Best car insurance in Washington, D.C. for 2021

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When Washington, D.C. was mapped out all those years ago, it was intentionally made difficult to navigate. That holds true today, as weary commuters battle the relentless snarl of traffic around the Beltway.

It’s not surprising that residents face higher car insurance premiums. Washington, D.C., is home to approximately 521,100 licensed drivers and the third worst drivers in the country. The highly populated area makes traffic-related accidents more likely, so car insurance is especially important.

Rates can vary dramatically depending on the company, so it’s important to shop around for the best car insurance coverage.

There are some great options for the cheapest Washington, D.C., car insurance.

When considering which car insurance is right for you, look at the many factors that determine your quote:

  • Research the several types of coverage available to you.
  • Shop each company and request multiple quotes for comparison.
  • Inquire about extra discounts, like safe driving or customer loyalty.
  • Make sure that auto quotes meet the minimum requirements of Washington, D.C
  • Read customer reviews to learn more about customer service and claims processing.
  • Check the insurance company with the Washington, D.C., Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.

Best car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.

Provider Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
Erie Insurance $1,207 850/1000
Geico $1,389 841/1000
Progressive $1,634 828/1000
State Farm $1,962 855/1000
USAA $900 890/1000

Erie

Erie is a good option for the coverage add-on options, such as rate locking, first accident forgiveness, ridesharing, pet coverage and multi-policy discounts.

Geico

Geico has some of the most affordable premiums and a large number of discount options to help you save more money.

Progressive

Progressive offers lots of additional insurance options, such as rideshare and loan/lease payoff options, so you can customize your coverage.

State Farm

State Farm has a lot of discounts to make premiums more affordable, such as the Drive Safe and Save program. This company also lets you bundle your coverage with a lot of other insurance types such as home insurance and business insurance.

USAA

This insurance company serves members of the military and their families. If you are eligible for coverage, this option will likely save you a lot of money on your insurance rates.

Average cost of car insurance in Washington, D.C.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Washington, D.C. Average annual premium for full coverage in Washington, D.C.
$638 $1,810

The national average annual cost of car insurance is $1,738, while Washington D.C. averages $1,810 annually for full coverage insurance. Since being insured is mandatory for every driver, D.C. has a provision for high-risk drivers to get auto insurance through the D.C. Automobile Insurance Plan. However, there is no such facility for low-income motorists.

The cost of insurance also depends on your ZIP code, age, driving record, type of vehicle and the insurer and coverage you choose. Making use of available discounts is one of the easiest ways to save on premiums.

State minimum insurance requirements in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is particular about the types of insurance you need:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $25,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000
  • Uninsured motorist coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

How to get the best car insurance

Getting the best car insurance depends largely on your needs and the requirements of your state. Shopping around for a policy before each renewal is the time-tested method for getting the most reasonable price for the coverage you need.

Before you buy an insurance policy, you must:

  • Evaluate your needs: Did you just buy a new and expensive car? Have you had lapses in your policy? Are you planning to add your teenager to your policy? Factors like these influence the provider you choose and the premium you end up paying annually. The minimum coverage required by your state will allow you to drive legally but it is barely enough when you have additional needs. Therefore, take a moment to evaluate your current and possible future requirements before you select a certain provider or coverage.
  • Consider state factors: Washington D.C. is a no-fault district, which means you should ideally have personal injury protection. The region is also famous for being overcrowded with some of the worst traffic, leading to a higher chance of accidents. Collision and comprehensive coverages are recommended to cover yourself and your vehicle.

Car insurance discounts in Washington, D.C.

Every car insurance provider offers a few different kinds of discounts, and if you’re eligible for any of them, you could be getting the most value for your money. Here are the discounts available from our highlighted providers:

Discount Erie Geico Progressive State Farm USAA
Anti-lock brakes x x x x x
Anti-theft devices x x x x x
Automatic payment/paperless billing x x x x x
Defensive driving course x x x x
Early signing x x
Full payment x x
Good student x x x x
Green vehicle
Loyalty x x
Low annual mileage x x
Military x x
Multiple policies x x x x x
Multiple vehicles x x x x x
Occupational or organizations x x
Safe driver/accident free x x x x x
Safety features x x x x x

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance in Washington, D.C.?

The cheapest car insurance in Washington, D.C., depends on you because many variables will determine your individual quote.

What information is needed to get car insurance in Washington, D.C.?

You need to know what kind of insurance you need, as well as details like your address, vehicle make and model, driver’s license number and mileage. Companies also consider your driving record and past coverage.

What is distracted driving, and why is it important to avoid?

D.C. joined eight states noted for nearly a 6% increase in traffic-related fatalities. The Department of Transportation has since cracked down on distracted driving, implementing safe driving laws. All drivers are now banned from using handheld cell phones and texting, while new drivers are restricted from all cell phone use while behind the wheel.

What is high-risk insurance?

High-risk insurance is a term used for drivers who pose a high risk of damage. This includes those with recent or frequent claims or someone who was found at fault in a previous accident. Severe violations like speeding, reckless driving or a DUI will also drastically increase your insurance rate.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

About the author


Cynthia Widmayer

Cynthia Widmayerl
Cynthia Widmayer has over two years of experience as an insurance and personal finance writer. She covers home, car and life insurance products for Bankrate, the Simple Dollar, and Coverage.com, among others.