Best Car Insurance in Washington
Last Updated on November 19, 2020
Drivers in Washington state pay average rates for car insurance. However, rates vary widely depending on your driver profile and location. Drivers in Seattle and Spokane, for example, tend to pay higher prices than drivers in Bellingham or Walla Walla. Drivers with a bad driving history can pay twice as much for car insurance as drivers with a good driving history.
The average driver in Washington pays roughly $1,456 per year for car insurance, just above the nationwide average of around $1,400 per year.
Continue reading below to learn everything you need to know about auto insurance in Washington.
Table of Contents:
- Best Auto Insurance Companies in Washington
- Washington Auto Insurance Requirements
- Driving Without Insurance in Washington
- Car Insurance in Washington with a DUI
- Car Insurance in Washington with At-Fault Accidents
- Car Insurance in Washington with Speeding Tickets
- Car Insurance in Washington for Young Drivers
- Car Insurance in Washington with Poor Credit
- SR-22 Insurance in Washington
Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies in Washington
Washington drivers have plenty of options for car insurance providers. Some car insurance companies have a proven and longstanding reputation for offering good-value car insurance and strong claims satisfaction. Below, we’ve listed some of the best car insurance companies in Washington based on claims satisfaction, customer service, and value.
GEICO is the cheapest insurer in many states, frequently beating its competitors for value and policy offerings. In Washington, GEICO charges roughly $992 per year for full coverage car insurance, on average, making it one of the cheapest insurers in the state.
|Company Address||5260 Western Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
If you qualify for USAA membership, then you can obtain significantly lower car insurance prices while enjoying excellent claims satisfaction and customer service. Membership is open to active duty and retired military personnel and their families. USAA drivers in Washington pay even less than GEICO for car insurance, with drivers paying roughly $887 per year, on average. However, USAA’s restricted membership drops it further down this list.
|Company Address||9800 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, TX 78288
PEMCO is a leading Washington state car insurance company that insures thousands of drivers. The company charges drivers approximately $1,026 per year for full coverage car insurance, beating many of its competitors for pricing and claims satisfaction.
|Company Address||325 Eastlake Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98109
Travelers is one of America’s largest car insurance companies, and Travelers insures thousands across Washington state. Travelers charges drivers roughly $1,253 per year, on average, for car insurance in Washington state.
|Company Address||485 Lexington Ave 10th Fl
New York, NY 10017
Allstate insures millions of drivers across the United States, and the company continues to be a top-rated option for drivers in Washington. Allstate offers plenty of discounts on top of competitive pricing. Expect to pay around $1,312 per year for full coverage car insurance in Washington state with Allstate.
|Company Address||2775 Sanders Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
6. State Farm
State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the United States, so it makes sense they would have a strong presence in Washington. State Farm charges competitive rates to drivers across Washington state, and the company is particularly affordable for drivers with a clean record. Expect to pay around $1,320 per year for full coverage car insurance in Washington state with State Farm.
|Company Address||1 State Farm Plaza
Bloomington, IL 61701
Grange is a sneakily good car insurance company for drivers in Washington, offering affordable prices despite not having the name recognition of some of the better-known companies above. Expect to pay around $1,356 per year with Grange in Washington state.
|Company Address||671 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43206
8. American Family
American Family offers affordable car insurance in Washington, and the company is relatively popular in rural areas of the state compared to other providers listed above, including smaller towns throughout eastern Washington. American Family is priced around $1,396 per year for the average driver.
|Company Address||6000 American Parkway
Madison, WI 53783
Progressive is available across the United States, and they’re one of the top options for drivers in Washington. Progressive offers plenty of discounts and other ways for drivers to save on car insurance. Progressive charges approximately $1,411 per year for car insurance in Washington.
|Company Address||6300 Wilson Mills Road
Mayfield Village, OH 44143
Safeco is a Seattle-headquartered insurance company under the Liberty Mutual family. The company formerly held the naming rights to the Seattle Mariners’ stadium, and Safeco continues to have a strong presence across Washington state. Safeco isn’t as cheap as providers listed above, but the company is frequently among the top-rated insurance companies in Washington for claims satisfaction and customer service. Expect to pay around $1,562 per year with Safeco.
|Company Address||175 Berkeley Street,
Boston, MA 02116
Washington Insurance Requirements
Washington has similar car insurance requirements to other states. Drivers must carry a certain minimum amount of liability insurance to legally drive in the state.
Minimum car insurance requirements in Washington include:
- $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $10,000 of property damage liability coverage
Insurance companies express this policy as a 25/50/10 plan. Any car insurance policy you buy from a licensed insurer in Washington state will (at least) meet these minimum requirements.
Many drivers exceed these requirements or add coverage. You might add uninsured or underinsured driver insurance, for example, or collision and comprehensive coverage.
You must carry proof of insurance at all times while driving in Washington. Your document must show your policy number, the name of the insurance company, the effective date and expiration date of the policy, and covered vehicles.
