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Cheapest car insurance in Washington, D.C. for 2024

According to Bankrate’s analysis, USAA, Geico and Erie offer some of the cheapest auto coverage in D.C.

Updated Jun 01, 2024
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The cheapest car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.

Avoiding long commutes may be a near-impossible task for Washington, D.C. drivers, but finding affordable coverage does not have to be. Many of the nation’s top providers offer low average annual rates with good coverage options, plentiful discount opportunities and solid customer satisfaction. In fact, drivers with minimum coverage in D.C. pay less than the national average for coverage. Minimum policies cost $780 on average compared to $640 nationwide. However, for full coverage, D.C. drivers pay slightly more, an average of $2,520 per year compared to the national average of $2,311.

Based on each company’s average annual rates, which Bankrate accessed through Quadrant Information Services, as well as an analysis of several other perks and drawbacks of the largest insurers by market share, we found that USAA, Geico and Erie may offer the cheapest auto insurance in Washington, D.C.

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Advertising disclosure
This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

Cheapest car insurance in Washington, D.C. for minimum coverage

Generally speaking, minimum coverage refers to liability-only auto insurance. Liability offers financial protection in the event an accident you cause results in property damage or injuries to other drivers. However, liability does not cover things like theft, vandalism or weather damage. It will not help cover the cost of repairing your own vehicle after an at-fault accident, either.

Minimum coverage insurance can be a way to keep your monthly premium low, and drivers with vehicles valued at less than the cost of a full coverage policy may choose liability-only car insurance in Washington, D.C. Based on average rate data, USAA and Geico offer cheap minimum coverage car insurance in Washington, D.C.

Insurance Company Average monthly premium Average annual premium Savings vs state avg. for min coverage
$36
$436
- $344
$37
$439
- $341
$45
$537
- $243
$63
$754
- $26
$106
$1,268
+ $488
USAA is only available to active-duty military, veterans and qualifying family members.

Minimum coverage requirements for Washington, D.C. drivers

Like in most states, Washington, D.C. drivers must carry at least a minimum amount of car insurance to legally operate a vehicle. The average annual cost for this in Washington, D.C. is $780. Because D.C. is a no-fault state, personal injury protection (PIP) must also be offered by insurers, though drivers have the option to waive the coverage.

By law, minimum coverage policies must meet or exceed the following limits, per the D.C. DMV:

  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability
  • $10,000 per accident in property damage liability
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury
  • $5,000 per accident in uninsured motorist property damage

Drivers who purchase minimum coverage insurance typically pay some of the lowest premiums. However, most drivers benefit from getting more coverage than what is required. While there is no guarantee that full coverage will cover the full cost of an at-fault accident, it does provide additional financial backing and coverage for damage to your own vehicle.

Comparatively, minimum coverage may not be enough to fully satisfy the cost of an at-fault accident. If a driver causes an accident and their financial responsibility is higher than their policy limits, they must pay the difference out of pocket.

Cheapest car insurance in Washington, D.C. for full coverage

Full coverage auto insurance is pricier than minimum coverage but will provide more financial protection in the event of an at-fault accident, as well as coverage for things like weather-related damage, animal-related damage, theft, vandalism, hit and runs and more. Based on Bankrate’s analysis, USAA and Progressive tend to offer the cheapest full coverage policies in D.C.

Insurance Company Average monthly premium Average annual premium Savings vs state avg. for full coverage
$110
$1,324
- $1,196
$121
$1,455
- $1,065
$126
$1,515
- $1,005
$133
$1,599
- $921
$314
$3,764
+ $1,244
USAA is only available to active-duty military, veterans and qualifying family members.

Cheapest car insurance in Washington, D.C. for drivers with prior incidents

One of the key factors influencing your insurance rates is your driving history. Getting a ticket or getting into an accident may cause your rates to spike significantly. Even a single speeding ticket could amount to a substantial increase in your premium.

