For many of us, our home is our most valuable possession. If your home is damaged or destroyed, insurance can help you repair or rebuild your home and replace damaged possessions. The time to consider an unthinkable disaster is before it happens to you.

The main purpose of homeowner’s insurance is to protect you against losses you cannot afford. Few people have the financial resources to rebuild their homes. In addition to protecting your home and possessions, homeowner’s insurance also provides liability coverage to protect you from financial ruin if someone is injured on your property and then sues for damages.

With all this in mind, a homeowner’s insurance policy consists of coverage for your dwelling and your personal property. It also includes liability insurance which pays for injuries to other people or damages to their property accidentally caused by you, members of your family, or your pets. You also can buy several types of additional insurance for property that is not listed in your homeowner’s policy or for perils not covered — such as flood — for which you need a separate policy. This can be accomplished by either buying a separate policy or by adding an endorsement or rider to your existing policy.

Tips for Keeping Your Rates Low

There are some simple steps you can take to reduce your homeowner’s premiums.

  • Raise Your Deductible – A deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance starts to pay for your loss. Since the purpose of insurance is to pay for the losses you cannot afford, raise your deductible to a limit that you could handle in case of a loss.
  • New Home – If your home is less than 10 years old, you may be eligible for a new home discount.
  • Make Your Home Safer – You may be eligible for a discount if you have a burglar and fire alarms systems and/or sprinkler systems. Monitored systems will earn a bigger discount than unmonitored systems.
  • Construction Material – When you buy a home, look for fire-resistant construction such as brick, masonry, or rock. You may pay a lower premium for hail-resistant roofs such as those made of concrete tile.  Conversely, wood roofs may bring a surcharge. Check the location of the nearest fire department, and avoid buying in flood prone areas.