If you live in an older home, you might be debating the pros and cons associated with the cost to upgrade some areas of your home.
Did you know upgrading certain aspects on your home can have a direct impact on your home insurance premiums? Many companies will offer discounted rates on improvements that update areas that are old and hazardous.
This article will examine three different home improvements that can be made that will not only enhance your quality of life in an older home, but will also be smiled on by your home insurance provider. Check also this post about the cost of basement renovations.
In older homes, an outdated electrical system can be at risk of failure and can also be a safety hazard. What would classify as updated electrical, though?!
Starting from the outside of the house and going in, the service entry cable is the line that goes from the overhead wires outside your home, to your electrical meter, and then to the main panel inside your home. There isn’t much you can do about the overhead wire but the part of the cable that iss exposed to the elements by your electrical meter could be replaced and/or have protection put around it to shelter it from weathering.
If you have a fuse box, that is a sign of outdated electrical. To update your fuse box, you should look at replacing it with a circuit breaker panel. Due to the amount of technology and devices that need plugging in, a circuit breaker panel is designed to withstand greater volumes of current than a fuse box. For reference, think back to the technology and volume of products that has come to market in the last 20-40 years. We have come a long way since a fuse box was deemed as a serviceable option.
Another thing that separates a fuse box from a circuit breaker panel is the types of wiring associated with each. Most older wiring associated with fuse boxes does not include a ground conductor. Updating to a circuit breaker panel, you’ll also want to update to wiring that is compatible with said newer system.
From there, you’ll want to replace the switches, outlets and fixtures to accommodate your updated wiring and new technology. This helps ensure your outlets can handle the voltage associated with your electronics and devices that will be plugged into them.
Lastly, if you do these upgrades yourself, you absolutely should get your fixes inspected by a journeyman electrician. An electrician can verify that the updates made were done correctly, as well as fine tune any shortcomings from a do-it-yourself adventure.
A thorough update to an old home’s electrical can save you up to 15% on your home insurance policy.
The plumbing in your home, typically, is only noticed when something goes wrong.
If your home is 30+ years old, unless updates have already been made, it would be a good idea to weigh the cost vs benefit of updating your pipes. Galvanized iron or steel pipes can have zinc build-up collect which can corrode pipes. This combination means your pipes can simultaneously be at risk of leaks, as well as build-up that can reduce water flow. On top of those issues, water quality will be low as metal tends to get into the water, often affecting taste and colour.
Another type of outdated piping you may see is polybutylene piping, which came into the market after steel pipes. These polybutylene pipes were deemed an upgrade, in large part because of how easy they are to install and their low cost, but more pressing issues came from this ‘’upgraded’’ product than its predecessor. Water quality dipped as the polybutylene pipes reacted adversely to water treatment chemicals. The polybutylene pipes also cracked and would break even quicker than iron or steel pipes. In fact, it is now against building codes to install polybutylene pipes in Canada.
Other areas of the home that could benefit from updated piping include the hook-ups for washing machines, water heaters and dishwashers. When you replace the piping, you should also replace the coverings that connect the pipe to the appliance.
Similar to a thorough update on your home’s electrical equipment, updating your plumbing can save you up to 15% on your home insurance policy.
Install a Sump Pump or Backflow Valve
Having a sump pump or backflow valve means your home is better equipped to deal with excess water.
Sump pumps are used to remove water that has already accumulated. Homes where the water table is higher than the foundation of the home are susceptible to having water collect in the basement. A sump pump is able to remove this water and keep the area dry.
A backflow valve prevents unwanted water from entering your system. If there was ever a reverse flow in either the water or the sewer (like during a flood) a backflow valve will prevent this storm water from backing up into your drains and plumbing system.
Installing a sump pump or backflow valve can save you up to 15% on your home insurance policy.
Purchasing a Home Insurance Policy Through Surex
The reason each of these home improvements ‘’CAN save you UP TO 15% on your home insurance policy’’ and isn’t a blanket-term ‘’WILL save you 15% on your home insurance policy’’ is because not all insurance companies will offer these exact savings for each improvement.
Purchasing a home insurance policy through Surex means you’re purchasing a policy through Canada’s fastest growing online insurance brokerage. Surex works with over 10 insurance providers, so you don’t have to shop around to make sure you get rewarded for the improvements you’ve made. We have partnered with companies that offer these home improvement discounts.
In less than 10 minutes, you can complete an online quote and see all the companies willing to offer you home insurance, and for what price. Our 100% transparent pricing model means you see the offers, then your personal broker will verify those offers for you (to make sure you’re getting all the discounts available to you). From there, you can sign for your documents online through e-signature and have instant proof of insurance.