Getting Home Insurance in Seattle
Home insurance in Seattle helps mitigate financial loss for local homeowners in the event that their home or its contents are damaged or destroyed by unforeseen circumstances. A typical homeowner’s insurance policy covers losses caused by perils like fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, theft, vandalism, and more. Another of the coverage characteristics of insurance is additional living expenses coverage, which pays for any extra costs you incur for food, lodging, or storage if you have to leave your home and stay elsewhere after a disaster. Finally, most of the policies that Seattle residents purchase includes liability coverage, which protects them from claims and lawsuits if they cause injury to another person on their property and get sued.
The average price for home insurance in Washington was $552, which is significantly less than the U.S. average premium of $880, according to a 2009 report from the Insurance Information Institute. Even though average rates in Washington are lower than the national average, it still pays to shop around. Most homeowners in the Puget Sound area with homes of average value can save hundreds of dollars a year by comparing rates and switching insurance companies accordingly, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer‘s Boomer Consumer blog.
Factors of Home Insurance Rates in Seattle
Insurance companies look at a variety of factors when determining what rates to charge for homeowners insurance in Seattle. Some of those factors are how your home is constructed, how much it would cost to replace your home, your credit history, and any claims you’ve made in the past, according to the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. All of these factors impact your likelihood of filing a claim. For instance, homes constructed of wood generally cost more to insure than brick or masonry homes because they face a greater risk of fire.
Other factors Seattle homeowner’s insurance companies take into account are your home’s age, condition, and location. Homes in locations that are exposed to more severe weather or that face a lot of crime may cost more to insure. If you move to a Seattle neighborhood with a high number of burglaries, thefts, and vandalism, you could see your premium go up. Consider the following crime statistics in the Seattle area:
Rates are also impacted by your home’s proximity to fire hydrants and fire protection services. This can be advantageous to Seattle homeowners because of their home’s access to excellent fire protection. The Seattle Fire Department has 33 fire stations throughout the city, giving them a presence in every local neighborhood, according to the department’s website. Since companies take into account the quality of local fire departments when setting rates, being close to dependable fire protection can lead to lower premiums overall.