Plan on tackling a few DIY projects this summer? Whether it’s fixing your aging roof or a project from your Pinterest board, DIY is all about saving money. It could even help you save on your insurance premiums! With a little planning, homeowners can tackle some big DIY projects while adding big savings to their wallets. We gathered a few DIY projects that can lower home insurance premiums for the eager do it yourselfers out there! As always, be sure to discuss any home improvement projects with your insurance agent first. You don’t want to find out the new addition you worked hard on voids your coverage if a tree comes crashing down on it, do you?
DIY projects that can lower home insurance premiums
1. Keep Your HVAC Up to Date
One DIY project that can lower home insurance premiums is keeping your air conditioner, heater, and ventilation system current. A good rule of thumb is that your system should always be less than 10 years old. If a system is over 10 years old, insurance premiums are likely to be higher. If you’re updating units in an older home, you will definitely save on your premiums by breathing new life into the HVAC. Just like with anything else, a/c and heating units become worn over time, so it’s always a good idea to keep them as up-to-date as possible.
Be aware that in time the insulation on outdoor air conditioner lines can wear, age, and begin to rot too. This can cost the homeowner valuable energy.
2. Readying the Roof
Considering how much protection from the elements it provides, it’s safe to assume that the roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Therefore, keeping your roof well maintained will help you in the long run. Not just from keeping damage out, but also for keeping cash in your pocket. If you don’t maintain your roof, major damages can cost upwards of $2,000 to $12,000. That’s why routine maintenance is valuable, just in case something does happen that’s out of your control. Consider installing impact-resistant roofing, especially if you live in an area prone to hail, strong winds, hurricanes or tornadoes. This simple upgrade can lower monthly insurance premiums by as much as 40 percent.
It’s best for homeowners to talk to their insurance agents to learn about specific discounts for materials other than standard asphalt roofing. While metal roofing will usually provide the largest discount, it can be much more costly than standard shingles.
Keep in mind, larger roofing repairs are best left to the experts, but some repairs, such as new shingles can be a great DIY project.
3. Pool and Fence Safety Improvements
Building a fence around the swimming pool isn’t just a smart insurance saver, in some states it’s a requirement. This is a simple DIY project that can lower home insurance premiums.
In addition to the insurance benefit, this security measure protects the homeowner and neighbors as well by reducing the chance of someone falling into your pool and accidentally drowning.
Death by drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths for children between 1 and 14. Besides increasing your insurance coverage and building a fence around it, pool owners should keep it covered or drained when not in use.
Fences also help lower premiums by acting as barrier to vandalism or burglary. Some underwriters will even classify fences as a form of security like an alarm system.
If you are considering putting a fence on your property, be aware of the following:
- – Know the property line. Building on the neighbor’s yard could lead to issues and cost you big. Not to mention the work you put into building will be wasted.
- – Know where cables are. Ask your utility company to mark the location of buried power cables. This helps ensure you won’t ruin your fence building experience by splitting a buried power cable. Additionally, identify any buried water lines to swimming pools, low-voltage lines for decorative lighting, sprinkler systems, and tree roots.
- – Be a good neighbor. Always inform your neighbors about your DIY construction plans.
4. Keep it Secure
Everyone likes a little extra security for their home and it could even lower your home insurance premiums. Some things, such as installing smoke detectors, motion-sensor lighting or shatterproof windows can add security to your home and possible savings, too.
A few other project ideas include:
- – Making sure all electrical wiring is up-to-date. Insurance companies pay particular attention to electrical wiring being up to code. This fix makes homes less likely to experience an electrical fire.
- – Leak detectors can warn homeowners of plumbing failures by using battery-operated or plug-in temperature sensors to detect furnace breakdowns which lead to frozen and bursting pipes. The detector will sound an alarm or automatically shut off the home’s main water line valve when water touches the sensor. This installation can drop insurance premiums by 2-5 percent.
- – People with homes in areas prone to hurricanes can put up storm shutters. This could save up to 30 percent on the hurricane portion of the insurance premium and up to 60 percent in coastal areas.
Before you attempt any DIY improvement projects, just call us at 724-929-2300 to get a list of discounts available. Ask your agent for specifics. For example, your alarm system may have to meet certain criteria in order to lower your premium. There are a number of DIY projects that can lower home insurance premiums. Whether you are a DIY master or just starting, you’re sure to find a project that fits you. Start saving on your projects and your premiums too! Have you worked on any DIY projects? Tell us in the comments below! We’d love to see your photos.