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The average cost of basic liability car insurance in Washington is $2,072 per year. Opting for full-coverage car insurance in Washington will leave you with an average cost of $2,611 per year. In comparison, the national average is $1,627 per year to buy basic liability car insurance and $2,297 per year to buy full-coverage car insurance.
Compare best car insurance quotes in Washington
Shopping around for car insurance quotes is the best way to save on auto insurance.
Insurance quotes are highly personalized, and every auto insurance company uses a slightly different methodology to calculate annual premiums. Two companies might give you very different rates based on factors from your credit score and driving history to your marital status, ZIP code, and gender.
Here are real quotes and savings from Jerry users in Washington:
You probably already know that GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are good bets for affordable insurance quotes, but those companies don’t have the lowest rates for every Washington driver.
Drivers with violations or poor credit, for instance, have a good chance of finding their best rate with Progressive. Families with teen drivers, on the other hand, might get a great deal from Nationwide. And then there are smaller regional insurance companies like Seattle-based Pemco.
The only way to know for sure which company has the best rate for you? Compare quotes from at least three (and hopefully more) insurance companies.
Take a look at the average rates in the table below.
The cost of living in Washington state is about 13% above the national average—which is why it might surprise you to learn that the average cost of car insurance is actually below the national average!
Of course, that doesn’t make insurance cheap for everyone. High rates of vehicle theft, severe weather, and one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers all drive up the state average.
Drivers in Washington need a minimum of $25,000 of bodily injury coverage, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $10,000 of coverage for property.
What do you need if you’re pulled over?
If you get pulled over, you are required to show your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration. Thankfully, digital insurance ID cards are accepted by police and the DMV so you will always have your stored proof of insurance available 24/7 in the Jerry app.
Is Washington a no-fault state?
No, Washington is an at-fault state that gives you the option of buying no-fault coverage. If you purchase personal injury protection (PIP), and are involved in an accident, you and your passengers will have medical expenses paid for immediately, regardless of who is at fault for the accident or if you have health insurance.
If you do not opt for this coverage, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for you and your passengers' injuries, once their insurance company accepts liability and confirms that there is enough coverage.
Two important types of insurance not required by state law are collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle caused by a collision (it’s in the name!), and comprehensive insurance covers physical damage to your car from a wide range of covered perils such as severe weather, vandalism, and theft.
While it’s legal to drive without either one, it’s a risky move, especially if your vehicle’s worth more than your annual premium. Because these two types of coverage are so important, the combination is often called “full coverage car insurance” when added to a basic liability insurance policy. Use the chart below to estimate how much it might cost to add both to your policy.
Cheapest car insurance with a DUI or speeding ticket in Washington
If your driving record is less than spotless, you probably already know this hard truth: driving violations can cause your car insurance premiums to increase significantly.
A single speeding ticket isn’t likely to make a big difference, but repeated speeding tickets will if your insurance company labels you a high-risk driver. And serious charges, like DUI or reckless driving, will see an even bigger impact. To make matters worse, those high rates will follow you as long as the points are on your driving record.
When it comes to car insurance, size matters: the size of the city you live in, that is. As the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and one of the most densely-populated places in Washington, Seattle sees a higher risk of car accidents and insurance claims than Tacoma or Spokane. And for drivers with full coverage insurance, crime rates and the threat of severe coastal storms add to the costs.
Want to compare rates for some of Washington’s other major cities? Check out the table below.
Average cost of Washington auto insurance by vehicle type
What you drive in Washington can have a huge impact on your insurance premium.
Take the Subaru Outback, the beloved chariot of many a granola-loving, hike-taking Washington family. It’s a great family station wagon, but its strong safety ratings, solid construction, and reputation for conservative driving also mean that Subaru Outback insurance costs are among the lowest for any vehicle.
It’s also cheap, which makes repairs (and claims) more affordable. The much pricier Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon is another great vehicle for the outdoorsy Washingtonian, but good luck finding cheap car insurance for that ride.
If you don’t drive an Outback or a Wrangler, don’t worry: take a look at the features below to see how average insurance rates for other popular vehicles compare.
Do you need more than the minimum coverage in Washington?
Sticking to state minimum liability will keep the cost of your auto insurance policy low—but it could leave you underinsured in the event of an at-fault accident or another incident.
Look at it this way: the average cost of a hospital stay following a car accident is roughly $60,000. Compare that to the per-accident limit of $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage in a standard minimum-coverage policy, and you could be facing at least $10,000 of out-of-pocket costs if you cause an injury.
If you can afford it, it’s a good idea to go beyond the minimum coverage limits set by Washington state. Buying extra liability coverage could add as little as $5 a month to the cost of your policy, and the added protection is more than worth it.
Adding collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist coverage will also add to the cost of your car insurance policy, but each of these additional coverages provides important protection for Washington drivers. Keep in mind Washington’s dense traffic, severe weather, and the fact that over one in five drivers is uninsured, and you’ll see the advantages of arming yourself with the best auto insurance coverage possible.
Washington residents rate the state a 5.73/10 for road quality. Roadside assistance is a good way to combat any bad roads you may come across.
How to save money on auto insurance in Washington
There are several ways to lower your insurance costs without sacrificing coverage in Washington.
Shop around for quotes
Compare quotes from at least three different insurance companies to ensure you're getting the lowest rate on the coverage you need. Experts also recommend looking up new quotes before every policy renewal.
Look for discounts
You probably already know that you can save on auto insurance by purchasing homeowners or renters insurance from the same company and bundling your policies.
But multi-policy discounts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to car insurance discounts! Depending on what company you purchase your policy from, you might be able to get discounts for safe driving, good grades, on-time payments, or more!
Here are some of the most popular discounts for drivers in Washington:
Clean Driving Record Discounts
Having a clean driving record can set you ahead of your peers. If you drive safely and have little to no prior claims, your carrier will reward you with reduced prices.
Car insurance customers who also get multiple insurance policies with the same carrier can get a bundling discount.
Defensive Driving Course Discounts
If you’re 50+ years old and have taken a defensive driving course or are interested in taking one, you can qualify for additional savings.
Continuously Insured Discounts
Keeping a policy consistently over a six month period means that you can qualify for reduced rates in Washington.
Increase your deductible
If you have full coverage insurance, raising your collision or comprehensive deductible is an easy way to lower your monthly insurance costs.
A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your collision or comprehensive insurance kicks in to cover the remainder of a claim. In most cases, it’s either $500 or $1,000, but you can ask your insurance company for a higher deductible—and in return, you’ll pay less to maintain the policy.
But be careful! This is only a smart strategy if you’re able to afford that higher deductible. Never choose a deductible that’s higher than what you could realistically pay out of pocket at any given time.