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 (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 (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 policy terms or your property coverage
- Charge you a different premium 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.