Oregon Homeowners Insurance FAQs

Q. How Much A Homeowner's Insurance Do I Need?

Put simply, you need enough homeowners insurance to cover a complete loss of your home and possessions. Think of it this way: if an earthquake destroyed your house how much would it cost to replace it? Keep in mind, that you only need enough insurance to replace your home and not necessarily the land beneath it. While the state of Oregon does not require homeowners insurance, most mortgage companies require that you have at least enough to cover the remainder of your loan. Also, consider getting enough liability coverage for accidents that may occur on your property.

Q. What Is a Deductible?

A. A deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your own pocket before the insurance company will pay for damages. Most insurance companies require at least $500 deductible; however if you can pay at least a $1,000 deductible, you can usually reduce your insurance monthly payments -- called premiums -- by 25 percent.

Q. How Can I Lower My Premiums?

A. Many insurance companies lower your premiums if you have a security device installed. also, if you purchase your auto insurance from the same company that you purchase your homeowners insurance, you may get a discount. Also, if you have an older home, it is worth looking into seeing what it would take to retrofit your home to better withstand earthquakes. In addition, making your plumbing, heating and electrical systems more modern will reduce the risk of fire damage.

Q. Is It Possible To Check The Insurance History Of My Home?

A. Yes. When you are looking at a home to purchase, check the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report. With this report, you can check the insurance claim history of the property, which will help you understand the problems the House may have. Also, remember that flood insurance and earthquake damage are not covered by a standard homeowner's policy. It is possible, however, to get a separate earthquake policy for most insurance companies. and, if you buy a house in a flood prone area, you'll need to pay for flood insurance which averages about $400 per year. You can learn more from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's web site.

Q. Can My Credit Record Affect My Insurance Premium?

A. In the state of Oregon, yes. It is important to check your credit rating on a periodic basis and fix the errors that may be on it. Also, pay your bills on time, and keep your credit limits as low as possible. Your insurance representative should tell you if your credit record is negatively affecting your premium. You can find additional tips to lower home insurance costs on HomeSecurity.net.