.

Install a fence around a pool

If you’re wondering how to save money on home insurance, the cheapest approach is not having a pool at all, but if you have one, make sure that it is well fenced to prevent any unnecessary liability. If a small child falls into your pool, you may be held responsible. Because of the increased risk associated with pools, you will usually pay a higher premium. In fact, some municipalities require a locked fence around the pool at all times.

Use an earthquake-approved frame

Quebec and British Columbia home insurance quotes are significantly higher since they are prone to earthquakes as they are located in seismically unstable geographies. Having a frame that is seismically resistant is often rewarded by extra discounts. If you do live in these areas, you should look at adding an earthquake endorsement to your home insurance policy to protect should the unthinkable occur.

Deadbolt your locks

It’s much harder for a thief to break into your house if all your exterior doors have deadbolts on them. Also, if don’t remember who has your key, or it’s a new home and you don’t know who might have a key, it’s worth an update where you control who has access.

Equipped with this knowledge, we hope that you will make the right decision when upgrading or renovating your home. This is money well spent. In addition to insurance savings, many of these improvements can help you prevent incidents and save you from long and painful claims and restoration/rebuilding process.

In summary, here are the home renovations that reduce your home insurance premium. 

  • Install a central monitoring system
  • Install a sewer backup valve
  • Install a centrally monitored fire alarm system
  • Install a sump pump
  • Upgrade your plumbing
  • Upgrade your electrical
  • Upgrade your roof
  • Install a fence around your pool
  • Use an earthquake approved frame
  • Deadbolt your locks

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