Washington Homeowners Insurance
The average Washington homeowners insurance rate is $39 per month, but your premiums will depend on the age of your home and the level of coverage you actually need. Start comparing Washington home insurance quotes for free below to find the best price for your policy. You can also install additional home security systems to lower your Washington homeowners insurance costs.
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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
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Owning a home in Washington means that you can expect to pay around $471/yr ($39/mo) for home insurance. That figure includes the basic sections of your policy: dwelling, other structures, your belongings, and the chance that you may not have use of some or the entire home if a named peril strikes.
It is important you understand what these sections are and how they are affected by the perils that are common to homes in Washington State.
Standard Washington homeowners insurance covers:
The dwelling portion of your policy covers the home itself. Any other constructions that are affixed to the house so that either the house or structure would be damaged if it were removed are also considered part of the dwelling. This is the main part of your policy, but the other parts are important as well.
- Other Structures
Other structures are buildings or other man made items built on the property but not permanently affixed to the primary dwelling. Other structures can include a guest cottage, a decorative gatehouse, a dock or anything else that is not part of the dwelling or your personal effects.
- Personal Property
Your family’s personal effects are all part of the personal property section of your home insurance. In most cases, your best protection is to make a home inventory using a video recorder and going from room to room, itemizing everything in the room from ceiling to floor. Don’t forget the contents of closets or drawers, or the items that are stored in other structures or even kept outside. The home inventory does not replace the receipts for purchases, but it does provide additional proof of ownership.
- Loss of Use
Part of your policy, the loss of use section, makes it possible for you to be reimbursed for money you have to spend out of pocket to maintain your standard of living if the home or property is damaged by a covered peril. No matter what the loss of use may be, save your receipts and itemize the reason for the loss of use, then file a claim with your insurance company.
Average Washington Homeowners Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper Washington Home Insurance
Many people believe that the only way to get cheaper insurance is to have less coverage, but that is not really the way it works. Instead of reducing coverage, the secret of cheaper homeowners insurance is to reduce the risks, both those posed by the home and your personal risks. Not all savings are immediate, but a home is meant to be a long term investment, and planning for the future will save you more over a period of years.
- Home Security
Installing a monitored security system will help you reduce the risks of being burglarized, and that translates into lower insurance rates. You can also have burglar bars put into your ground floor doors and windows, install deadbolts, or even put up a fence across the right of way bordering your property.
- Reduce Insurance Risks
Reducing the long term risks may not save you money right away, but it will help you over the course of your home ownership. You can do that by doing things such as removing dead tree limbs from the property, reducing both the risk of damages to your property and the risk of liability injuries or lawsuits.
- Credit Score and Insurance Risk
Your credit score is one of the most important personal factors that will lower your home insurance costs. Insurance companies look at your credit score as a way to determine your financial stability and risk, and will give you discounts on your coverage if you keep your score at 650 or higher.
Home Characteristics Affecting Washington Insurance Rates
There are a number of factors that affect the cost of home insurance in Washington. If your home costs less than the average home value of $287,200, your premiums will be proportionately higher or lower. The average home age is 31 years, and whether your house is newer or older than that will cause your premiums to go up or down. Even the materials the home is made of and the frequency of local natural disasters will have an effect, causing your premiums to change according to how high the risk of a disaster is in your location.
Local Natural Disasters Washington Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
No matter where your home is located, it is certain to be faced with the possibility of several natural disasters and some location may even be faced with the entire range of possibilities. Since not all perils are covered in a standard home insurance package, you should become familiar with the possibilities in your area and purchase any additional coverage that may be needed.
Ranked at 5 out of 51, Washington is one of the states most likely to experience an earthquake. Because movements of the earth are not included in most standard homeowner’s policies, you will probably have to purchase the coverage for this peril separately, probably through a high risk insurance company or even a state monitored insurance pool such as the FAIR plan.
Washington residents filed 63 claims in 2009, which makes it a relatively low-risk state for flooding. But since the peril does affect the state in some way during any given year, it is important that you purchase the coverage, to make sure that your home and family are properly protected.
Hail damage can and does occur in every state, with damages ranging from light to severe. In most cases, hail is considered part of the wind damages portion of a standard policy, but it is a good idea to make sure that your policy does not list hail as a specific exclusion and purchase a rider policy to fill the gap if it does.
Hurricanes are not a problem in Washington, but severe winter storms that rival the force of a hurricane are. Check your policy to make sure that you have sufficient wind and ice damage protection, and pick up extra coverage if necessary.
Tornadoes are a rare occurrence in Washington, and are usually covered under the wind damages portion of your standard homeowner’s policy. Unless they are specifically excluded in your policy, there should not be any problems with this peril.
Wildfires can happen anywhere, but the damages they cause are almost always covered under the fire damage portion of a standard policy. As with tornadoes, as long as wildfires are not mentioned under the exclusions portion of your policy, you do not have anything to worry about.
Washington Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverages
Most standard home insurance policies could do with a little beefing up in some areas. For one thing, the default amount of your personal property coverage is probably far short of the value of your personal property, but can be increased or supplemented with a stand-alone personal property policy. You might also want to check the wording of your policy, to find out whether you are purchasing full replacement coverage or the less expensive actual cash value. Full replacement will replace the lost items or make the needed repairs regardless of what it costs on the current market, but actual cash value will only cover the original purchase price minus depreciation, usually less than the repairs will actually cost you.
Important Contact Information
Washington Department of Insurance
PO Box 40256
Olympia, WA 98504-0256
Phone: (800) 562-6900
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