How to find the best car insurance in D.C.
The best auto insurance company in Washington, D.C., is likely different for everyone. However, some simple approaches may be used to help judge which insurer offers the best coverage for you and your unique situation.
Consider minimum insurance requirements in Washington, D.C.
When reviewing options for Washington, D.C., car insurance, the first step is often to become familiar with the required minimum liability limits and decide if they are enough to provide adequate coverage for you. Although some drivers may choose minimum coverage as a cost-saving measure, many insurance experts recommend purchasing higher coverage limits if your budget allows for it to ensure a broader level of financial protection for you and your vehicle.
The Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) found that the average U.S. bodily injury claim totaled $22,734 in 2021. Since car accidents may result in tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in damage, carrying minimum limits could increase your risk of a hefty out-of-pocket expense if you’re at fault and the damages exceed the liability limits you have on your policy.
Consider lender requirements
If you are financing or leasing your vehicle, your lienholder will almost certainly require you to carry comprehensive and collision, otherwise known as full coverage. You will often also have a cap on your deductible amount for comprehensive and collision.
In addition to comprehensive and collision, those leasing their vehicles will generally have to carry liability insurance, possibly at a rate that is higher than the city's minimum requirements.
Your lender is considered an additional interest when you are financing or leasing, meaning they have a financial interest in the well-being of your car. In other words, your lender technically owns your vehicle until you have paid off your loan (or throughout the duration of your lease, if applicable). As such, your lender likely wants to ensure that their investment is financially protected, and they typically do this by requiring certain types and levels of coverage.
Consider your individual needs
If you want the best car insurance in Washington, D.C., you may want to consider what optional coverage types (if any) you’d like to include on your auto policy. Although availability and eligibility may vary among companies, some popular coverage options include:
- Gap insurance: If your insurance company deems your vehicle a total loss as the result of a covered incident, gap insurance is intended to pay off the balance of your loan if you owe more than what the vehicle is worth. This may occur as a result of an accident or non-recoverable theft.
- Roadside assistance: If you break down and need a tow, lock yourself out of your car or need assistance changing a flat tire, emergency roadside assistance coverage may be able to help.
- Rental reimbursement: Rental reimbursement coverage may pay or reimburse you for your rental car while your vehicle is repaired due to a covered claim.
- New vehicle replacement: This endorsement may be useful if you have a car that is fairly new. Normally your insurer will pay you the depreciated value of your car if it's totaled in an accident, but with this add-on, you would receive enough to purchase a new car of the same make and model.