Everything You Need to Know About Auto Insurance in Washington

Located off the shores of the Pacific Ocean and home to more than seven million residents, Washington state may conjure up the thought of the overcast Seattle cityscape and its coffee houses, the Space Needle, or the computer tech giants and online retailers headquartered there. But it’s equally known for its tranquil waterways, like the Puget Sound, and serene forests filled with giant, lush trees that earned Washington its nickname: the Evergreen State.

More than 7.7 million people call this Pacific Northwest state home these days. But more than 175 years ago, this state — named after the first U.S. president — was simply a western territory, ceded by the British in 1846 in a territorial treaty. It became the 42nd state to join the Union, admitted in 1849.

More than 4.4 million drivers commute along Washington streets and highways daily. If you’re looking for an affordable auto policy to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road, InsureOne expert agents can help you find the best auto insurance at a great rate in Washington.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Washington?

On average, Washington drivers pay annual auto premiums of around $1,410 for full coverage and around $515 for a basic policy.

These premiums are lower than national averages, which stand at around $2,014 and $622 for full and minimum coverage, respectively. That means that in Evergreen State, drivers pay 30% less for full coverage policies, saving around $604 per year. Those with minimum liability insurance pay a little less than 17% compared to other drivers across the nation, saving around $107 every year.

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Reasons Why Insurance Is So Cheap in Washington

Overall, premiums in the Evergreen State are cheaper than national averages, but that’s because several pockets of the state aren’t as densely populated as Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma. These three cities have ranked among the top 10 nationwide for vehicle theft, which can drive up premiums due to the risk posed. But because most of Washington consists of smaller towns and cities with fewer residents, those numbers decrease the state’s auto coverage rates.

Affordable Car Insurance Rates Comparison by Cities in Washington

For a comparison of the average monthly premiums drivers pay in different cities across the state, check out our breakdown below.

City Full Coverage Insurance Liability Insurance Coverage
Seattle $123 $48
Tacoma $131 $50
Bellingham $96 $38
Spokane $108 $39
Bothell $117 $47

We arrive at our average auto insurance costs by using a male driver, aged 30 with a clean driving record. Minimum liability is the state-required minimum. Full coverage is a 100K/300K/100K policy. Your costs will be different and based on your individual factors.

How Bundling Your Vehicle and Homeowners Insurance Can Save You Money in Washington

Combining home and auto coverage can save you much more on your annual premiums than sticking to a single policy. Bundling your home and auto policy can bring your annual rate down as much as 25%.

When it comes to bundling coverage, homeowners typically see the deepest discount. By comparison, someone who rents an apartment typically sees a discount of up to 15% when they combine renters insurance and auto insurance.

An InsureOne agent can help you build a quality insurance package that meets your needs and budget. They do all the work, comparing offerings from top providers, which saves you time and money.

What Types of Auto Discounts Are Available in Washington?

Insurers offer several discounts that can help you save money on your premiums. For example, bundling home and auto coverage could bring your rate down by as much as 25% if you own a house and two cars.

Other rate-reducing discounts include:

  • Anti-theft
  • Good driver
  • Low mileage
  • Loyalty
  • Paperless billing
  • Military
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Washington Car Insurance Laws

Washington has a 25/50/10 minimum mandatory liability coverage requirement, and drivers must carry proof of having it. Here’s a closer look at what this means.

What Are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in Washington?

Mandatory monetary limits are cash amounts that insurers must pay if a policyholder causes a crash. In Washington, these limits are 25/50/10. That means if you cause a crash, your policy must provide:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury/death per person involved
  • $50,000 for bodily injury/death per accident
  • $10,000 to cover property damage per accident

Drivers should always carry proof of insurance in the Evergreen State. Failure to do so will lead to a fine, even if you have coverage.

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What Is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Washington?

If a police officer stops you in Washington and you can’t produce proof of auto coverage, you will be charged a fine of up to $250 for your first offense and a $25 court fee. Repeat offenders face stiffer penalties, including suspension of their driver’s license and misdemeanor charges.

Additionally, your license will be revoked for up to three years if you’re involved in a crash that causes injuries or leads to more than $1,000 in damage if you fail to show proof of coverage. You’ll have to file an SR-22 — also known as a Certification of Financial Responsibility — to prove to the state that you have valid insurance coverage. This will cause your premiums to soar until the infraction clears from your driving record, which can take up to 10 years.

What Factors Does Washington Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?

Insurers are allowed to use several factors to calculate your auto premium. Some of the most important factors are:

  • Driving record and experience
  • Vehicle type
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Location

Unlike some states, Washington is one of the 8 states that does not allow insurers to use credit scores to determine rates or likelihood of renewal.

What’s the Best Car Insurance for Teenagers and Their Family in Washington?

Because they’re still learning how to navigate traffic properly, teens cost more to insure than other drivers in a family. That’s why a multi-car policy might be the best option for families with teen drivers. If you, your spouse, or any other adult drivers on your policy are considered good drivers, this can help lower the overall cost you pay on your premium.

At InsureOne, our expert agents help you find the best auto insurance with customizable options that best meet your needs.

What Is Driving Like in Washington?

Cold, overcast, rainy, and muggy, with a rare chance of sunshine, is how many would describe the weather in areas like Seattle, leading to slick roads with the potential for flooding. The sun does peek through the clouds in Washington, though, with temperatures typically staying on the cool-to-mild side for most of the year. During the winter, temperatures can drop below freezing, making snowy, icy roads trickier to navigate.

How Many Car Accidents Happen in Washington?

In 2021, 603 fatal crashes in Washington resulted in 670 deaths. The following chart shows the number of fatal crashes in various cities across the state that year.

City Fatal Crashes in 2021
Seattle 45
Tacoma 23
Kent 10
Bellevue 2
Vancouver 8
Spokane 27
Redmond 1
Lynnwood 2
Bothell 1
Everett 10
Bellingham 7
Yakima 11
Renton 10

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How Many Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Are in Washington?

More than 21% of Washington drivers don’t have auto coverage. In 2019, it ranked number 5 among states with this ongoing issue.

Get the Best Car Insurance in Washington Today

InsureOne offers a one-stop auto insurance shopping experience with expert agents who will listen to your needs and help you find top-quality insurance options that work best for you.

We will save you time and money by researching quotes and presenting several options that meet your needs. Get a quote online, visit us at a Washington office near you, or call us at 800-836-2240 for a quote.