Adjusting your Cover as your Home Evolves
Your house changes over time, and so should your homeowner’s insurance policy. Performing renovations without reporting them might void your contract or leave your property underinsured. On the other hand, certain types of upgrades can help you reduce your premiums. Here are six home upgrades that you should let your insurance provider know about:
If you make any significant changes to your home’s original design, such as adding auxiliary rooms or outdoors constructions, you’ll have to report them as soon as possible. These major modifications may require additional coverage, and your insurance company will not be too happy to find out that you’ve been trying to avoid a raise in your premiums.
Plumbing and Electrical Wiring Upgrades
The newer your house’s plumbing is, the safer and more efficient it is considered to be. Therefore, your property becomes less likely to sustain water damage due to faulty plumbing. If you plan on performing such an upgrade, ask your insurance company whether they can offer a discount in your premiums. The same applies for electrical wiring upgrades as well.
Renewable Energy Systems
If you decided to install solar panels, wind turbines, or any other type of energy generators, you will need to get them insured. Rather than purchasing a separate policy for them, you can choose to include your renewable energy system in your existing contract. Keep in mind that some insurance companies offer better rates for eco-friendly technologies, so you might want to check with your provider.
Alarm Systems and Security Locks
A reliable alarm system or a newly-installed security lock will make your house a safer place for you and your family. They will also help you reduce your costs by making it harder for burglars to break into your property. Other security measures, such as window bars and home CCTV cameras, may also qualify you for a discount in your premiums.
Smoke Detection Systems and Sprinklers
Much in the same spirit, installing a smoke detection system reduces the possibility of a fire breaking out in your house. Therefore, you are less likely to make your insurance company pay, which may in turn reward you with a renegotiation of your premiums. As a general rule, precautionary measures against fire tend to score favorable results for the policy holder.
While you can’t expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover for your plants and trees, decorative constructions such as fountains and stone paths may be included in your existing policy. However, the coverage provided is nowhere near complete, so you might want to add an extra rider for them in your contract. In any case, you will have to notify your provider about the changes.
Just because you’ve had the same provider for many years, it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your options open. If they refuse to offer a decrease in your premiums for improvements, start looking for a different provider that will offer you a more attractive alternative.
When it comes to your homeowner’s policy, you’d better be honest with your insurance company. Make sure to let them know about any upcoming changes you intend to make in your property. If you fail to notify them in due time, you risk leaving your house underinsured. In the worst case scenario, you won’t be able to receive enough money in order to repair damages caused by a natural disaster. Don’t let that happen to you in the name of frugality; otherwise, you may end up regretting your choices.
Older Properties Evolve Over Time
Alarm Systems May Reduce Premiums
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(price as of Jul 15, 2015)