Cheap Washington car insurance doesn’t have to come with bad customer service.

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The Evergreen State has it all – a beautiful coastline, forested mountains, and one of the biggest cities in the United States. When you’re out exploring, you want to be protected with the best Washington car insurance. Fortunately, auto insurance in Washington is more affordable compared to many other states.

You have dozens of options for car insurance, but we think a couple of companies should definitely be on your list. Recently, we ranked the best auto insurance companies in the industry on things like coverage options, customer service, price, and financial stability. Read on to find out which providers we recommend in Washington.

To start, we recommend getting matched with the best auto insurance quotes in your area:

 
 

In this article:

Washington Car Insurance Requirements

All states have automobile financial responsibility laws. These laws ensure that victims of car accidents are compensated by at-fault parties. You can fulfill financial responsibility laws in a few ways, but the easiest way is by purchasing car insurance that meets state minimum requirements.

In Washington, you are required to carry liability insurance in the amounts of 25/50/10. Here’s what that means:

$25,000 Bodily Injury per Person

Covers medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits for other parties in accidents you cause up to a maximum of $25,000 per person

$50,000 Bodily Injury per Accident

Covers medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits for other parties in accidents you cause up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident

$10,000 Property Damage

Covers car repairs and property damage for other parties in accidents you cause up to a maximum of $10,000 per accident

 

When you purchase auto insurance in Washington, you will have a few more standard coverage options that aren’t required but can be good to have:

  • Collision: Repairs your car after an accident no matter who was at fault
  • Comprehensive: Repairs your car after a non-collision event like a flood or vandalism
  • Personal Injury Protection: Covers medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits for you no matter who caused the accident
  • Medical Payments: Covers medical bills no matter who was at fault
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: Pays for medical bills for you and your passengers and pays for repairs to your car when you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver

If you get caught driving without car insurance in Washington, you could be fined $550 or more. Also, if you cause an accident and don’t have insurance, you could have your license suspended.

In Washington you have a few more ways of satisfying the state's financial responsibility laws, according to the WADOL:

  • You can qualify for self insurance if you own at least 26 vehicles
  • You can purchase a liability bond for $60,000 or more
  • You can deposit at least $60,000 in an account with the state of Washington or the Department of Licensing

In each of these scenarios, you would compensate accident victims with your own money rather than relying on an auto insurance company.

Best Auto Insurance In Washington Comparison

  #1 USAA #2 State Farm

Our Rating

5.0

4.5

AM Best Financial Strength Rating

A++

A++

Eligibility

Military members and family

Anyone

Apps

USAA Mobile app

State Farm mobile app, Drive Safe and Save, Steer Clear

Usage-Based Discounts

Not in Washington

Drive Safe and Save

Rideshare Coverage

Yes

Yes

Gap Insurance

Yes

Only on vehicle loans from State Farm Bank

 

First Choice: USAA

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Veterans account for about nine percent of the population in Washington. That means there are a lot of people who can take advantage of USAA. If you are a veteran or if you’re closely related to one, you should definitely check out USAA to try and get the cheapest car insurance in Washington. Here’s how you can qualify:

  • Be a current or former member of the United States military
  • Be a member of a commissioning program
  • Be a spouse or child of a USAA member

Once someone becomes a USAA member (by purchasing home or auto insurance), eligibility can be passed down through generations.

So why do we like USAA? Well, the company throws a one-two punch of great prices and great customer service. Sometimes, you have to choose between the two – but not here. In terms of customer service, USAA outperformed most or all of its competition in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study and 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

In terms of pricing, USAA is one of the most affordable companies around. Drivers can expect to pay below the state average for Washington auto insurance (we’ll talk more about that later on). USAA also holds an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which is the highest possible rating. That means the company can respond to claims and compensate drivers quickly.

With USAA car insurance in Washington, you could qualify for the following discounts:

Safe Driver

Defensive Driving

Driver Training

Good Student

New Vehicle

Multi-Vehicle

Annual Mileage

Vehicle Storage

Family Discount

Loyalty

Military Installation

No Fees on Payment Plans

 

Runner-Up: State Farm

Not everyone can get USAA, but many people can still get cheap car insurance in Washington through State Farm. Like USAA, State Farm has a financial strength rating of A++ with AM Best. The company is the largest in the nation and offers a range of coverage options for drivers. State Farm also performed very well on J.D. Power's Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, but it gave an average performance on the Insurance Shopping Study.

