How to Save on Your Homeowner’s Insurance by Fixing Up Your Home

Basil Mahadeo
4 min readSep 16, 2021

A homeowner’s insurance policy protects your home and many of the assets inside it, like your furniture, from damage or loss. Typically, homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for interior damage, exterior damage, damage or loss of personal assets, and injuries that occur on the property.

It’s easy to see why homeowner’s insurance is so important — if you don’t have it, you’ll end up paying out of pocket if your house is damaged or destroyed, and you could end up on the street.

Compare premiums and shop around for the best policy for your needs. If the cost seems steep, keep in mind that many insurance companies offer discounts for special groups like older adults, veterans, and so on. It’s also possible to get discounts on your homeowner’s insurance by upgrading or renovating your home, securing it from natural disasters, and adding other features.

Here’s a guide to some upgrades you can make that may help you save a significant amount on your premium.

Alarm Systems

Safety alarms are relatively easy to install, and they can help you save on your insurance. Some insurers offer discounts for safety systems, such as burglar alarms, smoke detectors, fire alarms, automatic sprinkler systems, and even fire extinguishers. You can choose between a self-monitored system, which you must install and monitor on your own, or a company-monitored system that is professionally installed and automatically sends a call to the security company when your alarm goes off.

New Roof

Of all the upgrades you can make to your property that reduce your homeowner’s insurance, re-roofing your house has the most significant savings potential. The savings vary, but a brand new roof could reduce your policy by as much as 20%. A study by valuepenguin.com of average insurance rates in the U.S. revealed that a new roof results in annual savings of $239, compared to a 16-year-old roof.

This is because a newer roof is considered more durable and able to withstand damage from fire, major storms, and other elements. Of course, a new roof has other benefits besides savings on your homeowner’s insurance. It will improve your home’s insulation, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and likely reducing your need for heating and air conditioning.

Keep in mind that using certain roofing materials — particularly concrete and slate tile — can qualify you for further discounts. These materials are more durable and usually have a longer lifespan. In contrast, wooden shingles can increase your annual insurance costs by as much as 14%, since a wood roof is more vulnerable to fire and requires more maintenance.

If you live in an area that sees frequent hurricanes, you may also get an additional discount for adding protective features like hurricane straps, special waterproofing, or impact-resistant shingles that protect against lightning and hail.

New Wiring and Electrical Systems

Older electrical systems like knob-and-tube wiring or 60-amp systems are common in older homes. However, they are much less safe than modern electrical systems and can increase your risk of fire. Replacing outdated wiring and outlets could help you save on your homeowner’s insurance and protect your family.

New Plumbing, Sump Pumps, and Water Shutoff Devices

Old, galvanized and lead pipes are susceptible to corrosion, rust, and leaks. Lead pipes that connect the home to the water main can also leach lead into drinking water; lead is a known neurotoxin that accumulates in the body over time and is hazardous to human health. Protect yourself, your family, and your home — and potentially receive a discount on your homeowner’s insurance — by replacing old, leaky pipes with new ones made of copper, PVC, or any of the other standard materials used nowadays.

Water damage accounts for nearly one-third of losses covered by homeowner’s insurance, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute compiled in 2106. Therefore, any device that automatically cuts off your home’s water supply when your pipes or plumbing is damaged can protect your home and reduce your premium.

Similarly, installing a sump pump in your basement may also prevent water damage and qualify you for a discount. You may particularly benefit if your property is located at the base of a downslope, or if the soil in your yard traps water rather than allowing it to flow away. A sump pump prevents water from accumulating and ruining your foundation.

Protective Windows

If you live in an area prone to high winds or hurricanes, so-called “storm-safe” or impact-resistant windows could be a wise investment. They can be expensive, but they can also reduce your premium, plus prevent interior flooding and other expensive damage if a major storm strikes. The Insurance Information Institute found that wind and hail-related claims were the top cause of losses covered by homeowner’s insurance in 2016 — nearly one in 40 homeowners made a claim of this type. Anything you can do to protect your home from this type of damage could results in savings on your policy.

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Basil Mahadeo

Basil Dahana Ram Mahadeo is a Director of GBTI for the past twenty-two (22) years.