Home Construction Costs and Your Homeowner Policy

You have probably heard that construction materials costs have increased substantially recently. The National Association of Home Builders recently reported that lumber costs are up 283% over the last year and 85% for 2021 so far. Virtually all building materials are jumping in price. Labor costs are up 25-30%. One reason is the pandemic which caused slow-downs in factories and deliveries and an increase in demand for remodeling. Another is historically low interest rates.

When it comes to your homeowner or condo insurance, the cost to repair or replace your home is higher than usual right now. We can explain your coverage limit and help you understand how it would work in the event of a loss. Each company’s coverage provisions are different. Text, email or call us if you would like to review your coverage and be sure you are protected. While we’re at it, why not have us review all of your coverages and credits? If your homeowner insurance isn’t with us now, this is a good time to talk to us about the discounts for bundling.

For Earthquake insurance, you will want to check with us on the coverage for that policy too. Earthquake policies are settled on a replacement cost basis. That means unlike most Homeowner policies, the limit on your policy is the most the insurance company will pay.

If you are a renter it is more important than ever to have renters insurance. Renters insurance covers your Contents and most importantly, your Liability, but did you know it covers extra expenses also? If the house or apartment you live in is damaged and they can’t rebuild right away, renters insurance provides living expenses to offset your costs. If you don’t have Renters insurance now, we are happy to give you a proposal.

On an ongoing basis, be sure to tell us about changes you have made to your home. If you have added square footage or upgraded materials in your house, we will want to be sure those features are accounted for in your home value.

Hopefully this construction material and labor inflation will pass soon, but in the meantime, we are here to explain your coverages and provide the best value for your situation.

We value your trust in us to manage your insurance.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist–What limit should you have?


Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle and injuries to you or your passengers if the other driver is at-fault and has no insurance or not enough insurance or a hit-and-run situation. Even if you have health insurance, you and any of your passengers will typically have out of pocket deductibles and coinsurance. Your Uninsured Motorist coverage may have a small deductible depending on the situation, but no co-insurance.

The Insurance Research Council 2019 study showed that the state of Washington ranks fifth highest in the country in the percentage of uninsured motorists with an estimate of 21.7 percent. That means more than one in five people don’t have auto insurance! The number of uninsured motorists is tied to the economic climate, so the number may be higher now due to the financial impact of the pandemic.

Washington State’s minimum limit of liability is $25,000 bodily injury per person/$50,000 per accident and $10,000 property damage. Many drivers included in the insured driver statistics have those limits which don’t begin to cover the cost for serious injuries.

You can try to collect damages through the courts, but there’s a good chance that the other party won’t have the resources to cover your costs—not to mention that going to court is a stressful and time-intensive process.

The amount of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage you can get is tied to your liability limit. Many of our companies also offer one million or more coverage for Uninsured Motorist with an endorsement if your auto policy has a high enough Liability limit. Give us a call to see if you qualify.