State Farm offers a couple of different apps that can help people save money on their Washington auto insurance policies. Drive Safe and Save is State Farm’s usage-based program that can help drivers save up to 30 percent on their premiums. If you choose this option, your discount will be based on your driving skills, but your rates won't go up if it turns out that you are a poor driver. In other words, good drivers can save more, but bad drivers won’t be penalized.

Steer Clear is a driving education app available for people under the age of 25. After completing in-app lessons and logging driving hours, you can get a discount of up to 15 percent on your car insurance in Washington. In addition to these apps, State Farm also has its standard mobile app that lets you manage your account, request roadside assistance, and file claims.

With State Farm, you could qualify for the following car insurance discounts:

Accident-Free

Defensive Driving Course

Good Driving

Driver Training

Student Away At School

Good Student

Vehicle Safety/Passive Restraint

Anti-Theft

Multi-Policy

Multi-Car

Drive Safe and Save

Steer Clear

 

State Farm’s student discount is particularly good. Above-average students can get up to 25 percent off their Washington car insurance premiums. Plus, the discount lasts after college until age 25.

Average Cost Of Washington Car Insurance

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Washingtonians paid an average of $924.47 for car insurance in 2016. The same report found that the national average was $935.80 in 2016. That’s good news, and it means Washington car insurance was the 16th-cheapest in the nation that year.

Drivers spent an average of $621.27 on liability insurance, $281.24 on collision insurance, and $108.87 on comprehensive car insurance in Washington.

Of course, you might see different insurance quotes than the state averages. In fact, it would be rare to find a quote that was exactly the same as your state average. Washington auto insurance rates are based on your unique background, which is why companies don't charge a flat rate for all their customers. Things that affect your car insurance rate include:

  • The type of car that you drive
  • Your age
  • Your credit score
  • Your driving history
  • Recent claims
  • Other family members on your policy
  • The zip code that you live in
  • The average price of new cars in your area

To see how the above factors would affect your specific insurance rate, use this tool to get quotes:

 
 

Also, companies can increase car insurance rates at different times. Providers adjust state-wide rates periodically, and your rate might go up for no fault of your own.

Why You Should Go For Full Coverage

Washington car insurance requirements are pretty average when compared with those of other states. Five other states have the exact same requirements, and many more share the same bodily injury limits. However, these limits aren’t enough to cover catastrophic or multi-accident claims.

Also, you might have noticed that the Washington auto insurance minimum doesn’t require collision or comprehensive coverage. In fact, no state requires these coverages. If you just go with minimum coverage, you would have to pay for repairs to your car yourself – unless you weren’t at fault in an accident.

However, even if you weren't at fault, collision coverage can still come in handy. That’s because it can take weeks or months to receive a settlement from another insurance company. Sure, you might be able to drive your car around with a small dent in the side panel, but what if it was a more serious accident? Could you figure out another form of transportation?

With collision coverage, you can have your car fixed right away. Your insurance company will cover the repairs upfront, and then it will seek reimbursement from the at-fault party's insurance company when the claim is settled.

Washington Driver Facts

In 2018, Washingtonians drove 12,837 miles on average. That’s a bit less than the national average of 14,425 miles, and it’s one reason why Washington auto insurance is more affordable than insurance in many other states. Also in 2018, according to the WSDOT, there were 116,035 car accidents in Washington. Luckily, that number dropped to 95,959 car accidents in 2019, which is the lowest the state has seen in the past 10 years.

Many drivers are worried about getting into a car accident with other drivers on the road. But the evidence shows that more serious injuries and fatalities happen from single-vehicle accidents than multi-vehicle accidents. In 2018, 1,344 single-vehicle crashes led to serious injuries or fatalities in Washington, while 1,071 multi-vehicle crashes led to the same, according to the WSDOT.

Watch Out For Uninsured Drivers

Washington auto insurance minimums don’t require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. These coverages pay for repairs to your car and for medical bills for you and your passengers when you get hit by someone without insurance (or without enough). You might think that is a rare occurrence, but the chance of running into an uninsured motorist is pretty high in Washington.

In 2015, the state had the seventh highest uninsured driver rate in the United States. According to the III, 17 percent of drivers in Washington went without insurance that year.

Now, that number doesn't include underinsured drivers. The definition of an underinsured driver can depend on your situation and the accident. For example, let's say your car was totaled by a driver who had the minimum property damage insurance of $10,000. If your car was worth less than that, everything works out.

However, you can only get $10,000 from the other driver’s insurance company even if your car is worth more. The only other option you have is to sue the other driver, but that’s not fun. Underinsured motorist or collision coverage can close the gap, so it’s a good idea to have at least one of these options with your Washington car insurance policy.

Get A Quote

Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.

Use our tool below to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes:

 
 

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