Disaster proof your home

After disaster hits, homeowners need to assess the condition of their property. While damage can lead to a huge financial blow to homeowners' bank accounts, this destruction may be preventable. Through updating their property and reinforcing their home's existing features, homeowners can disaster-proof their house and save on home insurance.

Here are ways to strengthen homes to avoid damage:

Put in shatter-proof glass
During a storm with strong winds or other severe weather events, windows are at risk for breaking. This could lead to injuries and damage to property inside. To prevent insurance costs from glass-related destruction, homeowners should replace their old windows with shatter-resistant models, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Brace heating equipment and appliances
When earthquakes happen, it is easy for heavy-duty items to fall and potentially hit someone on the way down. Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety suggested homeowners brace equipment that is at risk for striking people, from heating equipment to appliances.

IBHS noted damage to a water heater could also result in fire and water hazards. Homeowners should consider reinforcing water heaters with materials they can find in any hardware store, including a 2 x 4 wood block, shelving brackets and plumber's strapping.

For appliances, IBHS stated appliances connected to water or gas lines are also at risk for tipping. The organization said homeowners should anchor these appliances using safety straps or cables.

Install a new roof
Damage to certain parts of the home make the structure more vulnerable to damage. This is especially true for roofs. Since roofs provide a first line of defense for water, debris, wind and other forces of nature, homeowners should make sure they are the best quality. If property owners notice their roof has signs of aging, such as broken or missing shingles, they can renovate their home and install a new covering. According to Bankrate, some homeowners insurance policies may not offer coverage for roofs if they are too old.

An updated roof not only ensures insurance coverage, but also lower rates depending on the type of roof. Jim Towns, an owner of an Allstate insurance agency, told Bankrate installing a new roof can reduce home insurance costs by between 10 and 20 percent.

The special characteristics of the roof designed to lower risks can also minimize insurance costs. These include hurricane straps and high-quality shingles.

CoverHound has search tools available to compare home insurance companies.

Favorite Articles