Washington has 5.9 Million licensed drivers more than 80,000 miles of roads that are unmatched in natural beauty. Before you visit the Evergreen State, it is important to be familiar with Washington’s car insurance laws. Washington requires drivers to have minimum liability insurance. If you don’t comply, there will be severe penalties and fines.
Washington has car insurance laws
Washington’s insurance laws are straightforward and very similar to those of many other states. Expect drivers to:
- When asked by law enforcement officers, provide proof of insurance.
- To register a vehicle or obtain a driver’s licence, you must provide proof of insurance.
- Minimum liability insurance requirements must be met, also known as 25/50/10
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per individual
- $50,000 per accident bodily injury coverage
- $10,000 in property damage per accident
Washington also has a self insurance law. To prove financial responsibility, self-insurance certificates can be purchased if you own more than 26 vehicles.
Washington Liability Insurance
Although the Washington minimum liability requirements of 25/50/10 may seem sufficient for your coverage, you may be underinsured if you only carry the minimum.
If you are in an accident involving multiple vehicles and multiple injuries, then the $50,000 bodily injury liability per incident could be an issue. If there are four bodily injuries claims, and the accident was your fault, then $50,000 could be split between four victims. If your insurance doesn’t cover medical payments, income loss, and other expenses related to the accident, you would be financially responsible.
Washington doesn’t require either Uninsured Motorists (UM) nor Underinsured Motors (UIM), but it could be a disaster. Washington ranks 7th in the country for uninsured drivers. If you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance, and it is their fault you won’t be able to recover your expenses without going to court.
Washington is it a state of no fault?
Washington is an at-fault State, which is important information for insurance purposes. This means that the driver who is at-fault in an incident is responsible for any costs related to bodily injury or property damage. The other driver can sue the at-fault driver if they do not have enough insurance or any insurance at all to cover the damages.
Washington Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
Washington insurance laws also impose severe penalties for drivers who are found driving without insurance. A fine of up to $550 can be imposed on anyone caught driving without minimum insurance. Your license could also be suspended if you are found at fault for an accident or don’t have insurance. The accident may also result in you being financially responsible.
Washington offers additional options for auto insurance
There are many ways to personalize an auto policy to meet your budget and needs. Washington residents spend an average $431 annually for minimum coverage, and $1211 for full coverage options. There are also options to get a stronger policy.
- Collision: Insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by an accident or your car striking a stationary object. The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that collision insurance costs in Washington are $297.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive covers damages to your vehicle that are not caused by an accident. These include hail, floods, water damage and theft, as well as vandalism. According to III, the average cost for comprehensive coverage in Washington is $114/year.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: UM and UIM provide additional financial protection to you as a driver if you are involved in an accident and the at-fault driver has zero or inadequate insurance. It covers your medical expenses, lost income, and any other costs related to an accident.
- Roadside Assistance: This coverage will make your car more efficient if it runs out of gas or if the battery dies. This coverage provides assistance for minor driving problems.
- Rental car coverage: This is another convenient option that you can add to your policy. If your car is damaged in an accident, this will provide financial assistance to help you rent a car.
- Gap coverage. Lenders often require that new car owners have gap insurance. If your car is damaged or is worth less than its value, this insurance will pay the difference.
Questions frequently asked
Which Washington car insurance company is best?
It is possible to find the best Washington car insurance by understanding what factors are most important for you. These factors could include the carrier’s digital assets, financial stability, customer service ratings, and other factors. Bankrate reviewed several companies and found that Geico and USAA have high satisfaction ratings, strong financial metrics, and competitive rates for Washingtonians.
What is the best car insurance policy in Washington?
There are many carriers that offer affordable auto insurance rates to Washington. Bankrate reviewed pricing and found that USAA had the lowest rates. They charge $261 annually for minimum coverage, and $849 for complete coverage. This is significantly lower than the $1,738 national average annual cost and the state average.
How can I get a lower auto insurance premium?
There are many ways to get the lowest price coverage. Begin by comparing rates with several carriers. This will give you an idea of the coverage you can get within your budget, and it may surprise you at the price differences between different carriers. Working with an agent is another option. They can help you to find all available discounts. You may not be aware of some discounts, such as going paperless or paying in full. If you are able to afford the out-of pocket costs in case of an accident, consider raising your deductible. This will lower your annual premiums.