It’s obviously vital to ensure that your home is as safe and secure a place as it can possibly be, from the point of view of your family’s and your personal wellbeing. However, the same factors also influence how much you pay to insure your home, and they can reduce the amount you pay for your premium each month, as well as drive it up. That’s why it’s extremely important to consider the effect that any renovation, particularly something like installing replacement windows, will have on your household insurance premium.
What You Need to Consider Before Installing Replacement Windows
Insurers won’t provide cover unless they see that you provide at least a minimum amount of security. There is no fixed standard, as burglary rates vary from one area of Toronto to another, and different types of cover come with different requirements. Many policies require, for example, that certain types of window are fitted with particular types of locks. It is possible, if you ignore your policy when installing replacement windows, that you could actually invalidate your insurance by not fitting the required locks onto the new windows. This is definitely something you should look out for, along with other issues, such as:
- You Can Reduce Your Premiums by Providing Higher Security – If you’ve decided to replace single-glazed windows with double-glazing replacement windows, or if you’ve installed toughened glass where there was previously only ordinary glass, you not only reduce the chances of someone breaking into your home and stealing your money and valuables – you also reduce the likelihood of your insurer taking it from you. If your insurer won’t reduce your premiums after you have made improvements to security, it’s worth looking around for alternative policies, and making it known to your current insurer that you are doing so.
- One Rule Is Not for All – This is a major consideration if you are replacing one type of window with another, as insurance policies tend to specify exactly what types of locks need to be on which windows. In addition to that, the policy may vary in what it accepts for different window locations – the requirements for a bedroom window on the second floor, for example, are likely to be lower than those for patio replacement windows or French windows.
- Know Your Locks – Insurers love five-lever mortice locks, so if you have the opportunity to upgrade any locks, this is usually a good choice. It’s great for your own peace of mind, too – it has five locking levers which drive into pockets in the window where the lock is fitted. Some policies may require you to have these locks fitted on all lower level exits and windows in order to qualify for a discount. Next best to these are multi-point locking systems, which use three locking points. Regular key-operated window locks are a basic requirement for all opening windows and provide the bare minimum in terms of security.
- Be Aware of Special Cases – As mentioned earlier, policies can be very specific in their requirements – that’s why they are often very long documents. Non-compliance with just one small item can invalidate your insurance, however, so it is important to be aware of all items which apply to you, and ensure you satisfy their requirements. One example of this is French windows, which, in addition to key-operated locks, are usually required to have key-operated mortice rack bolts on the upper and lower parts of both doors.
Whichever area of Toronto you live in, and whether you’re making minor repairs or having completely new replacement windows installed, it’s definitely worth considering whether you will be able to reduce your insurance premiums in the process.