Homeownership has its costs — but expensive insurance shouldn't be one. Luckily for mortgage holders, there are plenty of home improvements to lower the cost of homeowners insurance.
In addition to cutting costs, these upgrades can help fortify your home, increase energy efficiency, improve security — and give you a strong bump in ROI if you decide to sell.
How to lower homeowners insurance
Install a security system
Home security systems safeguard your home from intruders and potential threats. In turn, they protect your loved ones and help negate theft.
You can upgrade your security by adding an alarm system, surveillance cameras, and motion detectors. Not only can a security upgrade provide peace of mind, but it can also lower your homeowners insurance rates.
Effectiveness: Security is a strong deterrent for burglars. Having visible cameras and alarm sensors can discourage individuals from targeting your home — or alert you of a break-in, allowing for a quicker response.
Insurance savings for installing a security system: Savings will vary depending on factors like the type of system, its features, and your insurer's policies. However, upgrading security can typically reduce your homeowners insurance premium by 5%-20%.
Leverage water shut-off devices
Water damage can be a nightmare for unlucky homeowners — from costly repairs to raised insurance premiums. You can help reduce the likelihood of damage by installing a water shut-off device. The system mitigates the risk of leaks and floods on your property — preventing an expensive insurance claim.
Effectiveness: Modern devices help stop water damage from leaks or burst pipes by detecting abnormal flow patterns and automatically shutting off the water supply.
Insurance savings for adding a water shut-off device: Savings will vary depending on your insurer and policy. Installing water shut-off devices can lead to home insurance discounts of around 5%-12% — which can help offset the cost of purchase and installation.
Invest in smart technology
Adding smart technology is one of the best home improvements to lower insurance costs and improve your home's efficiency. Incorporating smart locks, gas leak or freezing pipe sensors, and programmable thermostats are just a few of the great investments you can make.
Moreover, this forward-thinking upgrade can lead to potential homeowner insurance policy savings.
Effectiveness: You can leverage different smart technology for various benefits. For example, smart thermostats will learn your heating and cooling preferences and adjust accordingly, potentially lowering your energy bills. With a smart security camera, you can monitor your property remotely, receiving real-time alerts of suspicious activity. All in all, smart home improvements can increase the comfort and security of your property.
Insurance savings for investing in smart technology: Homeowners insurance companies offer various discounts depending on the upgrade. It’s best to connect with your policy provider to learn how your upgrades can impact your premium.
Add hurricane shutters
Hurricane shutters, also called storm shutters, are a worthwhile addition to any home located in an area prone to hurricanes or severe storms. They create a barrier against flying debris and extreme weather, shielding your home — and the valuables inside it.
Insurers appreciate a hurricane-proofed home as well, offering discounts for the preparedness.
Effectiveness: Hurricane shutters are designed to withstand high winds and protect windows from breaking. As a result, they preserve the structural integrity of your home and stop water intrusion.
Insurance savings for adding hurricane shutters: Homes equipped with storm shutters can benefit from insurance discounts ranging from 5%-15%.
Install storm-resistant windows
Storm-resistant windows are a formidable defense against severe weather and natural disasters, such as high winds, debris, and heavy rainfall. In addition to the extra layer of security, upgrading windows can save you money on your home insurance policy.
Effectiveness: Storm-resistant windows are engineered with materials that enhance their durability. During extreme weather conditions, they stand against high pressure and impact — reducing the likelihood of shattering glass, water, or debris from entering the home. As an added bonus, their energy-efficient properties can help decrease heating and cooling costs.
Insurance savings for installing storm-resistant windows: Savings vary drastically based on the location of your dwelling. Homeowners can expect a discount anywhere from 5%-10%.
Update electrical systems
Old or faulty wiring is a major fire hazard in a home. By updating your electrical, you can minimize the risk of potential dangers. Additionally, modern electric systems can help you qualify for discounts on your insurance policy.
Effectiveness: Up-to-date systems are essential for reducing the risk of fire and protecting your property. Additionally, more modern systems include energy-efficient and SMART technology that can provide automation, lower energy bills, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Insurance savings for upgrading electrical systems: Discounts for improved systems are known to range from 5%-15%. This, of course, depends on the upgrades made, where you live, and your insurance provider.
Retrofit for earthquake resistance
Unless you live in an area prone to earthquakes, seismic threats aren’t top of mind for most homeowners. However, if you do, you’ll want to seismic retrofit to fortify your property. In doing so, you can enhance the protection your home has.
In most seismic activity-prone areas, earthquake insurance is sold as a separate policy and. However, with the right reinforcements, you can score considerable savings on the added policy.
Effectiveness: Retrofitting involves reinforcing your home’s foundation and structural components. Bolting the foundation and adding bracing to other structural pieces improves the home’s ability to withstand earthquakes, which can lower or prevent damage to the house.
Insurance savings for retrofitting for earthquakes: Appreciation for safeguarding your home can lead to discounts ranging anywhere between 10%-25%.
Upgrade the roof
You’re likely wondering, "Will a new roof lower my homeowners insurance?" With the high out-of-pocket expense of repairing or replacing it, it's a valid question — and the answer is a resounding yes. In some cases, you can be fully ineligible for homeowners insurance if your roof is too old — which may make it a necessary repair to tackle.
There are many ways to upgrade the "crowning glory" of your home. For example, you can replace an aging or damaged roof with impact-resistant shingles, wind-resistant roofing, or metal materials. Alternatively, you could improve ventilation or boost the stormwater management system.
Effectiveness: Externally, a strong roof protects against wind, hail, and other extreme weather conditions. It also enhances your curb appeal and property value when it comes time to sell. Internally, proper insulation can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Additionally, a new roof can prevent water leaks, reducing the likelihood of mold issues or structural damage.
Insurance savings for upgrading the roof: Depending on the upgrades made, a new roof can lower your home insurance premium from 5%-35%.
Investing in your home — its security, strength, and efficiency — can create a comfortable and safeguarded dwelling. In addition to protecting your home — and all the things you love inside it — the upgrades noted above can also help lower the cost of your homeowners insurance.
If you want to finance the costs of upgrading your home, consider a Home Equity Investment from Point. Point's HEI offers homeowners a lump sum of cash in exchange for a portion of their home's future appreciation. There are no monthly payments or the need for perfect credit.