There are nearly half a million renter-occupied homes in the state of Oregon. In fact, according to the most recent census, rental properties make up more than 35.7 percent of all housing in this state. If you are one of the many property owners who lease out homes in Oregon, a suitable landlord insurance policy can help protect your investment. Regardless of whether you are renting out a traditional family home in Beaverton, a luxury apartment in Hillsboro, or a studio flat on a short-term lease to a visiting professor in Portland, this coverage is necessary to prevent undue financial losses.
Median Gross Rent in Oregon’s Largest Cities, 2011
- Portland: $876
- Eugene: $826
- Salem: $766
- Gresham: $837
- Hillsboro: $1,000
- Beaverton: $895
- Bend: $920
- Medford: $861
Why Lessors in Oregon Need Landlord Insurance
A regular homeowners insurance policy will not provide coverage for damages to your property if it was occupied by tenants at the time that the damage occurred. In order to be covered against loss, damage or liability expenses associated with your rental property, you need to carry a landlord insurance policy.
As a landlord, you are not responsible for covering the property owned by your tenants. They will need to purchase this coverage on their own through a renters insurance policy. You are, however, responsible for covering any damages that may occur to the structure of the rental home, as well as any of your personal property, such as appliances and carpeting, that are kept within it. You also need to ensure that you are suitably covered against your increased liability risks.
When you call to request landlord insurance quotes for your Oregon properties, you may be surprised to find that the rates are higher than what you had expected. Landlord insurance rates are typically about 20 to 25 percent higher than traditional home insurance rates. This is because there are greater inherent risks involved when you have tenants occupying your property.
What Landlords in Oregon Are Charging for Rent
- Less than $200: a total of 17,922 renters, making up 3.8%
- $200 to $299: a total of 16,569 renters, making up 3.5%
- $300 to $499: a total of 88,237 renters, making up 18.9%
- $500 to $749: a total of 198,313 renters, making up 42.4%
- $750 to $999: a total of 84,141 renters, making up 18.0%
- $1,000 to $1,499: a total of 35,197 renters, making up 7.5%
- $1,500 or more: a total of 8,847 renters, making up 1.9%
- No cash rent: a total of 18,373 renters, making up 3.9%
- The median cost to rent a home in Oregon: $620
Landlord Insurance Protects Against Liability
One of the most important features of your landlord insurance is the liability coverage it provides. This coverage is designed to protect you if your tenant, or one of your tenant’s guests, suffers an injury or property damage and it can be demonstrated that negligence in upkeep on your part is to blame.
If your rental home becomes uninhabitable and your tenants are forced to seek temporary housing, you may also be responsible for compensating them for the costs associated with temporary lodging, including meals. Fortunately, your landlord insurance policy may be able to cover these expenses as well.
A final reason this coverage may be necessary is if your tenants engage in illegal activity on your property. If they are stealing cable or engaging in other illegal activities in the rental home, you, as the property owner, can find yourself facing liability charges. Landlord insurance is designed to cover your legal defense fees and court costs, as well as any fines you may accrue, up to your coverage limit.
Oregon Burglary Statistics, 2012
- There were nearly 22,000 burglaries reported in Oregon in 2012
- The national burglary rate is 6.70 burglaries per every 1,000 residences
- The Oregon burglary rate is 5.62 burglaries per every 1,000 residences
- The OR city with the highest burglary rate is Eugene, with 9.59 burglaries per every 1,000 residences
- The safest Oregon cities are Jordan Valley and Halfway
Fortunately for landlords, property crime in Oregon is relatively low and this statistic is reflected in the lower premiums assigned to home insurance policies in this state. Of course, if the property you are renting is in a higher-crime area such as Eugene, you can expect your rates to be a bit higher than in other parts of the state.
Landlord Insurance Covers Against Property Loss and Damage
In any occupied home, a reasonable amount of wear-and-tear is to be expected. Unfortunately, tenants can sometimes cause damages that go well-beyond what is considered reasonable. Burns in the carpet, water damage from overflowing sinks and bathtubs, or even a pest infestation that they failed to report, can all result in the need to expensive repairs and renovations. Your landlord insurance policy may be able to compensate you for some of the associated costs of repair.
In addition, catastrophic events such as severe thunderstorms, hail and wildfires can all lead to damages both to the structure of your rental home and to any of your personal property kept inside. Landlord insurance covers most weather-related incidents, with the exclusion of floods and earthquakes. For coverage against those events, you will need to purchase separate flood and earthquake insurance policies.
Finally, property crimes, such as burglary, arson and vandalism, may result in property loss or damage to your property. You are not responsible for compensating your tenants for loss or damage to their personal belongings, but you will need to cover the costs to repair any damages to the property such as broken doors or windows. Your landlord insurance policy is designed to compensate you for these losses.
It Is Easy to Compare Landlord Insurance Quotes in Oregon
Comparing landlord insurance policies and quotes for your Oregon rental property is essential if you want to ensure that you are getting a comprehensive policy at a reasonable rate. Working with an independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help to make the comparison-shopping process much simpler. These agents can work with several highly-rated insurance companies to quickly and easily provide you with an assortment of policies and rates from which to choose.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent in or near your Oregon neighborhood to learn more about your landlord insurance options. Your agent can help you start comparing quotes in no time.