Washington State

Washington offers beautiful ocean views and seaside cliffs, forests with towering trees, and stunning vistas that can brighten even the cloudiest of days. With so many scenic drives to take, you want to make sure you have the proper car insurance before you set out to explore your home state.

Luckily, insurance premiums are fairly cheap in Washington, with consumers generally paying less than the national average for their coverage. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to find a great deal. The best way to find affordable car insurance is to compare rates from multiple insurance companies in Washington online.

The good news is that you don’t have to waste time contacting every company to find car insurance in Washington. OnlineAutoInsurance.com helps you instantly and easily compare car insurance quotes from the comfort of your home. You can even choose to purchase your policy online and receive proof of insurance within minutes.

But before you start shopping, you need to understand what you are buying. So what’s the minimum coverage required in Washington State? And what other options are available to protect your finances in the event of a car accident?

Washington Car Insurance Laws

Washington state law requires you to maintain an insurance policy with the following minimum limits:

Liability Coverage

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage total per accident
  • $10,000 property damage coverage per accident

Bodily Injury pays for medical expenses and funeral costs for injuries you’re responsible for in an at-fault accident, up to the per-person and per-accident limit. The Property Damage policy will cover the cost of repairing damages to vehicles and standing structures you’re liable for in an at-fault accident. Neither policy will pay for your or your passenger’s medical expenses, nor will they cover damages to your vehicle.

Although there are other ways to meet these requirements, such as surety bonds or proof of personal insurance, a car insurance policy is the safest way to protect you and your assets from the high cost of a serious accident.

Additional policies for more protection

Car accidents can get expensive fast, and while your liability insurance can help you deal with damages you caused, you will need additional coverage if you want help repairing damage to your car or paying medical bills that arise out of a car accident. Learn how the following policies can help:

Collision and Comprehensive

Collision and Comprehensive will provide benefits to help you repair your vehicle in a wide variety of situations. While it’s not required by law, as long as you’re still paying off your vehicle, your lienholder will require you to carry these policies.

Collision coverage will repair your vehicle if you’re in a car accident, regardless of fault, or if you hit a stationary object like a tree. Comprehensive coverage will repair damage caused outside of a collision, such as falling limbs, flood, or fire damage, or in a collision with an animal. It will also replace your car if it’s stolen.

Because it protects you from so many possibilities, the price of this coverage is generally higher than your liability policy. But even if you own your car outright, the added cost is often worth it, especially if your car is worth a considerable amount of money, or if you’d have trouble getting a new one if it’s totaled.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection is a type of no-fault insurance that will quickly pay benefits if you’re injured in a car accident. While it is not required by law, your insurance company must offer it to you. It will pay for medical expenses, funeral costs, and economic losses like lost wages, up to the policy limits you select. Even if you already have health insurance, a PIP policy offers invaluable protection, especially if your family depends on your income.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage provides benefits if you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist, or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run. Bodily Injury and Property Damage policies are sold separately and will match the limits of your liability coverage. That means your medical expenses, lost wages, or funeral expenses will still be covered, as well as damage to your vehicle if you purchase both policies.

This policy can also provide coverage for accidents involving an Underinsured Motorist, so long as you purchase more than the minimum liability limits. Once their policy limits are exhausted, you can recover the rest of the damages through your policy, minus what you’ve already collected from the other driver’s insurance.

Washington is in the top ten states of drivers without coverage, and Uninsured Motorist policies are fairly inexpensive. They also won’t raise your car insurance premiums as much as other forms of coverage when you make a claim, so even if you already purchased Collision and Comprehensive and PIP policies, you can still get a lot of value by adding this protection.

What affects car insurance rates?

Your insurance premiums are based on multiple personal factors, including your age, address, and the kind of vehicle you drive. Insurers will check driving history to see what violations or accidents drivers have had in the past. The more traffic violations and accidents you’ve had, the higher the premiums. The longer you go without incident, the less you’ll have to pay each month.

Similarly, the more your vehicle costs to repair, or the more likely it is to be stolen, the more you have to pay to keep it covered. You should take the time to get quotes on a vehicle before you purchase it, so you know you can afford to cover it.

You can experiment with different maximum limits and try raising or lowering your insurance deductible to find the best value for your money. But you shouldn’t buy a bare minimum insurance policy just to save money each month. Choosing a policy that doesn’t leave you protected if you cause a car accident can devastate your finances for years to come, and it’s not worth the risk of saving a few bucks a month.

Instead, find the best deal you can on insurance coverage that protects you in the worst-case scenario. Car insurance companies offer a wide variety of discounts as incentives to their ideal customers. While most discounts are automatically provided, such as marriage and multi-car discounts, you may have to provide additional information to get discounts on vehicle safety equipment or anti-theft devices.

The bottom line

No single insurer will offer the best rates to everyone. In order to get the best possible deal on car insurance, you have to compare rates and find the best policy for you and keep checking rates every year before you renew your contract. While your insurance company may offer you discounts for renewal, it doesn’t mean you should get complacent. Switching to a new company can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

So drive safely, follow the rules of traffic, and find an insurance policy that leaves you feeling secure when you need it. And let OnlineAutoInsurance.com help you find a reliable company in your area, so you don’t have to deal with the pressure of talking to an insurance agent.