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Washington Mutual Introduces Pet Insurance and Home Warranty Plans
SEATTLE, Jan 8, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

WaMu's Insurance Services introduces two new product offerings covering pets and home appliances and systems

Washington Mutual Home Loans and Insurance Services Group announced it has added pet insurance and home warranty plans to its online product offerings via its Web site at www.WaMuIns.com.

"More and more customers were asking for pet insurance and our home loan customers wanted the convenience of a home warranty plan that could be added to their mortgage," said Carl Formato, president of Washington Mutual Insurance Services, Inc. for Washington Mutual's Home Loans & Insurance Services Group. "We were happy to respond to the changing needs of the marketplace."

    Veterinary Pet Insurance
"Your pet is a member of the family, but they aren't covered by your family health insurance carrier. Yet many will need emergency medical treatment for an accident or illness, and the cost of veterinary care can be expensive," said Formato.

Washington Mutual Insurance Services partnered with Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), endorsed by the American Humane Association, to deliver this product to its customers. Depending on the type of plan selected, coverage can include an annual physical exam, vaccinations, heartworm protection, prescription flea control, choice of spaying/neutering or routine teeth cleaning and more. Web site visitors can request a quote, access educational articles about pet care, and enroll online. VPI has plans for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets, reptiles and other exotic pets.

    Home Warranty Plan
"As the nation's leading mortgage lender, offering home warranty plans is a natural fit," Formato said. "WaMu Insurance Services can help our customers protect their home appliances and systems with a home warranty plan. And of course, you don't have to be a mortgage customer to take advantage of this plan."

Eventually, most of the systems and appliances in a home will break down and need to be repaired or replaced. Since repairs can be expensive and finding qualified and trustworthy technicians can be a challenge, a home warranty plan helps customers save time and money and minimize the hassle of repairs.

The home warranty plan is issued and administered by American Home Shield (AHS). AHS is the nation's number one home warranty company with more than 30 years of service experience. The home warranty plan includes coverage for customers' essential systems and appliances including electrical, plumbing and heating systems.

Web site visitors can enroll online using their credit card, or call the toll-free customer service number to have the fee for the plan added to their monthly WaMu mortgage payment.

    About Insurance Services
Since Washington Mutual's Insurance Services was founded in 1965, its emphasis has been on a high level of personal service. Insurance Services' licensed professionals offer guidance and education, with the goal of satisfying individual customers with insurance that is suitable for them. Because insurance is an important part of a total financial picture, Washington Mutual Insurance Services provides a wide range of affordable insurance products to help protect customers from losses that could have a major impact on their financial well being. Consumers who would like to enroll for these products or with questions, can visit www.wamuins.com at any time, or call 1-800-685-9551, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

    About Washington Mutual
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At Sept. 30, 2001, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had consolidated assets of $223.64 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates approximately 2,300 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamu.com.

CONTACT:          Olivia Riley, 206/377-3636              
                  olivia.riley@wamu.net     
                  or                
                  P. Kevin Horn      
                  206.377.3268       
                  kevin.horn@wamu.net

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