Friday, August 17, 2012

Former state insurance commissioner Dick Marquardt has died



Dick Marquardt Sr., who served as the state's insurance commissioner from 1977 to 1993, died Aug. 9th in Seattle.

Idaho-born Marquardt was the 6th of the eight people who've served as insurance commissioner since 1909. He was a University of Washington graduate, served in the Army during World War II, and worked as a longtime fuel-oil company executive.

He was appointed by then-Gov. Dan Evans to head the state's selective service system, and he also served a term as state senator representing District 45 in King County.

He served four terms as insurance commissioner, and continued to work as a consultant well into his 80s. He was an avid golfer, and loved baseball.

There's a long and touching obituary in the Seattle Times. From it:
Dick was the beloved patriarch of his large family. He was a devoted and proud husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather.
A private service is planned at a later date.

Also from the obituary:
He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, hard work, humor, unconditional love, and pure enjoyment of the good things in life. He will be greatly missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. Dad, you were unforgettable.

Insurance claims help, donations, and other resources re: the Taylor Bridge wildfire

As fire crews work to rein in the Taylor Bridge fire, some families are being allowed back in to check on their homes, dozens of which have been lost in the first this week. Here are some tips and resources for those who lost property in the blaze.


  • Kittitas County Emergency Services is collecting information on the amount of losses in order to determine if federal disaster assistance will be available. Whether insured or not, it's important that the losses be documented. (Note: The website seems to be offline or overwhelmed; we've had a lot of difficulty opening the page this morning.)

  • According to the DOT, the contractor on the bridge project has set up a process for claims that potentially would be addressed by the contractor's insurer. The phone number provided by the contractor is 1-800-238-6225 for Travelers Insurance.


  • Insurance claims: For those with insurance, we have these tips about how homeowners and others can expedite their insurance claims. It's important to know that many standard homeowners' policies include some coverage for living expenses -- like a motel -- for folks who lose their homes. That's definitely something to check with your insurer or agent right away. And save receipts for everything, including meals and laundry, that might be relevant. If you need help or run into problems with your insurer, call us at 1-800-562-6900 or email us at AskMike@oic.wa.gov and we'll do our best to help.

  • For those seeking updates or emergency shelter information, the state Emergency Management Division has information. Governor Gregoire has proclaimed a state of emergency in both Kittitas and Yakima counties to free up additional firefighting resources. 

  • If you want to make donations to the many fire victims -- including livestock that had to be evacuated -- please see this donation information from the state Emergency Management Division. It sounds like donation sites have been overwhelmed with stuff; they're now asking that people consider donating money instead. The link above includes numerous local and state organizations trying to help the fire victims.