We know that when it comes to protecting your home and everything you have worked so hard to create, you are willing to do almost anything. Well, we want to help guide you in this process, so we have come up with 9 features for you to focus on. In addition to making your home a safer place to reside, these items will also get you a better price on your homeowners insurance premium.
- HOME SECURITY SYSTEM – A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the US. Homes without security systems are three times more likely to be burglarized than homes with them. 90% of convicted burglars said they avoid homes with alarm systems. Many insurers require a monitoring system if your home is above a certain value. The positive to this is they include a discount on your property insurance. Also, many insurers may also offer a discount for living in a gated community or having a security officer.
- SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS – 92% of homes have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but almost 1/3 do not work. Most homeowners forget to keep their detectors updated, which can cause serious damage in the case of an incident. (Don’t be that person). Smoke detectors are the first defense against serious fire damage. They can protect you from severe loss of your contents and your home. These monitors should be replaced every 5-10 years. It is best to replace these sooner than later, but at the very least make sure you do, when you replace your water heater every 10 years!
- FIRE FEATURES – Every floor in your home should have at least one fire extinguisher. This is your first defense to prevent small fires from turning into more damaging ones. If you are renovating your home, you may want to consider using fire-resistant building materials. Just a fun-fact that some insurers will also offer a discount for a non-smoking household.
- WATER HEATER – Be sure to replace your water heater every 10 years. While you are extending some love to your home, this is also a good time to have someone come look for any updates you may need to the roof, plumbing, heating, and wiring.
- UPDATED SYSTEMS – There are many home buyers we speak with who are not aware of the last updates made by the current or very previous owners. This is important information to help you avoid a costly loss and damage to your home. It will help you to know when to make an update. A loss can cause increased premiums for years to come or a non-renewal on your property insurance. Modern systems installed in your home for roof, plumbing, heating and wiring can help reduce the risk of fire and water damage. If you have recently updated a system in your home be sure to let us know. Some carriers offer a safety feature discount for new and improved HVAC and electrical. You will also want to include water leak detection systems. These monitor your plumbing and pipes to instantly alert you of a potential leak or burst.
- INTERIOR SPRINKLER SYSTEMS – These can help mitigate fire damage by helping to put out flames or contain the fire to one area before the fire department arrives. They help control heat and smoke, which will minimize property damage and give you time to evacuate. Some of these are hooked up to your fire and burglar alarms. Some carriers will offer a 5% discount for high-quality, residential sprinkler systems.
- DEAD BOLT LOCKS – Dead bolt locks are one of the most challenging types of locks to break into. These can slow down burglars, buying time for your alarm company to alert the local police. You will want to include dead bolts at all major entry points in your home. You can even include them inside your home like on a garage or basement door that has an outdoor entry from the yard to the house. Add another on the garage or basement door that leads to the main living area. If they get through one, they will be delayed trying to get through the next.
- POOL SAFETY – Pools are a very expensive aspect of property insurance because they are considered high-risk. You can off-set the cost by installing pool safety features. A fence around your pool can minimize accidental drownings. You should also have life saving devices, first aid kits, and a portable pool lift.
- GAS SHUT OFF VALVE – Be sure to let us know if you have a gas shut off valve. There are some insurers that will provide a discount for homes that are serviced by natural gas and have an automatic gas shut off valve installed.