Insurers offer discounts either as a means of encouraging people to be more careful or to reflect their existing efforts to mitigate their risk; helping prevent claims lowers premiums in the long term. The efforts you take to secure your home against risks can often result in discounts to your home insurance premium.
Some aspects of home security are built in to your housing choices. For example, if you live in an area of high crime or vandalism, you may expect that to be reflected in premium costs. Conversely, living close by your local fire department may result in some reduction in your premium. It is pretty easy to understand why this might be the case. There are an estimated 374,000 home fires a year resulting in over $7 billion in losses. Anything you can do to prevent fires, or identify and respond to them quickly can be helpful in reducing losses and some efforts may translate into credits or discounts. .
There are similar benefits to protecting your roof from damage. In our part of the State, hail is less a concern for your Washington home insurance than wind, but the roofing industry is producing more impact-resistant roofing materials and some insurers have begun to offer rate discounts to homeowners as an incentive to invest in roofing that is resistant to being blown off as well as damaged by impact.
Automatic detection devices of various kinds can also qualify you for discounts on your insurance premiums. Smoke detectors and alarms have been around for a long time and these systems together with early response systems like sprinkler systems are valuable in reducing the cost of claims from fire. Home security systems ranging from deadbolt locks to alarm systems and 24-hour monitoring or security guards may impact your premiums as well, although at the higher end of this effort, premium reductions likely only offset the costs of implementation.
More recently, new types of sensors have reached the market which can reduce the probability of harm from water damage and gas leaks. There are passive water sensors available that test for the presence of moisture and sound an alarm when water is detected. A more expensive variation is a sensor that actually turns off the water source when a leak is detected. Gas detectors are generally passive – like a carbon monoxide detector but whole house systems can be installed.
If you need help understanding how these home security investments may impact your home insurance premiums, give us a call at Homer Smith Insurance. We can help you find out which investments may bring a return on your home safety and your home insurance bill.