Home Improvement Can Lower Your Risk
Arkansas homeowners have to deal with rain, wind, hail, and tornadoes. Because of the high number of catastrophic storms, homeowners insurance in Arkansas tends to be more expensive than the national average. But luckily, there are home improvements and repairs you can make to lower your risks—and your premiums!
You may spend more up front, but in the long run you can increase your home’s value and save on insurance.
Most Valuable Home Improvements for Lowering Your Homeowners Insurance
1. Install a security system.
Yes, a traditional alarm system is better than no alarm system, but these days, home protection goes way beyond alarms. Now there are motion-sensor lights, wireless security cameras, and video doorbells that let you see who’s at your door via your smartphone, even when you’re not home. If you’re going to be away for several days, smart systems allow you to turn your lights on and off, adjust your thermostat, raise and lower your garage door, and even use your robot vacuum.
You can monitor your home yourself (which means contacting the authorities at the first sign of an intruder or a disaster, such as a fire) or have your data streamed to a private security company, that will monitor your home 24/7 and contact authorities as needed.
2. Install smoke and gas detectors, as well as a leak detection system.
State law mandates that an Arkansas residence have smoke detectors in or outside of each bedroom, with at least one smoke detector on every story. Gas detectors are not mandatory, but they are a good idea. They can detect invisible but deadly carbon monoxide leaks, as well as combustible natural gas leaks—and they’re affordable and available at almost any big box store.
Catching a leak early can prevent massive damage—which means having a leak detection system may lower the cost of your homeowners insurance.
Leak detection systems are less common, but catching a leak early (often before there is visible damage to ceilings and walls) can prevent massive damage—which means having a leak detection system may lower the cost of your homeowners insurance.
3. Get a generator.
If your generator is set up to kick on in the event of a power loss, it can ensure your most important appliances—your refrigerator, boiler, etc.—are always running. This should help you prevent home disasters, such as busted pipes and leaks.
General Home Improvement Tips:
- Some homeowners insurance policies are comprehensive, but it’s a good idea to check with your agent and make sure your policy specifically covers hail, wind, and tornado damage. And if you’re in a flood zone, you probably need separate flood insurance.
- Most providers offer bundled rates when you buy both homeowners and auto insurance. This is an easy way to save money, without having to make any home improvements.
- To avoid being under-insured, insure your house for as much as it would cost to replace it, rather than the market value or the amount you paid.
- Avoid making small claims on repairs that you could easily pay out of pocket. A high number of claims may make your rates go up, even if you change providers.
- Check with your insurance agent before doing any home renovations, construction, or major repairs. Not all home improvements lower rates. Some improvements may actually increase your rates.
- If you’re seeking lower insurance rates, document home improvements with photos and save receipts, in order to demonstrate the changes to your provider.
For more information, check out the information provided by the Arkansas Insurance Department on the factors and laws related to homeowners insurance in the state.
Find out how your planned home improvements may lower your premiums. Get in touch with an agent today.