Home Insurance – Protecting Oregon

Your home is the center of your daily life, and likely your most valuable asset. When your home is damaged or destroyed, you need your claim settled by an insurance company that understands this simple fact. We can help you find the homeowner’s insurance that will best meet your needs and provide the most valuable combination of tailored coverage, quality service and fair pricing.

Depending on where you live – a house, apartment, or condominium – the right home insurance policy can provide you peace of mind as well as the money you need to repair or replace your home and/or belongings. Insuring the place you call home can help protect you financially if you suffer a loss due to fire, theft, vandalism, or other covered events. It will also cover you in the event someone is injured while on your property and wins a legal judgment against you.

Homeowners policies differ by which losses are covered, which coverages you choose, and what type of residence you own. You choose which policy is best for you, whether it’s a comprehensive policy that cover losses such as fire, hail, smoke, falling objects, vandalism and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers only specified losses.

Your home insurance policy is most often made up of the specific options you choose, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on:

  • What you select. Oftentimes homeowners insurance options are priced individually, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on what coverages you buy.
  • How much you want to cover. Higher deductibles usually lower your premium price by shifting part of the loss payment to you. For example, if you had a $500 deductible, you would be responsible for paying the first $500 of the covered loss.
  • Where you set your limits. You may choose to set higher limits than the recommended amount if appropriate to your situation and needs.

Worried you aren’t completely covered? Consider an umbrella insurance policy that extends your coverage.

Protection for Your Home:

Property or Dwelling Coverage typically pays to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by an insured event like a kitchen fire or windstorm.

Protection for You and Other People:

Personal Liability Coverage applies if someone is injured or their property is damaged and you are to blame. The coverage generally applies anywhere in the world. When choosing your liability coverage limits, consider things like how much money you make and the assets you own. Your personal liability coverage should be high enough to protect your assets if you are sued.

Medical Coverage:

This covers medical expenses for guests if they are injured on your property, and in certain cases covers people who are injured off of your property. It does not cover health care costs for you or other members of your household.

Additional Living Expenses:

If you can’t live in your home because of a covered loss, your home insurance policy will pay additional living expenses-commonly for up to 24 months-while damage is assessed and your home is repaired or rebuilt.

Protection for Your Belongings:

Your home is filled with furniture, clothes, electronics and other items that mean a lot to you. Personal Property Insurance helps replace these items if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss.

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage:

If you have special possessions such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles you may want to talk to your agent about this additional coverage. It provides broader coverage for specific items.

If You Rent Out Your Home:

Landlords may have the option to buy optional liability coverage for the risks posed by tenant-occupied dwellings. Visit our Landlord Protection Insurance page for more information.

Make an inventory of your home and personal belongings. If possible, make a list as well as take photos or video – using two inventory methods can help expedite the claim resolution process. Keep this list somewhere other than your home. Keep in mind that your policy doesn’t cover damages caused by poor or deferred maintenance on your part.

Every home is unique – contact us to find out how to get the best price and value on homeowners insurance for you.

Renters Insurance

You have a lot of things that are important to you – from your clothes and furniture to your sound system, sports gear, and computer. And you want to feel confident that everything you’ve worked for is not at risk. Let us help you find coverage options that protect you, your family, and your personal property.

Your renters policy covers your personal property against theft or damage subject to the limits and deductibles you select. The coverage applies even when you are away from home. For a small additional premium, you can choose to carry full value coverage on your personal property, which ensures that you will be paid the full replacement cost of items that are damaged or stolen without deduction for depreciation.

Your renters insurance policy protects you and your family members against bodily injury and property damage liability claims and any litigation that may result subject to the limits you select. In addition, you can select medical payments coverage which will pay for medical expenses incurred by a visitor who is injured at your residence regardless of fault. Various limits are available.

Whether you’re starting out, between homes or downsizing, we will help you pick the renters insurance coverage that best fits your needs. Contact us today and be sure to ask us about available discounts including burglar alarm credits and the account credit for customers who package auto and/or umbrella policies with their renters policy. If you have special valuable items such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles, ask about our Valuable Articles option which provides broader coverage and no deductible in the event of a covered loss.

Condo Insurance

Condominium insurance is unique. Your condo insurance policy covers your personal property and liability, as well as any additions, alterations and improvements you make to your unit that are your responsibility based on the condo association agreement.

Optional loss assessment coverage is also available to protect you against certain assessments that may be levied by the association. You would be compensated for additional living expenses incurred should you need to vacate your condo after a covered loss.

Condo insurance provides coverage for your personal property and much more. For a few more dollars, you can elect to carry Full Value Personal Property which ensures that you are reimbursed full replacement value without regard for depreciation after a covered loss.

If you have upgraded cabinets or put in hardwood floors, condo building item coverage protects these investments. Be sure to consult your HOA agreement to determine what the Association policy covers and what you are responsible for. If common areas are damaged, your condo association may levy assessments against all the owners to pay the deductible on their association policy.

Various limits of loss assessment coverage are available. Be sure to consult the HOA agreement to determine the potential for such assessments. We can help you determine your coverage needs to make sure you’re properly covered.

Your condo insurance policy also protects you and your family members against bodily injury and property damage liability claims and any litigation that may result subject to the limits you select. In addition, you can select medical payments coverage which will pay for medical expenses incurred by a visitor who is injured at your residence regardless of fault.

