This article has been updated from a previous version.
Home maintenance is required all year round. Nevertheless, spring and early summer are popular times to inspect for any damage that might have occurred in the colder months and prevent issues for the years to come.
After the winter thaw, survey your house for damage and make any repairs as quickly as possible. Acting fast can stop things from getting worse and minimize costs. Despite what some people think, you can’t turn to insurance to pay for more extensive home maintenance projects.
Home insurance covers insured perils, such as fire and theft of personal belongings. In fact, if you have not maintained your property, your home insurance provider can have reason to deny your claim or cancel your policy altogether.
Fortunately, the work can pay off. A well-maintained home is your ticket to a lower home insurance premium. From upgrading your plumbing to repairing your roof, these maintenance projects can improve the structure and safety of your home and increase its value.
Here are three home maintenance projects that can score you a better home insurance rate.
1. Upgrading heating, electrical, and plumbing systems
Upgrading your home’s various heating, electrical, and plumbing systems may lower your insurance premium. Newer methods pose less risk to insurance companies since they tend to be safer and less likely to cause damage.
Often, furnaces and other appliances have a lifespan and, for this reason, are not covered under your standard home insurance policy (unless you have bought additional coverage from the manufacturer or installation service). Before making any upgrades, talk to your provider about how upgrading your home’s various systems will impact your premium, and consider your options.
Most standard insurance policies are very particular about flood damage. Your insurance provider may cover water damage to your home, but it depends on where the leak originates. For instance, if your dishwasher breaks down and springs a leak, you may be covered. On the other hand, melting snow that enters your home likely won’t be.
It is essential homeowners take measures to prevent problems from occurring. Talk to your insurance provider to reduce your home’s susceptibility to water damage and increase your chances of being covered should anything happen.
Homeowners may be able to purchase overland flooding protection or coverage for specific perils to enhance their home insurance policy.
3. Roof repair
Your roof plays a significant role in protecting your home. Notify your insurance company if you plan to make repairs or choose to replace your roof, particularly if you change the style. The materials’ strength, susceptibility to fire, and expected lifespan will likely affect your home insurance rate.
While your home insurance will not cover general wear and tear, storm damage — typically from wind or hail — might be covered under your policy. Say your roof suffers damage under the weight of snow. In this case, your coverage will vary from plan to plan due to the preventable nature of the leaky roof.
If your roof is old, your home insurance may refuse to provide coverage until you make the repairs or offer coverage at a depreciated value. Check your roof after any major storms and in the spring. This regular maintenance can ensure you keep your home insurance coverage.
Increasing your home’s replacement cost
You pay home insurance on your home’s replacement value rather than what it’s worth on the market. Although maintaining your home can prevent damage and save you money in the long run, some projects also increase the cost of rebuilding it.
As a result, certain projects could cause your insurance premium to increase. Your roof is a perfect example. A new roof may now be deemed less of a risk, but better materials can impact the assessed value of your home.
Before starting any renovations, talk to your insurance provider to learn how home upgrades will impact your home insurance rate. Discounts for improving and upgrading your home may outweigh the increased replacement cost.
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