As we move into summer, Zillow tells me that there are over 37,000 recently sold homes in the Portland metro area.  That means that new homeowners have dealt with a real estate professional and a mortgage professional recently.  Something they may have glossed over is their friendly neighborhood insurance professional.

Take in that number, 37,000 homes recently sold in the Portland metro area.   We are going to look at the main parts of the home insurance policy you should look over when considering a quote or buying a new home.

The dwelling coverage is the part of the policy that covers the home you are purchasing. It does not cover the land or the items you move into the home. It also does not cover the shed or other separate structures that came with the house.  Those coverages we will talk about later.

Consider the information I found at

Average Home Construction Cost in Portland
Cost of Custom Home Building in Portland, Oregon
$126.77 per square foot (basic construction) (Range: $102.03 – $151.50)

Custom Home Building
$110.20 – $163.62 per square foot (basic construction)
Cost estimate considers labor for building a new home. Price estimate includes permitting, pouring the foundation, standard building materials, basic finishes, and cleanup. Does not include purchasing the land, blueprints, premium upgrades (granite countertops, spray foam insulation, etc.), modular homes, deep foundations, and deck construction.

You can see here that the average price for construction depends on many things.  This can include the cost and availability of labor and materials.  Government policies and actions can also affect the price of construction.

If you look at your home and find that you are far above or below the $150 mark and don’t know why – call us today!

The coverage on your home needs to be enough to rebuild your home at today’s construction prices. Policies can also provide code upgrades and extended replacement cost coverage.  These can help account for overruns of costs in a total loss situation. You should know the coverage you have for the dwelling, extended replacement cost, and code upgrades.

The second area of coverage is separate structure coverage.  That is for things not attached to the home like sheds, gazebos, or detached garages.  Consider this information from

For this discussion, we will assess the costs of building a detached two-car garage. The measurements of the average two car model is 26’x26’or 676 square feet…

typical costs will include:

Two car – According to Hanley Wood and their “Remodeling” magazine, the cost to construct a standard two-car garage addition is $58,432. This translates to $86 per square foot…

Another example from states;

How Much Does It Cost to Build A Garage?
Portland Average $21126
Typical Range   $13502-28750
Low End  $10,000
High End  $35,000
*Cost of data is based on actual project costs as reported by 8 HomeAdvisor members

There are many considerations pertaining to separate structures.  You need to have enough coverage to rebuild your outbuildings in the event of a disaster.

Contents are the third of the coverages to examine. This is coverage for the things you move into the home or that you would take with you were you to move. What would it cost to replace your furniture, clothing, food items, toys, and other personal possessions?

Next, the coverage no one likes to talk about, but everyone is happy they have when they need it – liability. This coverage must be enough to protect your assets including your home should a claim arise. If you are negligent for someone’s injury or property damage liability coverage matters.  due to your negligence. Slip and falls due to failing decks or stair rails are occurrences where this can be important.

The final coverage I will discuss in this article at length is loss of use coverage. This can be the most overlooked and most important coverage you have in the policy.

This coverage pays for an increase in expenses or an alternate living arrangement if your home is uninhabitable.

It helps to understand this coverage when a fire makes the home unsafe to live in and you and your family have to relocate.

Understanding the basics can put you far ahead in a bad situation should the need to use your policy occur. If you would like a free review of your home insurance policy, please call my office today 971.303.8508.

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