Washington Homeowners Insurance

Fran
Fran Majidi
November 3, 2020

Homeowners Insurance in Washington: A Complete Consumer Guide

Do you live in Washington or want to buy a home in the Evergreen state? We have some fun facts for you. Washington is the only state in the union named after a U.S. president, but before statehood, it was called Columbia. The state produces more apples and raspberries than any other. But fruit is not the only thing Washington is known for. The city of Seattle is known for its coffee and was the birthplace of Starbucks. It is also known for being the home of the first revolving restaurant. The wealthiest man in the country, Bill Gates, lives in Medina, and Microsoft Corporation is located in Richmond. Also, Amazon.com, along with other Internet giants, is also based in the state. Seattle, Washington is the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, the most legendary guitar player of all time. The town of Zillah is where you’ll find the oldest gas station in the country. And if you hate paying taxes, there is no personal income tax in this state! There are 16 state airports here and 140 public airfields so it’s easy to zip in out of the state. Washington is one of the wealthiest and most socially liberal states in the country and ranks high for life expectancy.

Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies in Washington

HO-1 Basic Form. This is the most basic policy for a single-family home. It only covers 10 perils and is so limited that most insurers do not offer it.

HO-2 Broad Form. This is a more common policy type and covers a broader range of perils than HO-1.

HO-3 Special Form. This is the most common type of homeowners insurance policy. It offers “open peril” coverage for the structure of the home unless the peril is specifically excluded in the policy. It does not, however, include earthquake and flood insurance, both of which are separate stand-alone policies. Generally, it covers up to 16 perils, including fire and smoke; lightning strikes; windstorms and hail; explosions; vandalism and malicious mischief; damage from an aircraft, car or vehicle; theft; falling objects; weight of ice; snow or sleet and water damage not caused by a flood.

HO-8. This type of policy is for older homes. It covers up to 10 perils and reimbursement for covered damage is paid at actual cash value not replacement cost. Basically, depreciation will be factored into the payment. This type of policy is great for historic homes and registered landmarks.

HO-6 Condo Insurance Form. This type of policy is written on an HO-6 form and offers “walls-in” coverage against 16 perils. It also covers personal belongings.

What Factors Affect Rates on Homeowners Insurance in Washington?

The location of the home, including the zip code and claims history of the area affect rates. So does the construction materials used to build the house. Custom homes may require additional coverage. The age of the home and the upgrades to the home affect a rate. So does replacement cost versus actual cash coverage. Swimming pools and trampolines increase liability and therefore raise rates. Home-based businesses also affect premium rates, but the type of coverage you choose and how much property and liability protection you want will also impact your homeowners insurance rate.

Top 5 Disasters in the State of Washington

Washington declared Fire disasters as the most common peril, with 116 counts since 1953. Fire was followed by Flood, Severe Storms, Biological and Mud/Landslide disasters. Fire or Lightning is one of 16 perils covered on standard homeowners policies. Here are the top 5 federally declared disasters in the state of Washington:

Rank Declaration Title Disaster Number
1 Fire 116
2 Flood 31
3 Severe Storms 17
4 Biological 3
5 Mud/Landslide 3

Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

How Much is Homeowners Insurance in Washington?

On average, homeowners insurance in Washington costs $986 a year. Source: The average cost of homeowners insurance by state,

Source: The average cost of homeowners insurance by state, Business Insider.

Crime Rate: Is Washington a Safe State?

2019 Crime in Washington Crime Number Crime Rate*
Property Crime 204,224 2,681.9
Burglary 34,540 453.6
Larceny-Theft 145,282 1,907.9

*Rate per 100,000 inhabitants

Safest Cities in Washington by Property Crime*

Oak Harbor, WA has a population of 23,554 with a Property Crime rate of 5.7 per 1k. The city average home value is approximately $371,777.

Sammamish, WA has a population of 66,820 with a Property Crime rate of 6 per 1k. The average home value there is about $988,231.

West Richland, WA came in third as the safest city in the state of Washington and has a population of 15,343 with a Property Crime rate of 6.7 per 1k. Its home value averaged at about $374,180.

Pullman, WA has a population of 34,585 with a Property Crime rate of 7.9 per 1k. Its average home value is $343,145.

Lake Stevens, WA has a population of 34,081 with a Property Crime rate of 8.3 per 1k. The city home value averaged $465,856.

*Based on FBI Uniform Crime Reporting 2019, some cities have been eliminated because of changes in the state/local agency's reporting practices and cities with populations under 10,000. Zillow’s State/Cities average home value for a single family home or a condo as of Sept. 2020.

Compare Home Insurance Rates in Washington

Top Homeowners Insurance Companies in Washington

State Farm provides high-quality coverage for each type of dwelling. You have many options for add-on coverages if a standard policy is not enough. Customizing plans is what State Farm does well. You’ll also have resources, like articles and videos, to help you make decisions about the level of coverage you need, as well as tips on installing home security devices and tackling home-efficiency solutions. State Farm is rated high in customer service and offers 24-hour claims assistance.

Nationwide offers affordable coverage and outstanding customer service. A homeowners insurance policy will protect against damages to your home or additional structures as well as your belongings. You also have add-on coverage options to choose from, including Brand New Belongings coverage, which will reimburse you for the replacement cost of your damaged/destroyed items.

Washington Home Insurance FAQs

Is debris removal covered in homeowner insurance?

If you have a category called “additional coverage,” it probably includes debris removal, if the debris was caused by a covered peril such as a fire.

How to file a homeowner insurance claim?

Ask your insurance agent about claim forms. You may be able to file your claim digitally. If not, find out how you can get the forms you need. Generally, claims have to be filed within a year of the incident. Make sure the peril is covered by your policy by checking the declaration page. If your home was burglarized, you’ll need to file a police report before you file an insurance claim.

Is homeowners insurance required in Washington state?

There’s no law requiring homeowners insurance in Washington but if you have a mortgage, you likely are required to have it or else your lender will take out a policy on your behalf and lump the payments in with your mortgage. Do your due diligence and compare rates to get the best value. Start by entering your zip code below.

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