Which Natural Disasters Does Homeowners Insurance Cover in Oregon?

Oregon ranks 12th for natural disasters in the country, so it’s important to know what your homeowners insurance will and won’t cover.
Written by Sadie Lovemore
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Dec 30, 2022
Oregon is best known for its incredible scenery but ranks 12th for natural disasters in the countryearthquakes, wildfires, and floods are some of the most common hazards. Fires should be covered under your
homeowners insurance
policy, but you’ll need additional coverage to protect your home against earthquakes and floods.  
In 2020, the
Insurance Information Institute
(III) found that only 27% of homeowners have flood insurance and 23% have earthquake insurance. This means that the majority of homeowners are at risk for financial ruin in the event of flood or earthquake damage. Truth is, many homeowners believe that home insurance is all-encompassing, leaving their homes vulnerable to disaster. 
If you live in Oregon, you need to know which natural disasters might affect you and if you’re covered. Luckily, licensed
car and homeowners insurance
comparison app
is here with everything you need to know about natural disasters and home insurance in the Beaver State.
Plus, if you stick around until the end, we'll even give you the quickest way to optimize coverage and reduce your
Oregon insurance costs
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What is homeowners insurance—and what does it cover?  

A homeowners insurance policy covers damage to your home’s structure, detached structures, and personal possessions. It also includes
loss of use coverage
if you cannot live on your property during a covered repair, and
liability coverage
if someone is accidentally injured on your property. Keep in mind that every policy is different—levels of coverage and perils covered vary. 

Levels of homeowners insurance coverage

HO-1: This bare-bones policy is extremely limited, only covering your primary dwelling (your home’s structure) from up to 10 perils. These perils typically include fires, hail, explosions, and theft. 
HO-2: This covers damage to your home and personal property caused by the risks listed in your policy. 
: This is the most common type of homeowners insurance, including dwelling coverage, additional structures (like a shed or fence), personal property, liability, and additional living expenses (ALE). 
An HO-3 policy protects your home’s dwelling and attached structure from open perils, meaning that you’re covered from any type of loss or damage unless it’s specifically excluded— like floods and earthquakes. Your personal property is only protected from the perils listed in your policy. 
: If you’re looking for the best possible coverage, an HO-5 policy might be right for you. This policy operates on an open perils basis, meaning that you’re covered from any type of loss or damage unless it’s specifically excluded. Additional coverage for your valuables like expensive jewelry and art is built into this policy. 
If that’s too complicated for you, check out this breakdown:
Policy type
What’s covered
Open perils?
Main dwelling only
Named perils only
Main dwelling, personal property, loss of use, liability
Named perils only
Main dwelling, personal property, loss of use, liability
Main structure - open perils, personal property - listed perils only
Main dwelling, personal property, loss of use, liability
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What perils are covered by homeowners insurance?

If you have an HO-1, HO-2, or HO-3 insurance policy, you need to know which hazards are covered. You’ll have to call your home insurance agent or read the fine print for a clear understanding of your policy. Typically, coverage for an HO-3 policy includes the
16 named perils
  • Fire and lightning 
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Smoke
  • Explosion
  • Riots or civil unrest
  • Hail and windstorms
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles 
  • Vandalism 
  • Theft or malicious mischief
  • Falling objects 
  • Weight of snow, ice, or sleet 
  • Water overflow or discharge from plumbing
  • Water heater cracking 
  • Damage from electrical current 
  • Frozen pipes
If the peril isn’t listed in your policy, it’s not covered. Most people are unaware that floods and earthquakes are not covered. Since floods and earthquakes affect many homes at once, it’s an expensive risk for insurance companies. That’s why you’ll need additional earthquake or
flood insurance
or an endorsement to safeguard your home from these disasters, especially in Oregon. 
Key Takeaway Your homeowners insurance coverage is determined by your level of coverage and the perils listed in your policy.

Does home insurance cover natural disasters in Oregon? 

According to
U.S. News
, Oregon has had 133 major disasters since 1953, including floods, mudslides, earthquakes, and even a tsunami. 
Since 2000, Oregonians have experienced roughly four declared disasters each year. In 2020, 19 disasters were declared, with 16 of them caused by fires. With such a high chance of natural disasters occuring in the region, it’s important to make sure you’re covered. 
Take a look at some of Oregon’s most common natural disasters to find out what’s covered and what isn’t: 


According to the
Insurance Information Institute
, Oregon ranks 8th for extreme wildfire risk, right after Oklahoma. Wildfires threaten an estimated 147,500 properties in Oregon. In 2020, over 4,000 homes were destroyed by wildfires. 
Does homeowners insurance cover fire damage?: Yes. Fire damage is covered by all types of homeowners insurance, from the most basic HO-1 coverage to the most expensive HO-5 policy.


Flooding is one of the Beaver State’s most common risks. According to
Flood Factor
, 314,492 Oregon properties have a 26%+ risk of being badly flooded in the next 30 years. 
Does homeowners insurance cover flood damage?: Flood damage is not included in most homeowners insurance policies. You’ll have to get additional coverage to protect your home against flood damage. 


Oregon is one of the most earthquake prone places to live in the United States. The
Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
suggests that the Cascadia Subduction Zone has the potential to generate a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake in Oregon. Scientists predict that an earthquake of 7.1+ magnitude could occur in the next 50 years, which would cause serious damage.
Your homeowners insurance likely excludes
earthquake damage
. Make sure you purchase additional coverage so that a major earthquake doesn’t force you to start from scratch. 


After a major earthquake hit the coastline of Honshu Japan in 2011, a tsunami hit the Pacific Ocean with waves over 130 feet high. This caused nearly $7 million in damages to the Port of Brookings-Harbor. 
Your homeowners insurance typically won’t include protection against tsunamis. Because the 2011 tsunami was declared a federal disaster, homeowners received financial assistance. 


Protection against molten lava might not be top of mind when you purchase a house, but it’s something to think about in Oregon. When a volcanic eruption occurs, it typically results in earthquakes, floods, landslides, and volcanic ash accumulation. 
As previously mentioned, flood and earthquake damage are excluded from most home insurance policies. However, you should be covered for any damage that is a direct result of the volcano, including ash, lava flow, and particles that damage the exterior of your home. 
Key Takeaway Your homeowners insurance should cover any damage directly resulting from a volcano, but you’ll need additional coverage for any flooding or quakes after an eruption. 

How to file a home insurance claim

Your homeowners insurance policy should cover at least some of the natural disasters faced by Oregonians. Here's how to
file a claim
if your home or personal property has been damaged by a natural disaster:
  • Document the damage. Take pictures and write a list of the items that have been damaged.
  • Notify your insurance provider that you intend to file a claim. They'll appoint a claims adjuster to look over the evidence.
  • Calculate how much you paid for each item (collecting receipts, particularly for large-ticket purchases, will help!).
  • Fill out the claim form provided by your insurance company.
  • Meet with the adjuster to discuss the damage. Make sure you go over everything—you don't want to miss out on money because you missed a room in the process. 
  • Get repair estimates from local contractors to help you negotiate a reasonable settlement.
  • Collect your funds and begin the process of restoring your home or replacing your belongings.
Review the terms of your homeowners insurance policy before a disaster occurs to make filing an insurance claim easier. That way you won't have to scramble to find what's covered and what isn't during a crisis. 

How to save money on homeowners and car insurance

According to a 2020 study by the
Insurance Information Institute
, 26% of homeowners opted not to better protect their homes from natural disasters, considering it too expensive. 
But affordable homeowners and
car insurance
is out there, and
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