Many people supplement their condo insurance coverage with personal umbrella liability insurance for broader protection. If you have special valuable items such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles, ask about our Valuable Articles option which provides broader coverage and no deductible in the event of a covered loss.

Contact us to identify the best combination of coverage, value, and price for you. We can help make sure your condo insurance continually meets your needs.

Landlord Protection Insurance

As a landlord, you want insurance that’s tailored specifically to protect your rental properties. A Landlord Protection policy gives you choices when purchasing the insurance coverage you need.

Rental property is a great investment, especially if you protect your assets with excellent coverage. Make sure that you and your property are covered when choosing a landlord protection insurance policy.

Landlord Protection liability insurance options protect you and your spouse or domestic partner against personal injury, wrongful eviction, or wrongful entry as well as other non-bodily injury claims such as libel and slander.

Many landlords supplement their coverage with personal umbrella liability insurance for broader protection. Contact us today about the amount of coverage that’s right for you.

Flood Protection for Oregon

Since standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S.

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. Find out more about the NFIP and how it can help you protect yourself.

Learn about The NFIP Partnership.

Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property: building and contents. The first covers your building, the latter covers your possessions; neither covers the land they occupy.

Building coverage includes:

  • The insured building and its foundation.
  • The electrical and plumbing system.
  • Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters.
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers.
  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.

Contents coverage includes:

  • Clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment.
  • Curtains.
  • Portable and window air conditioners.
  • Portable microwaves and dishwashers.
  • Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage.
  • Clothing washers and dryers.

The two most common reimbursement methods for flood claims are:

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cash Value (ACV). The RCV is the cost to replace damaged property. It is reimbursable to owners of single-family, primary residences insured to within 80% of the buildings replacement cost.

All other buildings and personal property (i.e. contents) are valued at ACV. The ACV is the RCV at the time of loss minus physical depreciation. Personal property is always valued using the ACV.

Contact us today to identify the best combination of coverage, value and price just for you.

Content provided by FloodSmart.gov.

Earthquake Insurance – What Oregon needs to know

What are the two most important things to know about earthquake insurance?

  1. Most home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage.
  2. Even if you don’t live in an area where earthquakes are common, you may still need earthquake insurance.

Earthquakes have occurred in 39 states since 1900, and about 90% of Americans live in areas considered seismically active. For many of our neighbors in Oregon, earthquake insurance can be inexpensive – contact us to find out what the costs would be for your home.

Most homeowner, condo and rental insurance policies do not cover damage caused by an earthquake, but coverage can be purchased as an endorsement or a separate policy. You may be able to choose to purchase earthquake insurance from the same company that provides your home insurance, from a specialized earthquake insurance provider, or from an independent organization such as the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).

In all likelihood, almost the entire US would be better protected by purchasing earthquake insurance. Consider the facts:

  • In the West: According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 70 percent probability that one or more damaging earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay area during the next 30 years.
  • In the East: The Earthquake Education Center at Charleston Southern University claims there’s a 40 to 60 percent chance of a major earthquake somewhere in the eastern United States in the next 20 years.
  • In the Midwest: According to the Insurance Information Institute, there’s a 40 to 63 percent chance the New Madrid Fault (which runs through Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee) region will suffer an earthquake with a 6.0 magnitude in the next 15 years.

Earthquake insurance provides coverage if your home is damaged by an earthquake. Standard homeowner and renters policies will not cover earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance is a separate endorsement you must buy and add to your homeowner or renters policy.

An earthquake endorsement generally excludes damages or losses from floods and tidal waves – even when caused or compounded by an earthquake. However, if you experience a loss due to a landslide, settlement, mudflow, or the rising, sinking and contracting of earth, your endorsement may cover it if the damage resulted from an earthquake.

There are several options to consider when purchasing earthquake insurance, including:

  • Does the policy cover only your home? Are other structures, such as garages, also included?
  • Will your policy pay for the contents of your home and for additional living expenses if your home is badly damaged or destroyed?
  • Are there any exclusions or limitations to coverage?
  • What deductible must you pay before the insurance kicks in?

Earthquakes can happen in Oregon – here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Make sure your water heater, gas appliances, and other fixtures are fastened securely.
  • Check that bookcases and furniture are secure and fastened to walls.
  • Have a family emergency plan that all family members know. Designate a meeting place outside the home where family members can gather once the danger has passed.
  • Designate a distant relative or friend who can serve as a point of contact and communication for you and your family members if you get separated.
  • Plan ahead. Keep flashlights, batteries, and candles on hand. Have a portable radio.
  • Be sure everyone in your house knows how to turn off utilities (electricity, water, and gas).
  • When shopping for earthquake insurance, ask the company to help you identify possible repairs and other improvements that will make your home safer and minimize damage.

If you are inside when an earthquake hits, stay inside and get under a heavy table or desk. Stay away from windows. Do not evacuate the building unless emergency personnel direct you to leave.

If you are outside, get away from buildings and power lines, and remember that stone and masonry facings can break loose and fall away from upper parts of buildings.

If you are in a car, stop safely away from structures, large trees, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle.

Keep in mind:

  • Don’t use candles until gas lines are checked. Also, check throughout your home before you use certain utilities, such as water and electric, sewage connections, and even chimneys.
  • Don’t tie up phone lines except to report emergencies.
  • Be prepared. Remember that you will need food and water, even for the short term. Keep your family together and stay alert for aftershocks.

Earthquake insurance needs can vary significantly – contact us to find out how to get the best price and value on earthquake insurance for you.