Log InJoin 

How To Reduce Your Insurance Rates With Home Improvement Projects

Homeowner insurance is important to have regardless of whether you own your home outright or still have a mortgage. Much like automobile insurance and health insurance, homeowner insurance is meant to protect your property and possessions in the event of natural disaster, fire or theft. The fact that you should have homeowner insurance doesn't mean you should pay a lot for it. There are numerous steps that can be taken to reduce your homeowner insurance rates with some minor upgrades to your property.

Fire Protection

While a home fire is an unlikely scenario the homeowner can still take precautions against, if not completely eliminate, the threat and minimize its impact. Smoke detectors are normally installed in all new construction but significantly older homes may have outdated detectors or none at all. Keeping a schedule of when to replace all batteries will help ensure continued protection. Radon and carbon dioxide detectors should also be purchased and installed for additional protection.

Another fairly simple and inexpensive improvement is purchasing fire extinguishers and place them in the appropriate locations. It is common to have one fire extinguisher mounted on the wall next to the door leading from the garage and another one either under the sink or in the pantry of the kitchen. These are the most likely areas to see fire activity where a fire extinguisher would be necessary. Not all fire extinguishers are created equal or are appropriate for all situations and as such implement a rating system. If you're unsure of the likely fire related scenario, purchase a multi-class fire extinguisher.

Larger homes which operate as both living and working spaces may also benefit from the installation of a sprinkler system. This can be quite expensive and must be installed by a professional to ensure reliability and proper distribution. Sprinkler systems provide blanket coverage and remove judgment and reaction time from the equation when dealing with conflagrations. It is possible to receive a significant reduction on your insurance rate with the addition of a sprinkler system.

Theft Protection

The most common form of theft protection is installing deadbolts which are normally supplied by default on residential construction. Unfortunately, most homeowners stop there and don't consider additional theft deterrent or prevention systems. Installing a burglar alarm often receives the highest reduction in home insurance rates in the range of 20% to 25%. The two types of systems include interior and perimeter security and used in conjunction will provide the best theft protection.

Most basic interior security systems provide sensors on doors and windows which activate when a circuit is broken and motion sensors to detect movement within a certain field of view. They also include security monitoring should the alarm trip which contacts local law enforcement and notifies the homeowner by cell phone or text message. Security monitoring does require an additional monthly fee as well as the upfront installation cost so make sure the reduction in your insurance rate is more than the cost of adding security.

Perimeter security systems will also provide additional circuits on exterior access as well as motion activated floodlights and sirens. It is also common for perimeter security to include closed circuit TV feeding to a central monitoring station on the premises with long-term storage of digital recording. When looking to purchase an interior or perimeter security system, verify that the system includes battery backup and that the monitoring company has a proven track record in providing quality service.


Protecting yourself and your property in proactive steps can help reduce your insurance rates with minor home-improvement. Common sense measures such as installing fire extinguishers and a security system show an insurance company that the homeowner is serious about minimizing losses due to fire or theft. Call your insurance company to verify that the additional expense of these improvement projects will be offset by significant savings in reduced insurance rates.