Washington, D.C. is one of the most visited cities in the country. Outside of being the USA’s capital city and home to some of the most historic sites in the country (hello, U.S. Capitol), some of its most underrated attractions include Rock Creek Park, the National Zoological Park, Kahlil Gibran Memorial Garden, and the National Air & Space Museum. We are also big fans of the 446-acre U.S. National Arboretum, which offers some of the more impressive collections of rare plants in the world.
All DC drivers are required to have auto insurance. However, even a single lapsed day of coverage could cause trouble and many out-of-pocket costs in an accident. Keep reading to learn more about car insurance in Washington, D.C., including ways low-income drivers can save on auto insurance, and what D.C. drivers with a DUI mark on their records can expect.
- The most dangerous intersection in Washington, D.C. is where Minnesota Avenue meets up with Benning Road Northeast.
- In 2021, there were 40 traffic deaths from fatal car accidents in D.C.
How Much Is Car Insurance in D.C.?
The average annual cost of full coverage car insurance in D.C. is $1,855. This rate is higher than the national average of $1,674. The required minimum liability car insurance is $704 annually, higher than the national average of $565.
Your insurance rates are based on many factors, such as your driving record and your age. Because D.C. is no-fault, there are added coverages to the minimum liability, including uninsured motorist coverage (UIM).
What Is the Average Premium in Washington, D.C. for Cheap Full Coverage Car Insurance?
In DC, the average cost of full coverage car insurance is $155 per month. Full coverage consists of the required liability, plus collision car insurance and comprehensive auto insurance. If your vehicle is financed, your lender will most likely require full coverage.
One of the best ways drivers can stay protected on the road is to obtain collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage covers damages (repair or replacement costs) due to vehicle collisions, whereas comprehensive coverage protects against things outside your control, such as theft, hail, and vandalism.
How Much Is It for Just the Minimum Required Car Insurance in D.C.?
The minimum cost of car insurance in D.C. is $59 per month. This will provide you with bodily injury/death liability insurance and property damage liability insurance, plus UIM.
Because D.C. is no-fault, your own insurance protection will cover you in an accident, no matter who is at fault – although some portion of recovery can be assigned to an at-fault driver. Insurance companies in DC must offer Personal Injury Protection, although it is not required. However, since DC is a no-fault area, it would be prudent to accept this protection that will pay for certain medical costs, lost wages and more if you are involved in an accident.
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Are There Good Driver Discounts in Washington, D.C.?
Yes. You can expect to take advantage of good driver discounts if you maintain a clean driving record free of claims, traffic violations, and other offenses within the last 3-5 years.
Other car insurance discounts to lower your D.C. car insurance premium include:
Bundling your car insurance with different policies
Enrolling in a defensive driving course
Signing up for autopay
Driving an older vehicle
Driving less than 7,500 miles a year
Washington, D.C. Car Insurance Laws
All D.C. drivers must have car insurance to drive legally in the state. You can opt for the minimum required coverage or a full coverage policy with collision and comprehensive insurance.
What Are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in D.C.?
D.C.’s minimum liability requirements are as follows:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000/$50,000 per person/per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: $10,000 per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000/$50,000 per person/per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage: $5,000 per accident
What Is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Washington, D.C.?
Driving without insurance in D.C. is not a good idea.
The maximum fine for driving without insurance is $2,500, with a $150 fine applicable with a 1 to 30-day insurance lapse and an additional $7 fine for every 30 days a driver is not carrying auto insurance. After getting caught, drivers must also file for an SR-22, a form that proves you are carrying the minimum required levels of liability.
What Factors Does D.C. Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?
There are numerous factors auto insurance companies use to determine premiums. Even one factor could cause steep rises or drops in your premiums. Some factors include but are not limited to:
- Marital status
- Driving history
- Type of vehicle
- Age of vehicle
- Credit score
- ZIP code
- Insurance claims history
Am I Required to Report an Accident in Washington, D.C. to Authorities?
The Washington, D.C. DMV requires all drivers to report accidents to the Metropolitan Police Department if it results in injury, death, or property damage. After a collision, you can call 911 and stay on the scene until a law enforcement officer appears. During this exchange, expect to show your driver’s license and registration information.
Following the accident, you are free to request a report copy. Simply provide your name, date of request, date/time of the accident, and accident location in a written declaration sent by mail or in person.
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What Is Driving Like in D.C.?
How Many Car Accidents Happen in DC?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 40 traffic fatalities in Washington, D.C. in 2021. Some of the causes were attributed to speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. D.C. has been trying to cut down on traffic-related fatalities through its Vision Zero program, a 2015 initiative by Mayor Muriel Bowser that oversaw changes to pedestrian infrastructure and lowered speed limits on key intersections.
How Many Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Are in D.C.?
The Insurance Information Institute’s 2019 stats show that 19.1% of D.C. drivers are uninsured. This stat is estimated based on the state’s ratio of uninsured motorist claims to bodily injury claims.
To view the full table of the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists by state for 2019, visit Insurance Information Institute – Estimated Percentage Of Uninsured Motorists By State, 2019.
FAQs About Washington, D.C. Car Insurance
I Am a Low-Income Driver. What Can I Do About Getting the Cheapest Car Insurance in D.C.?
Although no special insurance programs exist for low-income drivers, there are many ways low-income drivers can save money on car insurance.
One way to lower your auto insurance costs is to maintain a clean driving record. This means no moving violations, traffic violations, or claims of any kind for the last three to five years, which raises your profile in the eyes of insurers. Another way to save on car insurance is to bundle your auto and homeowner’s coverage from the same insurance. You can also get a break if you have more than one car insured with the same insurance company.
Lastly, we recommend adjusting your policy. You are free to ask for higher deductibles. For example, increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 could significantly reduce your car insurance premium. Just be sure you have enough cash on reserve to pay in the event of a claim.
Can an Undocumented Worker Get Cheap Car Insurance in D.C.?
D.C. does not allow undocumented workers to apply for a driver’s license.
For more information on states allowing/not allowing undocumented workers to obtain driver’s licenses and a record of enacted legislation by year concerning this subject, visit States Offering Driver’s Licenses to Immigrants.
Is It Possible to Get Low-Cost Car Insurance in Washington, D.C. with a DUI Mark on my Record?
DUIs have a detrimental effect on your record. Expect your premiums to skyrocket by as much as 72%, depending on your situation. Insurers will consider you a high-risk driver and your premiums will reflect that. You’ll need to find an insurance company that specializes in DUI solution coverage.
You will be arrested if caught at a traffic stop and your blood alcohol concentration measures 0.08% or higher. First-time DUI offenses can land you up to 180 days in jail with $1,000 in fines and a six-month license revocation period. Second and subsequent offenders will result in stiffer jail sentences (up to 1 year in jail) and up to $10,000 in fines.
On top of that, you will be required to complete an SR-22 insurance form, which ensures the state you are carrying the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required in the state.
Get Affordable Car Insurance Online in Washington, D.C. Today!
An affordable car insurance policy from Freeway Insurance is an excellent next step. Let Freeway Insurance help you and your family right the proper coverage.
To get started, request a car insurance quote online, visit a D.C. office near you, or call one of our friendly service representatives at 800-777-5620 to learn all your options.