Home improvement projects make homes more attractive and valuable, but many homeowners do not realize that some projects may lower their insurance rates as well. Anyone planning to improve their property by replacing the exterior materials should contact their agent once the project is complete. All companies are different, but many insurers are able to give their clients discounts when certain materials are used on the home.
Replace the Roof
The roof is one of the most important parts of the home because it protects the entire interior of the house. Roofing materials that are fire- and impact- resistant are considered safer than other products and are a factor that may help to lower insurance rates. In addition, any new roof is less likely to leak or be damaged in a storm than one that has been in place for decades. Discounts are not guaranteed, and some exceptions may apply. For example, an insurer may only offer discounts when the initial roof has been removed and not just covered over by new roofing materials.
Install New Siding
Certain types of siding, like fiber-cement siding, are potential money-saving options. Because this type of siding is a cement mixture, it is fire-resistant and termite-proof. Many insurance companies consider this material to be a masonry product and charge less for homes that have this durable option. Replacing the siding will not always lower rates and may even cause insurance premiums to rise if the wrong material is used. EIFS, a synthetic stucco, is a siding that is known as a mold risk because it can allow moisture into the home and potentially trap it there. Homes with poor ventilation or in very humid areas are especially at risk.
Forgo Expensive Materials
Some high-end products offer a lot of durability and safety but may not lead to any discounts. Homes with products like brick and stone exteriors and clay roof tiles are more likely to cost more to insure because replacing them would be very expensive. Homeowners that currently have materials like this may be able to scale down to a good quality, but less luxurious product and save money, too.
If potentially saving money on homeowners insurance is part of the reason for a home improvement project, it it wise to contact the insurance company first to determine what materials will accomplish this goal. Keep all receipts or contracts detailing the materials used in the project just in case the insurance company requires documented proof of the materials used.