Washington homeowners insurance

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Washington homeowners insurance buyer's guide

About 64% of the 7.7 million people who live in Washington state are homeowners. Almost 80% of the homes in the state are worth at least $300,000. Washington residents can protect this substantial financial investment by purchasing Washington homeowners insurance.

Washington home ownership risks

Flooding, earthquakes and wildfires are some of the biggest risks that Washington homeowners face. More than 1,000 earthquakes happen in Washington state every year, with 12 or more being strong enough for people to feel the ground shake.

There have been 20 damaging earthquakes in the state in the past 125 years, such as the Nisqually earthquake on February 28, 2001, that registered a 6.8 magnitude and caused between $500 million and $4 billion in property damage. The western part of the state has the highest earthquake risk, though damaging events have taken place throughout the state.

Most of the precipitation in Washington falls as snow in the winter months. The Cascades can receive more than 400 inches of snowfall in a year. However, due to rising temperatures, climate experts expect rain to become the dominant form of precipitation by the end of the century.

Climate change is also impacting flood and wildfire risks in the state. About 18% of the property in Washington state has a greater than 26% chance of experiencing severe flooding in the next 30 years. The number of large fires in the western United States doubled between 1984 and 2015. The central and eastern parts of the state face the highest wildfire risk.

No matter the types of risks your home might face, you can have peace of mind when you have the right insurance coverage. Working with VIU by HUB makes it easy to compare costs.

Washington homeowners insurance coverages

Homeowners insurance is a package policy that includes coverage for several types of loss. The specific coverage on your policy may vary, but most policies provide similar types of coverage.

Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling Coverage pays to repair or replace your home and attached structures, such as decks or garages. Depending on the type of policy form you choose, you may have coverage for all perils that your policy does not specifically exclude, or only for the perils listed in your policy.

Replacement Cost versus Actual Cash Value

The most popular homeowners policies cover structures at Replacement Cost, which is the current market rate to repair or replace your property. These policies usually cover contents at Actual Cash Value, which is the replacement value minus the depreciation deduction. However, you may be able to cover your contents at Replacement Value for an additional charge.

Other Structures

Other Structures coverage pays to repair or replace the structures on your property that are not attached to your home. Examples include detached garages, sheds and fences.

Personal Property

Personal Property coverage pays to repair or replace property such as your clothing, television and furniture. Most policies limit coverage for some types of property, such as collectibles, jewelry and art. You may be able to purchase additional insurance coverage for these types of items.

Additional Living Expenses

Also known as Loss of Use, Additional Living Expenses coverage pays for temporary extra expenses you have because of a covered cause of loss. For example, it may pay for you to stay in a hotel while your home is being repaired because of a fire.

Liability Coverage

Liability Coverage pays for injuries or property damage that a member of your household causes to someone else. This coverage does not apply to liability due to a car accident or business operation.

Medical Payments

Medical Payments coverage pays for some medical expenses due to accidental injuries to guests on your property. Most policies come with a $1,000 limit, but you may be able to purchase additional coverage.

Flood Insurance

Most homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. Separate Flood Insurance is available in a policy from an insurance company or from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Earthquake Insurance

Washington state has the second highest risk for damaging earthquakes in the U.S., but homeowners insurance usually does not cover earthquake damage. You may be able to add Earthquake Coverage as an endorsement or purchase a separate earthquake policy.

Average cost of homeowners insurance in Washington

Washington homeowners pay an average of $150 per month for homeowners insurance, which is lower than the national average of $210. Even though Washington is one of the least expensive states for homeowners insurance, you can still save money on your premiums by comparing rates from different companies on the coverage you need with VIU by HUB.

Factors that affect Washington homeowners insurance rates

Multiple factors can affect how much you pay for homeowners insurance in Washington.

Policy form

Most insurance companies offer several different types of homeowners policies. The HO-3 policy is the most popular in Washington state. This form provides coverage for damage by 16 perils, including lightning, fire, vandalism, hail and smoke.

The more perils your policy protects against, the more your premiums will tend to be. Choosing a policy that covers fewer perils can save money on your insurance premium but may result in higher out-of-pocket costs if you suffer a loss that is not covered.

Coverage level

Most homeowners choose to insure their home at 80% to 100% of its replacement value for repairs or rebuilding. The higher the limit of coverage you request, the higher your premium will be. Insuring 100% of your home’s replacement cost can save you money if you have a large loss.


Risks, such as the frequency of severe weather, can vary from one part of Washington to another. If your home is in a high-risk area, you may pay more for your insurance. Additionally, the cost of living in your city can impact rates because it may cost more to repair or rebuild a home in an expensive city.

This information is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.



Emergency Management Division

Centers for Environmental Information

Risk Factor


Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Washington Department of Natural Resources

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