Cheap Washington D.C. Car Insurance
Financial responsibility laws in the District of Columbia help to ensure that motorists are able to cover bodily injuries or property damages caused as the result of an accident. To obey these requirements and to avoid paying for an expensive protection plan, drivers can complete an online quote comparison to find affordable auto insurance that provides a sufficient amount of coverage.
Finding a Cheap D.C. Policy
Maintaining a policy while living in the District is essential, but it can also be costly. According to the most recent data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average premium for a liability, comp and collision policy in the nation's capital was roughly $1,126, the highest of any state. Part of the reason for this is that 100 percent of the District is urban area, which typically has greater levels of traffic and higher crash rates when compared to rural areas. Another contributing factor is D.C.'s high theft rate, which pushes up the cost of the comprehensive portion of a plan, which covers theft. According to data from the FBI and the Federal Highway Administration, in 2009 there was one vehicle theft in the District for every 39 registered vehicles. In nearby Delaware, the rate was only one vehicle theft for every 442 registered vehicles.
Locating cheap car insurance here may require a small amount of research, but it could be worth it. Those who are thinking of dodging this expense and driving uninsured should think again: All autos must be insured in D.C. before being registered, and the fine for driving without coverage for a year can be up to $2,500, which is probably significantly more than the price of a policy.
Even though coverage prices are generally high in the District, they do vary from company to company. D.C. regulators quantified this through a comparison of coverage costs for a set of driver profiles across 25 insurers. For a hypothetical 25-year-old male resident, sample six-month policy costs ranged from as low as $388 to as high as $2,014, depending on the company. A resident with the same driver and coverage profile could potentially be missing out on more than $3,000 in savings annually by not shopping around.
Motorists can generally improve their chances of finding an affordable protection plan by comparing a wide variety of estimates from numerous insurers. Instead of simply contacting companies directly, drivers have the option of completing an online comparison of DC auto insurance quotes. By utilizing the rate-generation tools on quote-comparison sites, motorists can potentially amass dozens of sample rates in only a matter of minutes.
Consider Coverage Options
While the sample rates cited here may seem high, it should be noted that they are for policies that include types of automobile insurance coverage that are not required by law in D.C. The NAIC average is based on a policy with liability, comp and collision, and the regulator-provided rates are based on one with liability, UM/UIM, personal injury protection and comp and collision. Individual drivers can weigh on their own whether they want to purchase beyond the government-mandated liability and UM/UIM protections.
Drivers with older cars, for example, may want to consider going without comprehensive and collision. One industry group recommends that these protections be dropped if their premium amounts to more than one-tenth the Kelly Blue Book value of the auto being insured. (Owners dropping the comprehensive portion, though, should consider the high theft rate mentioned earlier.) Motorists who took a loan out to purchase a new vehicle may be required to have comp and collision on their new buy as a condition of the loan. In this case, they may want to raise their deductibles, though it should be noted that this means higher out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident.