With the arrival of spring, you might be itching to start home improvement projects. Certain projects can reduce your home insurance costs, so consider focusing on those as you save money and improve your home.
Replace Washer Hoses
An inexpensive no-burst stainless steel hose from your local hardware store can reduce your home insurance premium by 10 percent. Attach it to your washing machine and reduce one of the most common causes of water damage.
Install a Sturdy Garage Door
Because strong seasonal winds and other stormy weather can destroy your garage door and everything in this structure, install a sturdy garage door. One that’s hurricane-resistant or fitted with horizontal and vertical braces can save you 10 percent on your insurance premium and potentially pay for itself within five years.
Hang Storm Shutters
Wind-resistant shutters could reduce your insurance costs by as much as 20 percent, and they’re particularly important if you live in a hurricane zone. Both metal and roll-down shutters protect your home.
Purchase Trouble Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two investments that reduce your home insurance premiums, but consider other trouble detectors, too. They provide plumbing failure warnings, detect furnace failure or alert you to frozen water pipes. Find leak detectors and other trouble detectors online or at your local hardware store.
Invest in Fire Extinguishers
For a savings of five percent, invest in fire extinguishers. Place one in the kitchen and on every floor or your home.
Invest in Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Place one in the kitchen and on every floor or your home.
Choose Fire-Resistant Siding
Save 20 percent on your insurance premium and give your home a new exterior appearance when you install fire-resistant siding. Metal, clapboard, fiber-cement and clapboards are all Class A fire-resistant materials that are available in a variety of colors and finish styles that meet your needs.
Inspect and Repair or Replace Your Roof
Because worn shingles on your current roof won’t do much to protect your home when windy weather arrive, consider replacing your roof. Select sturdy roofing materials like metal, shake or Class 4 modified asphalt shingles. Use six instead of four staples or nails per shingle for additional savings.
These spring home improvement projects can decrease your premium. You’ll also save money when you drop additional structure coverage, increase your deductible, make automatic payments and combine home and auto policies. Discuss the details with your insurance agent as you save money and protect yourself this season and throughout the year.
Heavy rains, floods, hurricanes can all threaten your home and family this spring. While no amount of preparation prevents volatile spring weather, a home emergency kit helps you prepare to be safe and survive.
A warm blanket, spare set of clothes and matches could make the difference in your survival. Pack these and all other essential supplies you might need in an airtight container that’s easily accessible.
Food and Water
The Red Cross suggests families store two weeks’ worth of food and water, which means you’ll need one gallon of water per person per day and a variety of easily prepared, non-perishable foods. Don’t forget to stock baby and pet food if necessary, too.
Minor bumps and bruises can occur as your family rushes to safety. Your first aid kit should include basic first aid supplies like bandages, antibacterial cream, burn cream and pain reliever. Pack prescription medications, hearing aid batteries and other specialized medications if needed.
Toilet paper, toothbrushes and diapers are essential. Hand sanitizer and bleach should also be included in your emergency kit.
You’ll want to stay connected to the outside world and signal for help, so include a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, your cell phone and chargers in your emergency kit. A flashlight and whistle for each person is also a good idea.
Whether you have to dig out of the basement or open a soup can, tools come in handy. Stock a multipurpose tool, work gloves, scissors, shovel, screwdriver set, hammer and manual can opener in your kit.
In the rush of an evacuation, you may forget to grab your purse or wallet. Copy important papers like your driver’s license, birth certificate, insurance policies and medical information. Store them, extra cash and your family’s emergency contact information in a waterproof bag to keep them safe.
This home emergency kit will play a big role in keeping you safe when volatile spring weather strikes. Update your insurance policies, too, as you stay protected and prepared.