If you own a home, property insurance is an absolute must. While it may be an aggravating expense to add to the seemingly endless list of home expenses, you can take measures to cut the costs.
Home insurance providers like to hear that you’ve taken steps to keep your home as safe as possible from things like fires and burglars. That way, liability claims can effectively be reduced.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,240,000 fires reported in the US in 2013. And when it comes to break-and-enters in homes across the US, the FBI estimates that one in every 36 homes will be burglarized this year, resulting in a total of $4.7 billion in property losses.
These losses have caused insurance companies to jack up the price of property insurance on homes that don’t have the necessary precautions to deter fires or break-ins.
Here are some safety features to consider to not only lower your overall home insurance expenses, but also to keep you and your family safe.
Security Alarm Systems
A security system can include an alarm, video cameras, and other types of surveillance. Having this security system in place around-the-clock can alert you and the authorities to any potential harm and loss of property. Do yourself a favor and install a security system that is monitored, and is set every time you leave the house or head for bed – it’s not going to do much if it’s not activated.
Investing in an alarm system that’s connected to a central monitoring service will afford you the greatest savings. If you have a service that automatically dispatches the police and fire departments, you stand a better chance of reducing any losses that come from a break-in. And the more points of entry that you monitor in your home, the safer the system. This equates to greater discounts on your insurance policy.
Any time you add a line of defense to your home, you can shave a bit more off your insurance policy. While experienced burglars can pick locks on doors, a deadbolt will just make the break-in more difficult. Add deadbolts to the front, back, and side doors to give you and your insurance provider more peace of mind. Basically, any entry point from the outside to the interior of the home should be dead-bolted.
If your budget permits, consider installing shatter-resistant windows around the perimeter of the home. Or else, you can apply a shatter-resistant film on the glass to reinforce the structure of the window. It’s pretty easy and quick to apply, and it’ll definitely make it tougher for someone with bad intentions to break the window and enter your home.
Smoke Detectors on Every Floor
This is a no-brainer, and should be done whether or not it involves any monetary savings. Smoke detectors save lives. Plain and simple. Saving a little cash is also a nice little perk to take advantage of.
Smoke detectors can alert you about a fire much faster than relying on your own senses, thereby cutting down on injuries, deaths, and property liability claims.
Indoor Sprinkler System
Residential sprinkler systems are gaining in popularity among home owners in an effort to ward off the damage caused by fires. In fact, many builders are increasingly offering retrofit options to install them in existing properties as well.
There are a bunch of different styles of home sprinkler systems available these days, so you might want to have a chat with your insurance agent and a sprinkler service professional to pick one that works best in your home.
Since all of these features can make your home a safer place, insurance carriers are much more willing to offer discounts as a result if you show them some kind of proof of their existence. While some of these options might cost you a good chunk of change up front, the payoff of long-term savings and your safety will totally be worth the investment.