More than seven million people call Washington state home. Most Washington state residents live in Seattle, the largest city in the state and the 15th largest city in the country.
Whether you are heading to Pike Place Park to buy fresh fish or commuting to Microsoft, you’ll want to make sure you at least have the minimum liability car insurance in Washington required by state law.
- Almost 22% of Washington state drivers are uninsured or underinsured.
- Washington state ranks fifth in having the most uninsured/underinsured drivers in the state.
- There are more than 2.9 million registered vehicles in the state of Washington.
- Hart’s Pass in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is the most dangerous road in Washington state.
- Undocumented immigrants can get driver’s licenses in Washington state.
How Much Is Car Insurance in Washington?
The average cost of full coverage car insurance in Washington state is $1,176 per year, which is much lower than the U.S. national average of $1,674. Drivers who choose the state-required minimum liability car insurance in Washington will pay an average of $463 per year, lower than the $565 of the national average.
There are many factors that can affect what you will pay for cheap car insurance in Washington state, including your age and your driving record. The average cost of insurance premiums can also differ depending on where you live in Washington state.
What Is the Average Premium in Washington for Full Coverage Car Insurance?
The average premium for full coverage car insurance in Washington is $98 per month. All drivers in Washington are required to carry liability insurance to cover damages to other people’s vehicles in an accident. Drivers have the option to add other types of car insurance, such as collision coverage, which covers accident-related damages to your car, and comprehensive coverage, which covers theft or damage to your vehicle, to their car insurance policy.
Car insurance premium rates vary depending on the deductible amount, the amount of liability car insurance coverage included, whether you elect to carry collision and comprehensive coverage and many other factors specific to you, such as your age. Finding the cheapest car insurance in Washington just means shopping around and comparing car insurance quotes, as well as learning about car insurance discounts.
How Much Is It for Liability Insurance or the Minimum Required Car Insurance in Washington?
Drivers in Washington will pay on average $38 per month for just the bare minimum of liability insurance to make them legal. This insurance consists of bodily injury/death liability insurance and property damage liability insurance.
Carrying the minimum required by law will get you to the cheapest car insurance quotes in Washington fast, but keep in mind that if you cause a major accident, you’ll most likely reach the limits of your insurance policy pretty quickly, leaving you will all the additional costs of injuries and damages of the other people involved in the accident. You’ll also be required to pay for your car repairs out of pocket.
For this reason, many drivers choose to increase the limits of their liability policy – or to carry full coverage.
How Do Rates Compare Across Major Cities in Washington?
Most Washington state residents live in three main cities: Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma. More than 3.4 million people live in and around Seattle. That’s more than the entire state of Nevada. Insurance companies look at the overall claims of an area when deciding on premiums for people who live in those areas. An area with a higher collective claim rate for accidents, vehicle theft and vandalism and personal injury lawsuits will cause everyone who lives in that region to pay higher premiums.
Here is a look at what some of the areas in Washington pay for their monthly car insurance premium on average.
|City||Full Coverage Insurance||Liability Insurance Coverage|
Unless otherwise specified, we use the following methodology to arrive at our average cost: male, age 30, lowest possible legal coverage allowed by state. Your rates will be determined by several factors, including your age, your gender and the amount of coverage you want to purchase.
Are There Good Driver Discounts in Washington?
Yes! If you are a good driver and you don’t have any speeding tickets or at-fault accidents for three years, you could be eligible for a Good Driver Discount from your car insurance company in Washington state.
Other discount programs in the state of Washington can help bring down the cost of your car insurance premiums. Some of these discounts include:
Good Student Discounts. These discounts are given to young drivers who maintain a “B” average or higher in school.
Continuously Insured Discount or Customer Retention Discount. If you’ve been insured for six months or more and haven’t let your policy lapse, then you may be eligible for this discount.
Driver Education. Drivers over age 50 qualify for a discount on their car insurance if they complete a defensive driving course.
Vehicle Safety Discount. You could be eligible for a discount if your car has certain vehicle safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, and anti-theft devices.
Bundling or Multi-Policy Discount. Your insurance agency should offer you a discount if you bundle more than one policy your car insurance policy, i.e., home insurance, RV insurance and more.
Other discounts you should ask about include: military discount and senior driver discount.
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Washington Car Insurance Laws
Washington state enacted a new law in 2019 that requires all drivers of vehicles and motorcycles to carry a minimum 25/50/10 liability coverage. Driver must also always carry proof of insurance in their cars or face stiff fines even if they have insurance.
What Are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in Washington?
Under Washington state’s mandatory liability insurance law, anyone who drives a motor vehicle or motorcycle must carry minimum liability coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $10,000 in property damage.
If you don’t have liability insurance, you must do one of the following:
- Apply for a certificate of deposit with the Department of Licensing.
- Have a liability bond of at least $60,000 filed by a surety bond company authorized to do business in Washington.