Cheapest insurance companies for drivers in Washington, D.C. with a speeding ticket:Geico

Speeding may be seen as an indicator of unsafe driving practices by car insurance companies. This is why carriers typically charge higher rates for drivers with a speeding ticket conviction. Multiple speeding tickets may further impact your premium and could cause you to be viewed as a high-risk driver. If you have a speeding ticket on your record, it will likely only impact your premiums for three to five years, depending on the carrier, but it may be worth it to get quotes from the carriers below.

Insurance Company Avg. annual min coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium
$504
$1,825
$508
$1,549
$562
$1,590
$917
$1,856
$1,373
$5,308
USAA is only available to active-duty military, veterans and qualifying family members.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers in Washington, D.C. with an at-fault accident: Erie

Unless you have an endorsement for accident forgiveness on your policy, you may find your rate increasing after a single accident — especially if you were deemed at fault. Your insurer is in the business of risk, and drivers who have been in accidents are often seen as more likely to engage in risky behavior behind the wheel. You may be able to minimize this increase by taking a defensive driving course to prove that you're working on your driving skills and earn a small discount.

Based on average rates following a single at-fault accident, here are some of the insurers providing cheap car insurance in Washington, D.C. for drivers who have been involved in an at-fault accident:

Insurance Company Avg. annual min coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium
$609
$1,714
$612
$2,203
$643
$1,956
$1,170
$2,368
$1,509
$5,647

Cheapest car insurance in Washington, D.C. for high-risk drivers: USAA

High-risk drivers may find it difficult to find coverage, especially with traditional carriers. You may be seen as a high-risk driver if you've had multiple tickets or accidents, but perhaps the most serious infraction is a DUI. A single DUI conviction on your record will likely make it more difficult to find insurance and could seriously impact your rates. However, if you do have a high-risk incident on your record, we found that the following carriers may offer you the cheapest rates:

Insurance Company Avg. annual min coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium
$815
$2,579
$840
$1,659
$844
$2,317
$907
$3,207
$1,560
$5,985
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Bankrate’s take: Keep in mind that getting a DUI won’t just cause your insurance costs to increase. It may make it much more difficult to find insurance at all. Insurers aren’t obligated to offer you a policy, and some refuse to offer coverage to drivers with a DUI conviction on their record due to the risk of re-offending and causing an accident. Be ready to get quotes from multiple insurance companies and consider working with an agent to figure out which providers may be right for you.

Cheapest car insurance for young drivers in Washington, D.C.

Young drivers tend to pay more for auto insurance than adults. Given their lack of experience behind the wheel, insurers view youthful drivers as a higher risk to insure and charge accordingly. Add an incident to a young driver’s record, and their rates are likely to be even more expensive.

Cheapest Washington, D.C. car insurance for insuring a teen driver: Erie

Even the best teen drivers may see comparatively high rates because young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. However, some carriers may charge more to insure a teen driver than others. Additionally, teen drivers may be able to help bring their rates down by taking advantage of discounts. Some insurers, for example, offer savings for teen drivers who maintain a strong GPA or those who leave their vehicle at home while attending college.

Here are some of the insurers writing cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. for teens:

Insurance Company Avg. annual min coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium
$1,072
$3,093
$1,088
$3,737
$1,169
$3,598
$1,899
$3,789
$2,407
$8,612

Cheapest Washington, D.C. car insurance for teens with a ticket: USAA

A teen driver will already face high insurance rates due to their inexperience. Adding a ticket to their driving history will only raise premiums further, making driving safely key to getting cheap insurance. If you do get a ticket, consider USAA — they may offer some of the cheapest policies based on our research.

Insurance Company Avg. annual min coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium
$1,170
$3,696
$1,248
$3,632
$1,374
$4,795
$3,307
$13,634
$3,699
$12,091
USAA is only available to active-duty military, veterans and qualifying family members.

