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Best car insurance in Washington, D.C. for 2023

Updated Feb 02, 2023
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Car insurance rates may vary significantly based on where you live, and the nation's capital is no exception. Bankrate analyzed a variety of providers to bring you the best car insurance in Washington, D.C.

Auto Insurance
Key takeaway
  • The average cost of full coverage car insurance in Washington, D.C., is $1,948 per year, which is 10 percent higher than the national average of $1,771.
  • Minimum coverage car insurance in Washington, D.C., is $613 per year, which is 12 percent higher than the national average of $545.
  • Our extensive research shows that USAA, State Farm and Geico may offer some of the best auto insurance in Washington, D.C.

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How Bankrate chose the best car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.

To find the best car insurance companies in the District of Columbia, Bankrate first looked to proprietary rate data provided by Quadrant Information Services. We then studied other data points such as customer services scores from the 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study by J.D. Power, AM Best financial strength ratings, mobile accessibility, discounts offered and NAIC complaints. Using this information, we issued each company a Bankrate Score, ranging from 0.0 to 5.0 (with 5.0 being the best score possible). Our goal is to provide you with the information needed to have a holistic view of car insurance in Washington, D.C.

Best car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.

According to information provided by Quadrant Information Services, the average cost for a full coverage auto policy in Washington, D.C., is $1,948 annually. A minimum coverage policy in the District of Columbia averages $613. We used this rate data to look for the cheapest car insurance in Washington. Then, we compared that information with our Bankrate Scores and found that USAA, State Farm and Geico may offer the best Washington, D.C., car insurance.

Car insurance company Bankrate Score J.D. Power score (Mid-Atlantic region) Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium
USAA* 4.87 881/1,000 $1,185 $445
State Farm 4.70 851/1,000 $1,973 $798
Geico 4.70 834/1,000 $1,282 $363
Erie 4.53 867/1,000 $1,228 $423
Progressive 4.33 827/1,000 $1,236 $506

*USAA is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions.

Best for military-focused coverage

J.D. Power:
881 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 445
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,185
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Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best for local agencies

J.D. Power:
851 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 798
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,973
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best for drivers with incidents

J.D. Power:
834 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 363
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,282
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best for robust car insurance coverage

J.D. Power:
867 /1,000
AM Best:
A +
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 423
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,228
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best for digital and online experience

J.D. Power:
856 /1,000
AM Best:
A +
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 506
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,236
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

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

The average annual cost of full coverage car insurance in the U.S. is $1,771, while Washington D.C., averages $1,948 annually for full coverage insurance. Minimum coverage is also more expensive on average in Washington, D.C., at $613 annually compared to the national annual average of $545. This may in part be due to Washington's highly congested roads which could increase the risk of an accident.

Not only are car insurance rates in Washington, D.C., higher than the national average, but they are also higher than those in some surrounding areas. For instance, the average annual full coverage rate in Maryland is $1,931. In Virginia, the price difference is much more dramatic, where the average yearly full coverage premium is $1,347, making the rates in the District of Columbia 45 percent more expensive.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Washington, D.C. Average annual premium for full coverage in Washington, D.C.
$613 $1,948

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.

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 requirement

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, usually $500 or $1,000.

In addition to comprehensive and collision, those leasing their vehicles will generally have to carry liability insurance with limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $50,000 for property damage. You may see this denoted as 100/300/50 on your policy documents.

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.

How to get the best car insurance

The best auto insurance company in Washington, D.C., is different for everyone. However, some simple approaches can be used to help judge which insurer offers the best coverage for you by assessing your situation.

  • Evaluate your needs: Every driver has unique circumstances that influence their insurance-buying decisions. For example, a driver with one or more traffic violations on their record, such as speeding, may prioritize finding a cheap car insurance company in Washington, D.C.. Additionally, a provider that offers first-accident forgiveness may stand out on your list, especially if you have been maintaining a clean driving record and want to avoid being penalized for a first offense.
  • Consider local factors: In Washington D.C., you have the option of purchasing personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Since D.C. is a no-fault district, you may want to consider this coverage to help cover medical expenses for you and any passengers in your vehicle. Reviewing your district’s optional coverage options with an insurance agent will help you decide what other protections you may need.

Car insurance discounts in Washington, D.C.

Depending on the company, you could find several opportunities to save money on your Washington, D.C., auto insurance. Some of the most common car insurance discounts include:

  • Young driver discounts: Adding a young driver to your policy could cause a significant rate hike, but you may be able to save with teen driver discounts. Many companies offer a discount for young drivers if they take a training course or get good grades, for example.
  • Safe driver discounts: Practicing safe driving habits may help keep your overall rate low, and could earn you a safe driver discount. For instance, some companies may give you a discount if you maintain a clean driving record for a certain period of time (typically between three and five years).
  • Other discounts: Some other popular discount opportunities could include savings for installing a telematics device in your vehicle, bundling your home and auto policies with the same company or taking a defensive driving course.

It’s important to know that discount availability varies among companies, so you may want to contact your agent to discuss your options.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Carol Pope
Insurance Writer

Carol Pope is an insurance writer for Bankrate and prior to joining the team, she spent 12 years as an auto insurance agent. During this time, she sold, serviced and underwrote auto insurance for people across the country. She also has experience selling supplement coverage such as umbrella insurance.

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