Average cost of car insurance in Washington D.C. for 2021

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Some of the worst traffic in the country and a densely populated area are only two reasons the average cost of auto insurance in Washington D.C. is higher than the U.S. average. Rates in Washington D.C. average $704 for minimum coverage, while a full coverage policy averages $1,855 per year, illustrating how expensive it can be to drive in the nation’s capital.

How much does car insurance cost in Washington D.C.?

Auto insurance rates are dependent on many factors, including your age, zip code, gender, driving history and vehicle. Other factors, such as your credit score and marital status, are also factored in. The average cost of insurance in the U.S. is $565 per year for minimum coverage and $1,674 for full coverage, but rates in Washington D.C. tend to come in above the national average.

Washington D.C. car insurance rates by company

Washington D.C. car insurance rates vary as much by zip code as they do with the carrier you choose. You can see from the table below the wide range of premium costs from one carrier to another.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Allstate $1,068 $3,732
Erie $438 $1,212
Geico $466 $1,420
Nationwide $1,014 $1,985
Progressive $881 $1,601
State Farm $906 $1,994
USAA $383 $876

Washington D.C. car insurance rates by age

Full coverage premiums, such as the ones listed below, are heavily influenced by the driver’s age. 18-year olds tend to pay the highest car insurance rates in Washington D.C., a trend found in most states throughout the country.

Age Average annual premium in Washington D.C.
Age 16* $2,491
Age 18 $5,744
Age 20 $3,851
Age 25 $2,246
Age 30 $1,984
Age 40 $1,855
Age 50 $1,818
Age 60 $1,773
Age 70 $1,957

*16-year old rates determined by calculating on a parental policy

Washington D.C. car insurance rates by driving record

Your driving record, including tickets, accidents, and DUIs, all significantly impact the average car insurance rates in Washington D.C. The average rates below reflect just one instance of each infraction, and if you have several infractions, you can expect your premiums to rise even higher.

Driving incident Average annual full coverage premium in Washington D.C. % increase in average annual premium
Speeding ticket $2,158 14%
Accident $2,443 24%
DUI $2,813 52%

How to save on car insurance in Washington D.C.

As you see from the Bankrate information, avoiding traffic violations, accidents and DUI’s is one way to save on auto insurance rates in Washington D.C. There are several other strategies you can use as well, including:

  • Raising your deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums because you agree to take on more financial risk. Your deductible is the out-of-pocket costs you pay with a comprehensive or collision claim, and the more you take on means potentially lower monthly premiums.
  • Bundle your policies: If you currently have a homeowners or renters policy, then bundling with the same carrier is a great way to receive additional savings on your auto insurance.
  • Regularly shop around: Comparison shopping is not only a thorough approach to purchasing your policy, it is also a smart way to ensure that your current policy is right for you. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare multiple carriers regularly. Rates change from year to year and from one carrier to another, so regular comparison shopping benefits your wallet.
  • Look for discounts: Each carrier offers discounts, many of which provide simple ways to save. Allowing the carrier to track your driving habits using telematics, having safety equipment or taking a defensive driving course are a handful of ways you can save on your policy.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company in Washington D.C.?

Like your premiums, determining the best carrier in Washington D.C. is based on your personal preferences and auto insurance needs. Start by reviewing the carrier’s customer service and financial ratings, then look at the digital assets and coverage options available. Bankrate has reviewed several and found Erie, Geico, Progressive, USAA and State Farm could be excellent options for drivers in D.C.

How much car insurance do I need?

The amount of car insurance you need is based on your financial situation, but you should purchase the maximum amount of coverage that fits within your budget. Most financial experts recommend purchasing higher amounts of liability if you have a more significant net worth. Consider optional coverages, such as uninsured motorist coverage, roadside assistance, comprehensive and collision to round out your policy and have greater financial protection. It’s best to speak with a licensed insurance agent or financial expert to determine what is right for you.

Is uninsured motorist coverage required in Washington D.C.?

No, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is optional for drivers in Washington D.C. However, you should carefully consider adding this optional coverage to your policy for upgraded financial protection. The District of Columbia currently ranks among the top 10 highest areas for uninsured drivers, with over 19% of drivers without insurance, putting you at further risk. This option provides greater coverage to you if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance, such as help with medical payments and property damage expenses.

Which carrier has the cheapest auto insurance in Washington D.C.?

Cheap auto insurance rates are possible to find in Washington D.C., despite the challenging conditions like traffic and population. Bankrate has reviewed several carriers and found Erie, Geico, Progressive, USAA and State Farm all have highly competitive rates among the carriers reviewed. Still, it’s a good idea to shop around and see what carriers offer the best coverage for you.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

Written by
Sara Coleman
Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman has three years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.