One of the best ways to potentially bring your home insurance rates down is also one of the best ways to improve your home: Make all those small and medium-sized fixes you've been meaning to make.
Here are a few quick fixes that may help homeowners in Springfield, Holyoke, and Northampton pay lower premiums:
- Tear down old structures on your property. If you have a tool shed, a dog house or something that's falling to pieces in your backyard, you can save some money on your insurance by getting rid of that item (or those items). If you've got a friend with a truck, now's the time to call in that favor. Those old structures are probably covered on your policy, so they really serve no purpose besides being a liability right now.
- Install those reinforcements. Adding storm shutters or retrofitting your home to be more earthquake-resistant may sound difficult. But given the size of your home and when it was built, it might not be as taxing as you expect. Installing storm shutters might only take you an afternoon. Swapping out your old door for one that's hurricane resistant can take mere minutes if you're handy with a screwdriver.
- Clear old trees, branches and bushes. An old tree can fall on your home and do a lot of damage. And old branches and dead bushes are a fire hazard. A one-time payment to a landscaping company is worth the investment.
- Patch up the roof. The roof is one of the most important parts of the home when it comes to insurance. It's sort of like motorcycle gear: Every piece is important, but the helmet matters most of all. An old roof might need to be completely replaced, while newer roofs might only need a patch-job here and there. Take a look at what you're working with and bring your roof up to spec.
- Do some Spring Cleaning. If you first bought your policy years ago, chances are, your inventory still covers old couches and chairs you've long since stuffed into the garage or old DVD. Get rid of what you don't need and update your inventory.
Practicing regular maintenance is one of the best ways to help keep your home insurance rates low. Take care of your home and you might just see the benefits.