There are many factors that influence home insurance rates. Oregon thankfully doesn't suffer from as many dangers as other states, so the cost of home insurance is lower than the national average, at about $1,122 a year. Still, those in Portland, Oregon still need to be aware of earthquakes and environmental wear and tear from the coast.
Factors besides location that may be influencing your insurance rates include:
- Replacement value of the home
- Credit score
- Claims history
- Coverage limits
- Risk factors of the home
Replacement Value Of The Home
The replacement value of your home is the cost it would take to replace or repair the home if a disaster destroyed it. This can be calculated by the square footage, age and other physical aspects of the home. It's recommended that you purchase at least 80 percent of your home's total replacement value in home insurance.
Credit Score And Claims History
Insurance companies often look at credit scores to determine if the insured is reliable for paying premiums on time. A low credit score may mean higher premiums. Build and maintain your credit by paying off credit cards and setting up auto payments so you never miss a payment date.
Having a long history of claims can also raise your rates. Before filing a claim, have the damage appraised. If the cost of repairing damages is less than the cost of your deductible, it may be more cost-effective to fix the damages out of pocket than filing a claim.
Oregon does not have a state law requiring home insurance, but many mortgage lenders will require that you carry a certain amount of liability coverage. Lowering your coverage limits can save money, but doing so also leaves you open to paying more if a disaster strikes. Consider the replacement value of your home before deciding on the amount of coverage you need.
You can also choose to have a higher deductible to lower your monthly premiums, but this means that you'll pay more upfront after a disaster.
Risk Factors Of The Home
Some homes pose more risk than others because of their age or amenities. Homes with gas stoves typically cost more to insure, as do homes with pools or trampolines.
You can save money by adding an auto insurance policy with your homeowner's policy in addition to an umbrella policy. Adding a burglar alarm system can help safeguard against claims. You can also get a discount by adding a burglar/fire alarm system to safeguard against potential catastrophic claims.
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