Homeowners insurance is not a cookie-cutter purchase. Your individual insurance needs will vary greatly based on your home’s size, age, construction, and safety features, just to name a few.

Still, there are a few universal traits you should look for in an insurance company. When we set out to find the best homeowners insurance in Oregon, we looked for providers that had great customer service, a wide variety of coverage options, affordable premiums, and a strong financial reputation. We spent hours combing through data to find the best insurance companies The Beaver State had to offer.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Oregon

Freshome’s Recommendations: Amica, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, GEICO.

When we researched companies to recommend, we had strict criteria: J.D. Power satisfaction ratings of three or more stars, A.M. Best financial strength of B+ or higher, and a favorable Moody’s and S&P score. After all, in the event you need to make a claim, you want to be positive that your insurance provider will be able to pay out.For our quotes, we chose a 2,300-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath home in Portland, built in 1918. It’s a single-family home with a finished basement. The exterior is wood with a composite roof type. We chose dwelling coverage worth $300,000; we based our number on the total cost to rebuild the home with the current market value of materials. Why didn’t we use the actual price we paid for the home? Because the current price of the home is not a good reflection of the cost to rebuild the home. When a home is purchased, the home and the land are bought. In the event of a loss, only the home would need to be rebuilt.

Our Quotes
State Farm $1,176 Per Year
Liberty Mutual $1,236 Per Year
Amica $1,428 Per Year

Keep in mind that quotes wary vildly depending on a home’s specifications. The quote that was cheapest for us might not be the cheapest for you.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

When you begin to gather quotes for homeowners insurance, there’s a lot of information you need to have handy. You will need to know many specifics about the house, including its construction materials, location, the age of the house, distance to nearest police and fire stations, and information about you and the other occupants of the house.

When receiving your free quote, you get a general idea of what you would owe — but it is important to contact the insurance carriers as well so they can give you a more specific quote. Additionally, you can use this time to get to know the companies and specific agents better. It’s important to build a trusting relationship with an agent you like.

We looked for insurance that covered the structure of the house along with its contents. This meant we were looking for an HO3 policy, the most common type of homeowners insurance in the US. An HO3 policy is a hybrid “open perils” policy and “named perils” policy. A peril is defined as an event that causes damage/loss to your home or belongings. The structure of the house is covered by an open perils policy, which means that you’ll be covered for any event that occurs except for those explicitly excluded. Your belongings are covered by a named perils policy, so it’s just the opposite. You’re only covered in the event of a peril that is specifically listed on your policy.

Additionally, the HO3 policy includes liability insurance that covers accidents that occur on your property involving someone other than the occupants of the house. If the mailman gets bit by your dog, the liability section of the insurance will cover this. The liability insurance can also cover the mailman’s medical bills, up to a certain amount. Each of these components comes with a limit, which can be increased or decreased based upon your needs. Changing these limits will affect the amount of your premium.

Why Are Oregon’s Rates So Low?

Oregon has one of the lowest insurance rates in the country. The low rates are easy to explain: the crime rate in Oregon is below the national average, the temperatures are mild, and incidence of extreme weather is lower than the national average as well. All of these factors contribute to a lower premium rates. The average monthly premium is around $48.

The lowest premiums were found in Gresham, Lake Oswego, Keizer, Tigard, and Medford. The more expensive premiums are found in Portland, Lakeview, Enterprise, Molalla, and Clatskanie.

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Is water damage covered?

Certain types of water damage are typically covered by homeowners insurance, and others are not. There is no standard homeowners policy that includes flood insurance, though. If you live in a floodplain, you can purchase flood insurance at an additional cost through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Does the kind of dog I own affect my insurance?

It might. There are certain types of dogs that insurers feel are more dangerous than others. If they feel that the dog you own is more likely to cause harm, then an insurer could raise your premium or refuse to add your dog to the insurance plan.

If I make a lot of claims, will my insurance premium be affected?

It could. Each time you make an insurance claim, the insurance company reserves the right to raise your premium. Before you file a claim for a small amount of damage, it may be worth it to simply pay for the repair out of pocket. Too many claims will raise your premium, costing you more over the long haul.

How can I lower my premiums?

There are many ways that consumers can lower their premiums. Having multiple policies with the same company, making very few claims, paying your bills on time, and adding additional safety measures to the home (such as a burglar alarm or deadbolt locks) are a few ways that you can lower your premium. It is best to check with the insurance company to see what discounts they offer.

What are other things that could affect my premium?

Many things affect your premium, including the age of the home, the construction materials, how close the home is to the local fire and police departments, the amount of coverage that is chosen, and the amount of your deductible. An insurance agent can give you a more comprehensive list.

What are ways to reduce the risk of damage or injury to my home or family?

Develop and implement an action plan in case of fire or injury. Work out an escape route with the family and practice it often so that it becomes second nature. Coordinate a meeting place for everyone in case of a disaster. Keep walkways clear of objects and debris. If you live in a dry area, clear the brush from around the house.

If there is any construction around the home, make sure that area is sectioned off and safe from wandering children in the neighborhood. Make sure that your dog is fenced in the yard and under your control. If there is any damage to the fence, and you have a dog, mend the fence immediately to ensure that the dog does not escape the yard.

What is the minimum amount needed to be covered for damage to a home?

You should discuss the specific details with your insurance carrier, but most insurance carriers require the insurance amount to be at least 80 percent of the replacement cost of the house. If you make a claim and you don’t have insurance for at least 80 percent of the replacement cost, you might have to pay more out of pocket.

How do I figure out how much it would cost to rebuild my home?

One site to check out is the National Association of Home Builders. This site offers a wealth of information about homebuilding trends across the US. You can also request information regarding the current prices of housing materials.

What is the best deductible amount?

It depends. A deductible should be the amount you are comfortable paying out of pocket in the event you need to make a claim. Your premium and deductible are based on the amount of coverage that you receive and the relative risk of insuring you. These factors are affected by your health habits (whether you smoke or not), your credit score, and your past claim history. In some instances, a company may choose to not insure you.

Take Action

Hopefully now you understand a bit more about the world of homeowners insurance. We’ve discussed what kind of coverage you should look for, what affects your premium, and the FAQs of homeowners insurance. We encourage you to go out and gather quotes from as many insurance companies as you can. We suggest starting with the following Freshome recommended companies.

Freshome’s Recommendations: Amica, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, GEICO.

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

To quickly find and compare rates in your area, enter your ZIP code below.

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