Oregon Homeowner Bill of Rights

In January 2006, Senate Bill 118 took effect to protect homeowners from unfair treatment by insurance companies.

It offers several important protections regarding homeowners insurance. In a nutshell, insurance companies must disclose to consumers if they use a loss history database when underwriting homeowner insurance. This is similar to a credit history for a person, however, instead of looking at your credit history, and they look at your your insurance claims history.

There are some important protections included with this bill that are worth noting:

  • Insurance companies are limited to only viewing the previous 5 years of a consumer's claim history. This limits the time a consumer can be penalized for past losses.
  • Inquiries for information are no longer automatically treated as a claim. This way, consumers can get more information before they decide to file a claim with the homeowners insurance company.
  • The only reasons a policy may be canceled by the insurance company in the middle of the policy term are the following: policyholder fraud, misrepresentation, non-payment, a violation of terms or conditions, and substantial increases in risk of loss after insurance coverage has been issued. An insurance company may not cancel or refuse to renew policies for the first claim in a five-year period. This protects consumers from losing their homeowners insurance for filing a claim.
  • Insurance companies must provide at least 30 days' notice of policy renewal or non renewal. This allows consumers to find insurance from a different company if their policy is not renewed.
  • Homeowners insurance must not be canceled, raise rates, or not renewed a policy due to claims made by previous ownership while the cause of those claims are being negotiated.