Washington Car Insurance

If you’re looking for the cheapest possible car insurance company in Washington, then you have several different options to choose from.

washington state car insuranceAfter helping Washington drivers find thousands of car insurance quotes online, we’ve noticed certain companies continue to offer cheaper quotes than others. Insurance companies like PEMCO Insurance, for example, GEICO, and Farmers Insurance all tend to offer below-average prices on car insurance premiums. If you’re a young driver looking for cheap car insurance in Washington, then State Farm is also a particularly good option.

Of course, the cheapest car insurance company for one driver might not be the cheapest for all drivers. Some car insurance companies heavily reward drivers with a clean record, for example, which means clean drivers can enjoy particularly low rates. Other car insurance companies are more lenient towards drivers with one or two claims. These car insurance companies may be more expensive for clean drivers but less expensive for drivers with one or two claims. For these reasons and more, it’s crucial to compare as many car insurance quotes as possible when shopping for car insurance in Washington.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in Washington

Car insurance companies in Washington are all fairly competitive in terms of price, quality of service, and claims handling. In fact, Washington is one of the most competitive states when it comes to car insurance prices. No particular car insurance company really undercuts the competition.

That being said, certain car insurance companies consistently appear at the top of the rankings in Washington. Grange Insurance Association, PEMCO, Farmers, Chubb, and Progressive, for example, are all known for offering good quality car insurance policies at a competitive price.

Drivers in Seattle Pay More for Car Insurance

It’s no secret that there’s a divide between eastern and western Washington. Car insurance prices vary widely depending on which side of the Cascades you’re on. Drivers in the Seattle metropolitan area will pay some of the highest car insurance prices in the state while drivers in Spokane and other eastern WA state cities will pay relatively low prices for car insurance.

The reason is simple: drivers in urban areas are more likely to make claims than drivers in less populated areas. The Seattle metropolitan area is home to nearly 4 million people. Viewed another way, more than half of the entire state of Washington (7.4 million people) lives within the Seattle metropolitan area.

For all of these reasons, you can expect to pay a little more for car insurance in Seattle than you would in another part of Washington.

Car Insurance for Teen Drivers in Washington

Washington has a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program that teen drivers must go through in order to receive their full license.

Teen drivers who are 15 years of age and older qualify for an instruction permit if they are enrolled in an approved driver education course. If you’re not enrolled in an approved course, then you must wait until you are 15.5 years old to qualify. Once you’re 16, you qualify for a driver’s license. Until you’re 18, however, that driver’s license is considered an intermediate license and comes with specific rules.

As a driver with a learner’s permit in Washington, you typically don’t require special car insurance – assuming you’re driving your family vehicle and that vehicle is covered by insurance. Once you move to your full license at age 16, however, you will need to upgrade your family’s car insurance policy or purchase your own car insurance policy.

No specific car insurance company in Washington offers cheap car insurance prices to cheap drivers. No matter which car insurance company you’re with, you can expect to pay a significant sum for car insurance as a teen driver. Rates continue dropping as you get older, however, and you can save money with things like good student discounts.

Washington Car Insurance Rules and Requirements

In order to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Washington, drivers are required to maintain minimum amounts of liability coverage, as outlined in the table below.

As a “Tort” state, Washington state drivers are financially responsible for any property damage and bodily injury they cause in an accident. It is recommended that drivers purchase higher limits of coverage to protect their assets, in case policy limits are not adequate enough to cover expenses.

If you wish to increase your insurance protection, you may purchase one or more policy add-ons, such as collision, comprehensive, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Coverage Type Required? Minimum Coverage Amount Required
Bodily Injury Liability Yes $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability Yes $10,000
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury No $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage No $10,000
Medical Payments No $10,000

Auto Insurance for Leased Vehicles in Washington (WA)

Most leasing companies in Washington typically require drivers to maintain insurance coverage which exceeds the minimums set by Washington state law. This is to protect you financially, as well as your leasing company, should they be held partly responsible. Most leasing companies will recommend the following amounts of insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $50,000
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage: $500 maximum deductible

Washington State Auto Insurance Contacts

Washington State Department of Licensing 
1125 Washington St. SE
PO Box 9020
Olympia, WA 98507-9020
Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner
The Central Building
Suite 650
810 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104


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