Design choices that impact home fire insurance, Fire-safe building advice, Real estate H&S tips, Safe property guide

Renovations and Design Choices That Will Impact Your Home Fire Insurance

20 December 2022

Design choices that impact home fire insurance roof
image : jpchret via Freepik

Getting ready to renovate your home is always an exciting time, but you need to make sure your insurance policy is ready for the changes you are about to make. The renovations and the design choices you make can have a major impact on your fire insurance premiums. Before you get started renovating, you should always communicate major changes with your home insurance provider. Failing to do so could put your coverage at risk if anything were to happen. Also, it is often the case that the changes you make can affect how much you should pay in premiums as well as having an affect on appropriate coverage limits.

Fortunately, those changes can go both ways. While some renovations will add to your costs, others can reduce your insurance premiums as you reduce the risk of major damage to your home.

Maintain and Replace Your Roof

The roof is a regular point of contention with home insurance providers in that it behooves homeowners to keep their roofs well-maintained. The older your roof, the higher your insurance premiums are likely to get. When you replace and upgrade an old roof, you might qualify for discounts.

By the same token, neglecting roof maintenance can also jeopardize your home insurance coverage. If there is damage to your home related to your roof, such as from a storm or a spreading wildfire, and the insurance company learns that your roof was out-of-date, they may deny coverage altogether.

If that happens, a fire property damage lawyer may be your best option for contesting the insurance company’s decision. In order to avoid the situation entirely, it helps to stay on top of roof maintenance.

fire insurance sprinklers for building

Add a Fire Sprinkler System

A fire sprinkler system can save homeowners considerably on their premiums. Fire sprinkler systems may not stop the risk of fires starting, but they can prevent fire damage from spreading. Some systems also automatically contact emergency services and can qualify for further discounts.

Other alarm systems, such as home security, can qualify you for discounts as well, as home insurance also covers theft.

Update Your Electrical Wiring

Addressing your electrical wiring can reduce risks at the source. Old wiring is a major risk factor for fires and upgrading your system protects your home. In some cases, the insurance company may even require you to update an old wiring system to qualify for insurance in the first place.

Do Solar Panel Systems Increase Fire Risks?

Solar panels are slowly beginning to catch on in private residences. As more homeowners install solar panels on their rooftops, there is the question of what that will do to your home insurance.

Fortunately, solar panels do not significantly increase fire risks as long as they are properly installed by an expert.

However, installing solar panels will increase the replacement costs involved in an insurance claim. Your insurer will likely want to know about the condition of your roof before the panels are installed, and you may have higher premiums due to the increased replacement cost in the event of a loss.

Renovating your home can add to the costs of your home insurance policy, but if you make choices that reduce your risks or improve your home’s resilience, you can qualify for discounts on your premiums while at the same time making your home safer.

Comments on this guide to Design choices that impact home fire insurance article are welcome.

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