As a homeowner, you have the power to make changes to your residence. When doing so, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the savings you could qualify for on your home insurance. Here is a list of home upgrades that can help you to reduce insurance premiums.
- 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 most discounts, your alarm system must be centrally monitored by an approved company. For example, Rogers offers video monitoring solutions that allow you to monitor your home remotely.
- Installing a sewer backup valve
Sewer backup is one of the most unpleasant things that can happen to you. Basically, it means that municipal water storages are full and they push the sewage water (including all associated dirt) directly into your home. Insurers know that a costly cleaning / restoration is typically associated with such incidents. Therefore, some of them reward the customers that decide to install a sewer backup valve.
- Fire monitoring system
Smoke and CO2 dioxide alarms are a very good, non-expensive 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.
- Installing sump pump
Basement flooding is one of the most frequent issues that homeowners face, as shown by the 2013 floods in Alberta and Ontario. Although overland flooding—flooding resulting from rising water levels in rivers or from melted snow—is generally not covered by Canadian insurers, having a sump pump with a battery backup is rewarded by some insurers.
- Upgrades of plumbing
Houses built in the 1960s and 1970s may still be using lead or galvanized plumbing; this type of plumbing is susceptible to increased corrosion. It is highly recommended to substitute these with more modern copper, PVC, or PEX. This would positively impact both your health and your insurance premiums.
- Upgrades of 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.
- Roof upgrades
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 and thus it is highly recommend to invest in roof upgrades.
- Fencing a pool
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.
- Using an earthquake-proved frame
Some areas of Canada, such as British Columbia and Quebec, 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.
- Conventional bed over water bed
Insurers know very well what can happen should a water bed (especially on higher floors) burst or explode. A decision in favour of a conventional bed can help to save not only on your bed, but also on insurance.
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 a long and painful claims and restoration / rebuilding process.
These insights offered by InsurEye, a Canadian company that provides independent, innovative online services such as consumer insurance reviews, and peer-to-peer insurance premiums benchmark and connects consumers with insurance brokers in Toronto, insurance brokers in Calgary and in other locations.
Flickr: Julien Dumont