Homeowner insurance coverage in Washington State for a condo, first time buyer, or mobile home is among the lowest average home insurance rates in the United States. Annual premiums in the state are priced between $556 and $603.
Washington residents are required to have homeowner insurance. Lenders will not approve housing loans if the homeowner doesn’t acquire an insurance policy first.
Important areas of Coverage
The basic homeowner insurance policy in the state provides coverage for common hazards, such as theft and fire. Homeowners, however, are advised to make sure that the policy covers other important considerations, such as:
· Additional structures on the property
· The personal properties of the homeowner and the family, including furniture, appliances, clothes, and toys
· Legal and medical bills in case someone gets injured on the homeowner’s property
· Loss of use coverage, which would provide much needed funds for a homeowner when the home is damaged or destroyed and it would be necessary to temporarily rent an apartment or live in a motel while repairs or rebuilding is being done.
In the absence of these items in the policy, you, as the homeowner, must go to your insurance agent to have these features added to your policy or, if already present, to adjust the coverage amounts.
Sometimes, insurance coverage terms change, so policy owners must review their insurance policies annually.
Condominium owner policies are available in the state. This policy covers the condo unit and its contents (appliances, cabinets, fixtures, flooring, wall coverings, custom-built additions, etc.).
The main building of the condominium and its common areas (hallways, stairs, etc.), on the other hand, are covered by the condominium association policy.
It is ironic that flood and earthquake coverage are not included in the basic policy, considering that Washington experiences heavy rainfall in winter and spring, and that several fault lines are located within the state, increasing the risk of earthquakes. Homeowners may wish to purchase these additional coverage to their basic policy.
Cost of Homeowner Insurance in Washington
The cost of homeowner insurance in Washington is influenced by the neighborhood you live in, the type of house you have, the distance to the nearest fire station, credit score, job history, and the amount of deductibles.
Premiums can be significantly lowered by raising deductibles or improving credit score. Although Washington State laws strictly state that policies could not be denied on the basis of credit scores, premiums could be negatively affected by late payments and defaults on loans (not including loans for medical expenses).
Other factors that could lower premiums for homeowner insurance in Washington include:
· Non-smoking family members
· Having an auto insurance and other policies, aside from the homeowner insurance
· Installation of protection devices, such as smoke detectors, automatic sprinklers, and burglar alarms
· Comparing the rates of the various insurance companies in your area
Taking these steps will show to the insurance agent the homeowner’s willingness to take the necessary measures to help in protecting the property, and would encourage these agents to give discounts.
Homeowners are advised to make a complete inventory of personal properties, including taking photos of these. Valuables, such as jewelry, antiques, coin or stamp collections, need to be appraised and their documented values added to the inventory.
There should always be copies of the inventory stored online or kept with a trusted relative or friend. The inventory should also be updated annually. Having a complete inventory would help a homeowner to make a claim from his homeowner insurance in Washington.