Cheapest Washington, D.C. car insurance for teens with an at-fault accident: Erie

Causing an accident is all but guaranteed to result in an increase to your auto insurance rates. Your insurer will worry that you could cause more incidents and will adjust the cost of your policy accordingly. If you’re at fault for an accident, Erie and USAA may offer the cheapest policies in D.C.

Insurance Company Avg. annual min coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium
$1,211
$3,466
$1,270
$3,968
$1,614
$5,623
$3,411
$12,196
$4,129
$13,446
USAA is only available to active-duty military, veterans and qualifying family members.
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Bankrate’s take: Washington D.C. is a no-fault state; however, no-fault insurance laws don’t apply to vehicle damage. If you cause a crash, your insurance will kick in to help cover the other driver’s vehicle damage up to your policy limits. In addition, each driver involved in a crash will file a claim with their own insurer for their own injury-related expenses. The coverage on your policy that helps pay for medical expenses is called personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage. In D.C., PIP coverage is optional. If your policy includes the coverage, your insurer would cover your medical expenses up to the policy limit. If your expenses exceed your policy coverage, or if your policy does not include the optional PIP coverage, you would file a liability claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. In contrast, in at-fault states, the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident would help cover the other parties’ vehicle damage and medical bills.

Cheapest Washington, D.C. car insurance for young drivers with a DUI: Geico

As mentioned, a DUI conviction on your driving record will have insurance-related consequences. On top of some insurers refusing to offer you a policy, a DUI will result in increased rates. To mitigate the financial fallout, if you’re a young driver with a DUI conviction on your record, you might benefit from getting quotes from Geico and USAA.

Insurance Company Avg. annual min coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium
$1,224
$4,491
$1,227
$3,951
$1,248
$3,500
$1,476
$3,191
$2,087
$9,839
USAA is only available to active-duty military, veterans and qualifying family members.

Car insurance discounts in Washington, D.C.

Most insurance companies offer at least a few discount opportunities that may lower your premium. Those listed below are among the most common; however, what’s available will vary from insurer to insurer.

You may want to ask your insurance agent about potential discounts when your policy renews, especially if you've recently experienced a big life change like adding a teen driver to your policy or buying a new home.

  • Young driver discounts: Young drivers in high school or college can often save on their premium by maintaining a "B" or higher grade point average. They may also save if they leave their car at home while attending college.
  • Safe driver discounts: Insurers are increasingly using telematics programs to monitor driving behaviors in real time. If you exhibit safe driving skills, you could save on your premium. Some carriers also extend discounts for remaining claims-free for a specified period of time.
  • Defensive driving course: If you take an approved defensive driving course, you may be viewed as less of a risk to insure and qualify to earn a small discount.
  • Low mileage: If you don’t drive often, you may be able to get a cheaper policy by applying for a usage-based insurance policy or asking for a low-mileage discount.
  • Good student discount: For young drivers, you may be able to land a discount if you can show that you earn good grades. Often, you’ll need a GPA of at least 3.0 or higher.
  • Other discounts: There are a wide variety of potential discounts with different carriers, so shopping around may help you see which company offers the most relevant ones for you. You might earn a discount if your car has safety features such as anti-lock brakes or anti-theft devices, if you pay your premium up front and if you bundle your car insurance with a homeowners or renters policy.

Frequently asked questions

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Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze June 2024 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2022 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket and single DUI conviction. Young driver DUI rates are for 21-year-old drivers on their own policy; other young driver incident rates are for 18-year-old drivers on their own policy.

Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16-year-old teen to their 40-year-old married parents' policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18 and 21 applied. Drivers are renters on their own policy. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Written by
TJ Porter
Contributor, Personal Finance

TJ Porter is a contributing writer for Bankrate with eight years of experience writing about finance.  TJ writes about a range of subjects, from budgeting tips to bank account reviews.

Edited by Editor, Insurance
Reviewed by Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute