Protecting Your Home in Oregon
You might think that buying a policy to cover your house is kind of standard. But the truth is that each state has its own laws, and some even have their own jargon associated with home buying. Also, each state, because of its uniqueness of geography and so on, has its own things to be concerned with. Dwellings in Arizona, for instance, can come with flat roofs, which actually have their own structural issues.
Laws to Consider
There are other differences between homeowners insurance in Oregon and in other states. Chief among them is that in Oregon your credit rating can affect your premiums. It is referred to as "credit scoring" or "insurance scoring." So, while some homebuyers focus on their credit score before buying, with an eye to getting a mortgage, residents need to keep their score up afterward as well. If your interest rate should drop, your rate could go up. So, be sure to make your house payments on time, and in full. But this is true for all the various items that could impact your FICO score. Car loans, student loans, and credit card payments all need to be made on time. And as for credit cards, you should also seek to keep the balances below 30% of their limits.
In addition to that quirk in Oregon's homeowners insurance, there are three broad categories of coverage to consider.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost
This kind of policy is exactly what it seems: If your house is utterly destroyed, with certain exceptions like flood, the company guarantees replacement. There are certain exclusions, say for antique woodwork, but unlike many states where actual cash value" policies reign - and allow providers to deduct depreciation from the cost - Guaranteed Replacement Cost policies offer a sense of well-being. Homeowners can rest assured that a house that needs to be rebuilt, will indeed be rebuilt. Of course this doesn't take into account the particulars of one provider over another. Some companies are famous for fulfilling their promises and the letter of their policy agreements. Others are infamous for fighting claims tooth and nail. So, while this policy type covers you on paper, you will still need to investigate individual providers and review your policy carefully. And, you will want to look into flood and fire endorsements.
Extended Replacement Cost
Let's say that you do live in a house with antique woodwork or other extras in the construction of your dwelling. Well, Guaranteed Replacement Cost, despite the implication, will not cover that. For such a homeowner, Extended Replacement Cost policy is the better part of wisdom. More expensive than Guaranteed replacement, it just might pay off in the end. Why? Because it covers your house for a specified value, typically adding a 20-25% to the value of the house - an extended amount - in case rebuilding costs should have overruns.
Inflation Guard Coverage
The most expensive approach to a policy, Inflation Guard Coverage is akin to Replacement Cost coverage offered in many other states. Essentially, as your residence increases in value, and as the materials it takes to rebuild increase in costs due to inflation, so does the level of coverage. So, the dollar amount to replace your house and its contents also increases.
Though we've tried to offer you a good deal of information regarding policies in The Beaver State, you should check with Oregon's Insurance Division, and invite quotes from a number of insurers who specialize in these plans.