Homeowners Insurance

After a Home Renovation Consumers Could Save $114 a Year on Average on Insurance Costs

After a Home Renovation Consumers Could Save $114 a Year on Average on Insurance Costs

Upgrading your roof, reinforcing your locks and installing a lightning rod can help keep your home secured while likely resulting in a small discount.
A roof after a recent renovation.
A roof after a recent renovation. Source: Getty Images

As Americans improve or renovate their homes, they often increase the value of their properties. Another financial benefit to home improvements is the impact that certain upgrades can have on home insurance costs. ValuePenguin found that the cost to insure a home drops $114 a year on average after certain renovations.

Savings after these improvements are small for most, but ValuePenguin found that discounts can be equal to as much as one-fifth of the average premium depending on location. In 10 states, savings are equal to at least 10% of the annual premium.

Key findings

On average, savings are modest after home renovations — but not always

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased time spent at home, spending on home improvement projects rose in 2020 compared to other years. Home improvement projects often raise the value of a home, and the data shows that certain improvements can cause a drop in the cost of home insurance — though the savings can be modest for many.

On average, the cost of home insurance drops by $114 a year after a series of renovations. While large projects can cost tens of thousands of dollars, there's still a financial incentive to take on smaller renovations. The savings ValuePenguin estimates stem from:

  • Installing stronger locks
  • Installing a lightning rod or similar protective device on the outside of the home
  • Upgrading the home's roof

Insurance savings after these home improvement projects translate to 7% of annual insurance premiums on average. This figure varies depending on the insurance provider and, ultimately, the location. In 10 states, annual savings from these renovations equal at least 10% of a family's home insurance premium.

After these improvements, residents in Wyoming, Nebraska and Texas see the largest decrease in the cost of homeowners insurance relative to the average cost of premiums. In all these states, savings correspond to at least 16% of the typical household's insurance cost without any improvements.

State
Average cost
Cost with improvements
Savings as percentage of premium
Wyoming$1,391$1,11820%
Nebraska$2,405$1,96118%
Texas$2,539$2,13516%
Iowa$1,371$1,16015%
Colorado$3,348$2,85615%
Missouri$1,935$1,66614%
Tennessee$2,914$2,53413%
South Dakota$2,021$1,81410%
Minnesota$2,091$1,88210%
Kentucky$1,736$1,56410%
Arizona$1,367$1,2389%
Montana$2,562$2,3279%
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Arkansas wasn't included in this study due to data issues.

In terms of gross savings, Colorado boasts the highest post-renovation cost decreases, with reductions coming close to $500 a year on average. In Nebraska and Texas, savings exceed $400 a year for a typical family. But these savings, as the following table shows, aren't universal.

Homeowners in Vermont may be the least incentivized by their insurers to remodel their homes, given the small average savings of less than $10 a year. At the same time, people who live in states where the average post-renovation savings are less than average should shop around and compare the cost of home insurance and discounts from multiple providers. Because insurers assign rates differently, consumers may find a better deal in their location that's not necessarily reflected by the entire state's average cost reduction.

State
Difference for renovations
Colorado$492
Nebraska$444
Texas$405
Tennessee$379
Wyoming$273
Missouri$269
Montana$235
Iowa$211
Minnesota$210
Kansas$208
South Dakota$207
Kentucky$173
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Arkansas wasn't included in this study due to data issues.

Most people don't need to put off getting a pool strictly for insurance concerns

Some consumers may be worried about how installing a swimming pool could impact their homeowners insurance rates. Most homeowners insurance plans not only cover swimming pools — albeit, with some caveats — but adding a pool adds only a small amount to most premiums as long as the property holder hasn't had any personal liability claims made against them.

A swimming pool adds $12 a year on average to a homeowner's insurance premium.

The added cost to home insurance for swimming pool owners is only $1 a month on average, but as with other aspects of insurance, this charge varies by location. For instance, in the most expensive state for owning a swimming pool — Tennessee — putting in a pool adds $99 a year to a policy. While Tennessee is the most expensive state to have a pool, as well as the only state where the cost of insurance increases by more than $50 a year, Rhode Island, California, Idaho and Missouri close out the top five priciest states for a pool.

State
Cost of adding a swimming pool
Tennessee$99
Rhode Island$46
California$39
Idaho$33
Missouri$32
Ohio$26
Mississippi$26
Massachusetts$23
Washington$23
Oregon$21
Utah$19
Indiana$18
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Arkansas wasn't included in this study due to data issues.

It's common for pools not to carry a cost increase. There are 16 states where insurers add no additional cost to a standard policy for homeowners who put in a pool. Among these are states where the temperatures are often high and pools are common, such as Arizona, Florida and Texas.

States where adding a pool adds $0 to the cost of home insurance

  • Texas
  • Wyoming
  • Minnesota
  • Kentucky
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • District of Columbia
  • Alaska
  • South Carolina
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Alabama
  • Hawaii
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Vermont

The fact that pools carry no additional insurance costs in these states suggests that their presence could be priced into the cost of a policy in some areas where they're extremely common. Alternatively, in the case of Alaska, insurers may view pools as so uncommon that they do not warrant a markup.

When do pools affect home insurance premiums the most? While installing a pool has only a minimal effect on the cost of home insurance for many people, being the subject of lawsuits related to a pool can raise a policyholder's insurance premium significantly. In the past, ValuePenguin has discovered that having just one liability claim can raise rates by an average of almost $400 a year for some homeowners.

Coastal residents could see some initial savings after hurricane-proofing their homes, but larger savings may come later

In coastal states that have experienced at least one Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-designated hurricane disaster from 2010 to 2021, efforts by homeowners to reinforce their homes to prevent damage from storms produce yearly savings of $42 on average on home insurance premiums.

Property owners in Georgia could see the largest savings from adding storm windows and changing the connectors that join their roof and their home's walls to hurricane ties. Georgians who choose not to fully renovate their homes but who execute hurricane-proofing modifications could save $95 a year on average on their home insurance.

State
Savings from hurricane-proofing
Georgia$95
South Carolina$71
New York$70
Rhode Island$59
North Carolina$59
Maine$55
Texas$54
Louisiana$54
Maryland$51
Virginia$48
Connecticut$44
Massachusetts$43
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Arkansas wasn't included in this study due to data issues.

In most states, there's not a drastic change to the cost of homeowners insurance for policyholders who perform hurricane-proofing modifications to their homes. While the payoff might be more evident in some areas relative to the statewide average, hurricane-proofing also offers long-term benefits that the direct savings might obscure.

By outfitting their home with hazard-mitigation devices, homeowners could lessen the power of weaker storms to inflict damage to their homes. If successful, these efforts could take away the need to make claims and ultimately keep rates lower over time.

Methodology

ValuePenguin gathered rate information for more than 1 million homes in every state except Arkansas before and after a series of home renovation projects. A fully renovated home included:

  • A newly remodeled roof
  • Lightning protection devices installed on the home's exterior
  • Doors outfitted with dead bolts
  • A deck built onto the home
  • A swimming pool

We performed a separate analysis to test how reinforcing a home against hurricanes would change the cost of insurance. In areas that experienced at least one FEMA-designated hurricane disaster from 2010 to 2021, a renovated home included a new roof, hurricane ties and impact-resistant glass windows without any of the previously mentioned add-ons.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only, as your quotes may be different.