Domestic abuse and insurance

The Washington state Legislature passed a law in April 1998 that bans insurance companies from discriminating against domestic-abuse victims.

What is domestic abuse?

According to Washington state law (www.apps.leg.wa.gov), domestic abuse is when:

  • Bodily injury, assault or fear of impending physical harm occurs between family or household members.
  • A family or household member sexually assaults another family or household member.
  • A family or household member stalks another family or household member (www.apps.leg.wa.gov).
  • Someone purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes damage to property to intimidate or attempt to control another family or household member.

Your insurance rights

If you've been or may be a victim of domestic abuse, insurance companies cannot use this information to:

  • Change the terms or your property coverage
  • Charge you a different rate for the same coverage
  • Deny you coverage
  • Refuse to renew your policy
  • Cancel your policy

Filing an insurance claim

  • Insurance companies can't deny your claim if a covered loss is due to domestic abuse and you didn't help cause the loss.
  • If you are a domestic-abuse victim and you file an insurance claim to recover your portion of the property loss, you must file a police report, and cooperate with any law-enforcement or insurance investigation.
  • Your insurance company may choose to seek repayment from the person held liable for the property loss.

Updated 03/27/2014

See also

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