When it comes to lowering home insurance rates, many people think about raising their deductible without giving much thought to other ways of achieving the same effect. One reason for this is that people often don’t consult with their independent insurance agents, who are more than happy to discuss methods of lowering premiums. Many of their suggestions will focus on how you can make yourself less of a risk to insurers. You can benefit by lowering your premium without the need to increase your deductible. Plus, you can also reduce your risk of property loss and damage. Here are five tips to get you started.
Reinforce Your Garage Door
If you live in an area that has strong winds from hurricanes, tornadoes or violent thunderstorms, strengthen your garage door. Garage doors are highly vulnerable to wind damage because they are relatively flimsy structures. Get a hurricane resistant door or strengthen your door with bracing kits that are available at many hardware stores.
Improve Your Home Security
Install a home security system that uses various sensor technologies for detecting entry into your home. These include sensors that detect motion and sensors that detect when windows and doors are opened. They should trigger an audible alarm and send an alert to the police or to a monitoring center. Dead-bolt locks should also be installed to increase security.
Replace Rubber Washing Machine Hoses
Rubber washing machine hoses are a frequent cause of water damage in homes because they wear down with time. Insurance companies are aware of this and many will offer a discount if you replace them with stainless steel burst-proof hoses. These are available at hardware stores and online.
Smoking is a primary cause of home fire damage and death in the United States. Insurance companies may charge smokers higher premiums because they are considered a higher risk than non-smokers. Of course, if other members of your family smoke, they will have to quit as well.
Install a Fire Alarm and Smoke Detectors
Get a fire alarm that uses both the ionization and the photoelectric sensors. Each sensor has its strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, getting a dual sensor alarm gives you the advantages of both types. The alarm system should be connected to the local fire department.
Place a smoke detector on each floor of your home and in every bedroom. Set up a maintenance schedule, in which you periodically test them and replace the batteries according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
These upgrades will make your home a safer place that is less prone to damage and theft. Inform your insurance agent about the new security measures and you may be pleased to find that your premiums will decrease.
How much could you save? Contact Garrett Insurance Agency, Inc. for more information on Kerrville home insurance.