When it comes to owning a home, one of the inevitable costs you have to face each year is homeowner's insurance. This is a cost you will have as long as you own your home if you care about protecting the investment you made. When it comes to your homeowner's insurance, there are steps you can take to keep the premium rate reasonable.

Smart Strategy #1: Always Shop Around

First, you should always shop around. Don't just go with one insurance company. Each company weighs the various factors they use to come up with your premium amount differently, which is why you should compare the different rates. This is easy to do with many online companies that allow you to easily get and compare rates from a variety of different companies all at once. This will allow you to see if you are actually getting the best possible rate.

Smart Strategy #2: Check Out the Insurance Company's Ratings

Second, you are going to want to check out the insurance company's ratings to see what type of service they are known to provide. There are large agencies, such as Moody's, that give insurance companies ratings, which allows you to see how the insurance company handles claims.

You can also check in with your stat's insurance commissioner to find out what type of complaints the insurance company gets, and if that is above or below normal for an agency of that size. You want to make sure you find a good and fair company to protect your home.

Smart Strategy #3: Increase Your Deductible

One of the simplest ways to keep your insurance rates under control is by increasing your deductible. A larger deductible will lower your premium.

Also, with a larger deductible, you are less likely to call your insurance company for small claims that are below your deductible amount, savings you money by reducing the claims that you make. Make sure your emergency savings will cover your deductible costs, so if you need to use your insurance, you will be able to do so.

Smart Strategy #4: Always Check on Discounts

Finally, ask your insurance agent to go over all the discounts that are available to you and make sure that you are getting all the ones you qualify for. If you have made any upgrades to your home, check and see if those upgrades will help you save money on your insurance. For example, you may be able to get a discount for extra smoke detectors or for buying energy-efficient appliances.

When it comes to being smart with your insurance company, you need to shop around, increase your deductible, and check to make sure you get all your discounts. Always research the insurance company, and make sure you work with a company that has strong ratings and customer service.