Ore. Homeowners Face Soaring Premiums, Few Insurance Options Over Fires

"Nancy Matela co-owns a vacation home in a wildfire zone northwest of Bend that has a new, annual property insurance premium of $9,000. It’s more than nine times what the company Safeco charged her a year ago.

That policy remains her only option as well: Her broker couldn’t find her another one.

Matela is among a growing number of homeowners in central, southern and eastern Oregon who have faced higher annual premiums or had their policies canceled when they came up for renewal, with some insurers no longer writing new policies. That change came after the 2020 Labor Day Fires destroyed more than 4,000 homes, becoming the state’s most expensive natural disaster in history, according to state and federal emergency response agencies.

Since then, insurance markets in parts of Oregon have begun to look more like those in California, where some of the largest insurance companies in the country are no longer renewing or writing new policies, and where the number of people turning to a state-backed insurer of last resort has doubled in recent years."

Alex Baumhardt reports for States Newsroom February 26, 2024.

Source: States Newsroom, 02/27/2024