Drivers who own 26 or more vehicles may qualify for self-insurance in Washington, which involves different proof of insurance requirements than require for other drivers.
Some Washington drivers also use a certificate of deposit as insurance. By depositing $60,000 in a special bank account set up by the State of Washington, you can avoid the car insurance requirements listed above. The money in that account functions like car insurance, covering your liability in an accident.
Driving Without Insurance in Washington
Driving without insurance in Washington is illegal. Penalties vary depending on how many times you are caught driving without insurance.
If a police officer catches you driving without insurance, then the police officer can issue a ticket for a traffic infraction. That ticket can carry community service, two fees totaling $15, and a minimum fine of $450.
However, if you were caught driving without insurance after an accident in Washington, then you face more severe penalties. You are responsible for paying for collision damage. And, if the accident caused more than $1,000 of property damage, or if there are any bodily injuries on either side of the accident, the Washington Department of Licensing will suspend your driver’s license. This suspension could last for up to 3 years, and you may need to pay a $75 fee to reinstate your license.
Car Insurance in Washington with DUI
Washington has strict penalties for driving under the influence. Penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense and whether or not you have committed other offenses within the lookback period, among other factors.
Your first DUI in Washington will lead to a prison sentence of 1 to 364 days in prison, $950 to $5,000 in fines, a 90-day license suspension, and potential use of an interlock ignition device for at least one year.
Drivers face higher penalties for subsequent offenses, for having a BAC over 0.15%, and for having a minor (under 16 years old) in the car at the time of the accident. If you were driving recklessly or caused an accident while under the influence, then penalties could be even more severe.
Fortunately, car insurance companies in Washington treat DUIs in different ways. Consider requesting a quote from the following insurers if convicted of a DUI in Washington.
- Pemco: $1,716 per year
- Allstate: $1,824 per year
- State Farm: $1,901 per year
- GEICO: $2,002 per year
- Progressive: $2,012 per year
Car Insurance in Washington with At-Fault Accidents
After causing an accident in Washington, your car insurance premiums increase. Some car insurance companies, however, have accident forgiveness or similar policies, which means your first car accident will not raise rates as much as it would with competing providers.
Consider requesting a quote from any of the following Washington insurance companies if you have one or more at-fault accidents on your record:
- Pemco: $1,626 per year
- Allstate: $1,714 per year
- State Farm: $1,812 per year
- GEICO: $1,902 per year
- Safeco: $1,923 per year
Car Insurance in Washington with Speeding Tickets
Some car insurance companies treat speeding tickets as seriously as at-fault accidents. Other companies ignore speeding tickets when calculating premiums, especially if it’s one minor speeding ticket on an otherwise clean record.
Some of the best car insurance companies in Washington for drivers with speeding tickets include:
- GEICO: $998 per year
- Allstate: $1,024 per year
- State Farm: $1,032 per year
- Safeco: $1,323 per year per year
- Progressive: $1,401 per year
Car Insurance in Washington for Young Drivers
Young drivers pay higher rates for car insurance in every state. Statistically, a young driver in Washington (under age 25) is more likely to cause an accident than a driver in any other age group.
However, not all car insurance companies treat young drivers as harshly. Some car insurance companies welcome young drivers into their pool to balance risk and premiums:
- Safeco: $1,511 per year
- Allstate: $1,624 per year
- State Farm: $1,701 per year
- GEICO: $1,994 per year
- Progressive: $2,014 per year
Car Insurance in Washington with Poor Credit
Washington state insurance law allows insurance companies to consider credit score when calculating premiums. Drivers with low credit scores pay more for car insurance than drivers with high credit scores. Statistically, these drivers are more likely to make a claim.
If you have bad credit, consider requesting a quote from any of the following car insurance companies in Washington:
- Pemco: $1,322 per year
- Travelers: $1,349 per year
- GEICO: $1,399 per year
- Safeco: $1,494 per year
- State Farm: $1,502 per year
SR-22 Insurance in Washington
Washington is one of several states that require drivers to provide an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility in certain situations.
The Washington State Department of Licensing will contact you to request an SR-22 insurance certificate if you have been convicted of certain offenses, failed to pay judgments, or drove or owned a vehicle involved in an accident.
If you need SR-22 insurance, then you have three options. You can obtain SR-22 insurance through an approved insurance company (most major insurance companies offer SR-22 certification in Washington). Or, you can buy a certificate of deposit or a liability bond for $60,000.
Most drivers must provide proof of financial responsibility for 3 years from the date you are eligible to reinstate your license.
Conclusion: How to Find the Best Auto Insurance in Washington
Washington has average car insurance premiums, although drivers can pay significantly lower than average premiums by shopping around, taking advantage of discounts, and comparing car insurance quotes online.
If one car insurance company in Washington state is charging you relatively high rates, then another car insurance company should be happy to charge you lower rates. Take advantage of discounts and compare quotes online today to find the best car insurance in Washington for your unique needs.