Homeowner insurance seems to get more expensive every year. The apparent randomness, increased frequency and/or severity of raging storms, flash floods and wildfires are sure to add challenges to an industry we rely upon to help us recover from unexpected disasters. But weather is not the only reason that your premiums may go up again this year. Inflation is another factor, as the cost of building materials and labor to repair or replace damaged structures continues to rise. Hidden costs are also rising, because insurance companies need to buy “reinsurance” for protection against unexpected losses of their own.

So, how can a homeowner mitigate rising premiums? First, understand your current coverage. Ask questions if anything is unclear. Make sure you are not paying for something you don’t want or need. Next, research articles and compare various insurers, agents and brokers. With better information, you can shop for a better policy.

Finally, beyond reducing premiums, consult industry experts about reducing your own exposure to risk. To paraphrase an old saying, “An ounce of prevention could be worth a pound of cure.”