Some home repairs can lower insurance costs! Home insurance policies and Landlord insurance policies are getting more and more expensive, and covering less and less. Anyone in the shopping process, or our clients working with us on their renewals, are seeing firsthand the rising costs and lower availability of insurance coverage. Several of our clients have asked if there are any home repairs that lower insurance costs. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get discounts on your policy, give yourself more options when it comes to securing property insurance, and generally putting you in a better situation. Read on for more…
For discounts, the ages and composition of the major parts of your home are important. You’ll want to know how old your roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components are, and the general rule of thumb is that if these things are less than 10 years old you can expect more options and better pricing. You see, these are the things that are major causes of insurance claims, so when they are new and updated, you are less likely to have a big claim, so the idea is you’ll cost the insurance company less money. Don’t forget to consider renovations and remodels, as the replacement of your hot water heater is a partial plumbing update, and it’s a good idea to keep receipts and documentation for these repairs.
There are also discounts for things like security systems, cameras, water monitoring systems, and daytime occupancy. Conversely, things that lead to more claims can cost more money, like smoking inside your home, having a wood burner, having dogs or farm animals, or heating with fuel oil where the oil tank is under the ground.
As a homeowner or landlord, maintenance items are your responsibility, and not covered by insurance. It’s important to understand that these home systems all have a life expectancy, and replacing them is one of those ‘joys’ of homeownership that none of us really enjoy, but in the end have to do. Since you should be fixing these things anyway, it’s great that doing these home repairs can lower your insurance costs too! There are options for things like equipment breakdown coverage on your homeowner insurance which can cover mechanical failure, but it’s not something available on every insurance policy, and you may not want to rack up claims on your home insurance policy for preventative maintenance.
The average life expectancy of your major mechanical systems are:
- Furnace 15 – 30 years
- Central AC 15 – 20 years
- Electrical Panel 30 – 50 years
- Electrical Wiring 50 – 70 years
- Plumbing (PVC) 24 – 50 years (Copper) 70 – 80 years
- Shingle 20 – 30 years
- Metal 40 – 60 years
- Clay Tile 40 – 60 years
- Slate 75 – 100 years
- Flat Rubber 10 – 20 years
If any of the components in your home are older than the life expectancy, expect it to be difficult and expensive to get insurance. While your system may be just fine for now, as things get to the end of their life expectancy, they are more likely to malfunction and cause claims. We’re experiencing this in Western Pennsylvania now with roofs especially, as many of our beautiful homes are approaching 100+ years old, and that slate roof is definitely at the end of its life. Additionally, with our drastic temperature changes throughout the year, it’s becoming more common for a shingle roof to wear out much closer to 15 years than 30.
Now let’s look at the photo above, as there are a few things that scare insurance companies away from providing insurance for this home or make the costs higher. Starting at the top, this roof is definitely at the end of its life span, evidenced by missing shingles at the very top, and lifting shingles on the right side. Next, there’s a broken window at the top, which is a concern for letting water and weather in or a visitor being cut with broken glass. Third, the overgrowth of vegetation is an issue because it can damage the structure of the house or clog gutters and downspouts and cause tripping for someone walking up to the door. Finally, there’s no hand railing on the steps leading to the street. Fortunately, this home was purchased by our client to rehabilitate, so all those things and more are on their list of to-do’s upon taking ownership. This client of ours will be completing home repairs to lower the insurance costs!
If you’d like more information on home insurance or landlord insurance, please reach out to us! You can give us a call during business hours at 724-719-2093, find us on your favorite Social Media site, or you can head on over to our Contact Page!