Insurance and Finance

What Home Safety Hazards Are Affecting Your Insurance?

By Mitch Gruen 5.6.19

Making the effort to improve your home’s safety doesn’t just benefit you and your family — it can also help to lower your property insurance premiums. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Mark Pruitt helps to lay out some common home safety hazards, and what you can do to keep your family safe.

Old Power Outlets

Older homes may have wiring that presents electricity-related home safety hazards. Older homes often have two-pronged power outlets, which lack the modern third prong that absorbs surges of electricity. Two-pronged outlets limit the appliances you can use and carry risk of fire, shock and electrocution. Updating your power outlets will help keep your family safe and your devices protected from power surges.

Fuse Systems

Older homes may have a fuse system instead of modern circuit breakers. “Typically, that fuse is just not as reliable as a breaker,” says Pruitt.

Your insurance company may underwrite homes with fuses and outdated wiring at a higher premium. Upgrading your electrical systems can help you save 10 to 20 percent on your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance policy. Any upgrades must be done by a licensed electrician who can provide your Agent with documentation of the work performed.

No Alarms

A home security system can help to keep your family safe and secure. It can also help you save on your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance policy. In order to meet the requirements for the discount, the alarm system must be monitored, which means it is set up to automatically contact the authorities in the event of an emergency.

If you’re not home when a fire starts, it’s reassuring to know that you have a system in place that can automatically contact the fire department. You’ll also have increased peace of mind on vacations, knowing that the police will be notified in the event of a break-in.

Texas Farm Bureau members are eligible for $850 in free equipment from ADT.

Hail-Vulnerable Roofing

If you live in a hail-prone area of Texas, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance offers a significant discount to members with a Class 4 impact-resistant roof. The roof must be tiled with shingles that meet UL 2218 standards to qualify for the discount, and the roofer will need to complete an impact-resistant roof certification form. This form will have the info for the roofer, the insurance, and the details on the shingle product installed. The roofer and the Agent must both sign it. The savings on your premium can be significant — for Pruitt, his upgraded roof paid for itself in the first year.

Freestanding Fireplaces

Freestanding fireplaces and stoves can pose a fire hazard. Make sure you have them installed by a licensed professional and keep the documentation for your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent.

If you purchase an older home that has a freestanding fireplace or stove in place, your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent may do an inspection. If the fireplace is deemed to be a home safety hazard, you may be unable to qualify for a policy until the fireplace is removed or upgraded. Pruitt tells me these issues are more commonly found in older homes — newer construction is almost always up to code and qualifies for a policy.

Call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent today for a 360 Review to learn how you can better manage home safety hazards, and make sure you are getting the right coverage for the right price. Learn more about home features that could impact your insurance.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2019 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance