News | Oregon

Few Northwest Homes Are Insured For Landslide Damage

OPB | March 27, 2014 8:19 p.m. | Portland

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A typical homeowner’s insurance policy covers the house against fire, burglary, and even rare hazards like civil unrest, or being hit by an airplane.  But damage from a landslide is not included.

The probability of a landslide varies from home to home. And that’s why slides generally aren’t included, says Karl Newman with the Northwest Insurance Council.

“A standard homeowner’s policy is designed for the kind of risk that every homeowner has,” Newman says.

With a landslide, the risk might be high for a hillside bungalow in Portland and almost zero for a ranch in Lakeview.

So you have to buy a special policy. In the Northwest, most are provided by local brokers who work with Lloyds of London.  

Newman says that fewer than 5,000 homes in Washington are insured against landslides. And fewer than 4,000 homes in Oregon have the special policy.

That’s well under 1 percent of the homes in each state.

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