Home improvements to save money on your insurance

Homeowners often think about resale value when considering home improvements. But if you're not looking to sell anytime soon, there’s another good reason to remodel: you could save on your homeowner's insurance. Consumer Reports reveals the fixes that can get you big discounts on premiums.

Replacing the roof can be one of the most expensive house repairs. But a sound roof prevents even more expensive problems, like rot and structural damage caused by water leaks. Insurance companies know that. That’s why replacing an old roof can really pay off in home insurance discounts, ranging from 5-percent to a whopping 35-percent depending on where you live and what kind of roofing materials you choose.

No surprise, insurers are looking for upgrades that will improve safety and security. So it’s worth considering a home security system; you might save on premiums. Discounts may be more likely for systems connected to an outside monitoring service.

Upgrading your electrical system to safer standards isn’t glamorous, but it’s also a definite plus with insurance companies. CR found a company that gives up to an 8-percent discount to homeowners who upgrade their electrical and plumbing.

Add a stationary generator to keep everything humming in a power outage and you might also get a discount.

And don’t forget simple precautions like smoke detectors. They’re usually required by code. But installing certain fire and smoke alarms could get you a 2 to 6 percent insurance discount. Check with your insurance company to see what discounts are offered. The individual breaks may be small, but taken together they could add up to significant savings.

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