- Self-insure if you have 26 or more vehicles.
Drivers in the state should be prepared at all times to show proof of insurance if they get pulled over by law enforcement. You could be fined if you don’t have proof of insurance on you, even if you have coverage.
What Is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Washington?
If you get pulled over by law enforcement in Washington and don’t have proof you have car insurance, you could be charged a fine of up to $250 for your first offense, plus a $25 court fee.
Drivers without at least the minimum 25/25/10 liability insurance coverage can face stiffer penalties, including suspension of their driver’s license and misdemeanor charges.
If you’re driving without insurance and get involved in an injury accident or one that causes more than $1,000 in damage, your driver’s license could be suspended for up to three years. To have your driving privileges reinstated after it is suspended, you’ll have to file an SR-22 or Certification of Financial Responsibility, which shows that you have obtained legal insurance coverage.
Drivers who must file an SR22 certificate are considered riskier than other drivers. Insurance companies will typically be offering high-risk auto insurance to them, which is more expensive.
What Factors Does Washington Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?
When looking for cheap car insurance in the state of Washington, it’s important to know what factors insurance companies look at to determine the rate that you will pay. Things you don’t have control over, such as your age and gender, can impact your car insurance rates just as much as things you can control, like your driving record and credit score.
In Washington state, insurance companies are not allowed to look at credit history as a factor when determining insurance rates. This is a temporary rule in response to COVID-19, but it may become permanent and join other states that do not allow this practice. The factors car insurance companies can look at when determining your rates are:
- Marital status
- Vehicle type
- Driving record
Am I Required to Report an Accident in Washington to Authorities?
Suppose the unfortunate happens and you are involved in an accident. In that case, Washington state law requires that you file a Motor Vehicle Collision Report if anyone is injured, killed, or the accident results in property damage of $700 or more. You must file this report with the Washington Department of Transportation (DOT) within four days of the accident.
Failure to file a collision report after an accident could lead to the suspension of your driver’s license.
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What Is Driving Like in Washington?
How Many Car Accidents Happen in Washington?
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) tracks the number of car accidents and fatalities caused by car accidents. In 2019, the WTSC reported 538 fatalities from vehicle accidents across the state, 133 of which were caused by drunk drivers.
To cut down the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by car accidents on Washington’s roadways, the state adopted the Target Zero Strategic Highway Safety Plan in 2019. The plan aims at eliminating traffic fatalities by 2030.
This table shows the number of fatal car accidents for 2019 in Washington state’s largest cities.
|City||Number of Fatal Car Accidents in 2019|
How Many Drivers Are Uninsured/Underinsured in Washington?
Even though liability insurance is required of all drivers in Washington state, not all drivers adhere to this requirement. In 2019, almost 22% of Washington drivers were uninsured, ranking the state fifth in having the highest number of uninsured motorists, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
With the high number of uninsured motorists in Washington state, it is a good idea to consider adding uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy, even though the coverage isn’t required. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will reimburse you if you get in an accident or hit-and-run with a driver who doesn’t have the required liability coverage.
FAQs About Washington Car Insurance
I Am a Low-Income Driver. What Can I Do About Getting Car Insurance in Washington?
By getting the minimum 25/50/10 liability coverage required by Washington state law, you can save yourself money you would have to pay in fines, penalties, and high-risk insurance coverage if you were ever pulled over by law enforcement without the required insurance coverage. Talk to your insurance agent about possible discounts you may qualify for on your car insurance in Washington state. If you’re driving an older vehicle, but you maintain safety equipment such as brakes and airbags, you could also save money on your insurance coverage.
To find the cheapest car insurance in Washington, be sure and look at all discounts, decide on your coverage amounts, think about lowering your deductible and drive a vehicle that is considered safe and cheap to repair.
Can an Undocumented Worker Get Car Insurance in Washington?
Washington is one of 10 states in the U.S. where residents can apply for a driver’s license regardless of their immigration status. So undocumented workers can get a driver’s license, and therefore, they can get car insurance coverage.
Is It Possible to Get Car Insurance in Washington With a DUI Mark on My Record?
Drivers who get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) will be able to get DUI car insurance in Washington state, but it will cost them a pretty penny. If you get a DUI, you can expect that your car insurance rates may increase by about 90%.
On average, drivers with DUIs will be paying high-cost insurance rates for a number of years. If you are looking for DUI solutions, you should be able to compare quotes and save some money.
Get a Washington Car Insurance Quote Today!
The cost of getting car insurance in Washington state could be considerably less than the fines and penalties you will face if you don’t have insurance. That doesn’t include the costs you could face if you or one of your passengers is injured in an accident.
Freeway Insurance is standing by to help you find car insurance that meets your needs and your budget. Get started with a quote for car insurance online, visit us at a Washington state office near you, or call us at 800-777-5620 for a quote.