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Best car insurance in Washington for 2022

Updated Nov 15, 2022
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If you live in Washington State, you might consider the state's frequent rain and dense fog when it comes to choosing a car insurance policy. From there, whether you’re looking for the most affordable coverage, variety of add-on coverage or something else entirely, Bankrate’s extensive research on the top carriers in the state may provide valuable insights for your search. Our insurance editorial team reviewed average rates, coverage options, third-party ratings and more to help you find the best car insurance in Washington for your needs.

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Key takeaways
  • Average rates for full coverage car insurance in Washington state are significantly lower than California.
  • Travelers and Oregon Mutual offer some of the cheapest average rates in Washington for full and minimum coverage car insurance.
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How Bankrate chose the best car insurance companies in Washington

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team started the search for the best car insurance companies in Washington by analyzing dozens of carriers available in the state. We reviewed average car insurance premiums from Quadrant Information Services for minimum and full coverage and compared coverage options. Third-party ratings from agencies like J.D. Power for customer satisfaction and AM Best for financial strength, mobile app accessibility and more were also factored in to calculate a company's overall Bankrate Score.

The better a company scored in each of these categories, the higher its overall score for a maximum score of 5.0 out of 5.0 points. As you learn more about the insurance carriers below, this Bankrate Score may help give a high-level summary of how each insurer compares to another.

Best car insurance companies in Washington

According to our research, Geico, Travelers and Oregon Mutual are among the best auto insurance companies in Washington. All have average premiums which come below or near the average cost of car insurance in Washington, which is $1,313 per year for full coverage and $482 per year for minimum coverage, according to rates obtained from Quadrant Information Services.

If you’re looking for the best Washington car insurance companies, you might want to start with these carriers:

Car insurance company Bankrate Score J.D. Power score (Northwest region) Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium
Geico 4.7 832/1,000 $1,162 $429
Travelers 4.7 Not rated $889 $333
Oregon Mutual 4.6 Not rated $908 $355
Capital 4.6 Not rated $1,023 $494
Farmers 3.8 802/1,000 $1,151 $641

Best for high-risk drivers

J.D. Power:
832 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 429
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,162
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Best for affordable premiums

J.D. Power:
Not rated
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 333
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 889
Get a personalized quote

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

Best for unique discount opportunities

J.D. Power:
Not rated
AM Best:
N/A
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 355
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 908
Get a personalized quote

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

Best for personalized service

Capital

J.D. Power:
Not rated
AM Best:
N/A
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 494
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,023
Get a personalized quote

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

Best for optional add-on coverage

J.D. Power:
802 /1,000
AM Best:
A -
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 641
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,151
Get a personalized quote

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

Average car insurance cost in Washington

The average Washington auto insurance policy costs $482 per year for minimum coverage and $1,313 per year for full coverage, according to 2022 rate data obtained from Quadrant Information Services. Washington drivers pay less than the national annual average of $545 and $1,771 for minimum and full coverage, respectively.

When compared to surrounding states, Washington drivers typically have fairly affordable rates. Oregon drivers pay $1,371 per year for full coverage, on average, while California drivers pay an average of $2,190 annually. The difference in rates could be attributed in part to the population of each state and number of drivers, as well as an increased cost of living in California compared to Washington and Oregon.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Washington Average annual premium for full coverage in Washington
$482 $1,313

How to find the best car insurance in Washington

Finding the best car insurance for your situation may take a bit of research, but you can make the process easier by knowing how to evaluate your needs. The best auto insurance in Washington for you will likely be one that meets your needs while also remaining within your budget. Bankrate’s analysis may help you feel empowered to find the right company and coverage for your needs.

Consider minimum insurance requirements in Washington

Like most states, Washington’s car insurance laws require drivers to carry at least minimum levels of certain coverage types. If you live in the Evergreen State, you must purchase at least the minimum required levels of bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage to drive legally. Insurance companies must also offer you underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection (PIP), although these may be declined in writing.

Minimum coverage is often the cheapest option to purchase, but it could leave you with high out-of-pocket costs if you are deemed at fault for an accident and the damages exceed your insurance limits. Most insurance agents recommend that you purchase higher liability limits if you can afford to. Additionally, minimum coverage doesn’t give you any coverage for damage to your own vehicle. For that, you’d likely need to purchase comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. This is commonly called “full coverage.”

Consider lender requirements

If you finance your vehicle with a loan or lease, you’ll likely have to purchase full coverage as a requirement of your loan. This type of policy commonly adds comprehensive coverage and collision coverage which should provide you with financial protection against damage to your vehicle in case of a covered event.

You might also want to consider gap insurance, which is designed to pay for the difference between the cash value of your vehicle and the financed amount if your vehicle is totaled or stolen and not recoverable. Finally, if you lease your car, you should know that lessors often require certain minimum liability limits that are in excess of the state minimum.

Consider your individual needs

Drivers may also evaluate their car insurance needs based on their individual circumstances. Understanding what you need from your policy could help you choose a company and coverage options. For example, if you have a teen driver to insure, you might want to look for a company that offers several young driver discounts that could help lower your policy costs. If you’re a high-risk driver who has accidents, tickets or a DUI conviction on your record, you might need to research non-standard car insurance options. Getting a sense of what your specific situation calls for could help you narrow down your options when shopping for coverage.

Car insurance discounts in Washington

Most major car insurance companies offer discounts to help drivers lower their insurance premiums. Taking the time to find savings opportunities that you qualify for could save you money on your premium. Some common discounts in Washington include:

  • Young driver discounts: Car insurance for young drivers may be expensive, so finding the cheapest option is important for many families. Teens who go to school full time and earn good grades might qualify for good student discounts. If your child is away at school without a vehicle, you might also qualify for a distant student discount.
  • Safe driver discounts: If you don’t have any accidents or tickets on your record in the last three to five years, you might be eligible for a safe driver or claims-free discount. If you’re a safe driver, you could also consider participating in a telematics program. These programs track your driving via a mobile app or plug-in device and could earn you a discount based on your driving habits.
  • Other discounts: Bundling your home insurance and auto insurance with the same company often results in a discount on your vehicle policy. If you can afford to pay your premium in full, you might earn a paid-in-full discount. Finally, if you are a federal employee, military member or member of another qualifying profession, some companies may offer you savings. Other discount opportunities include a low mileage discount and a discount earned for taking a driver safety course.

Each car insurance company offers a unique set of discounts. Talking with an agent or researching discounts online is usually an effective way to determine what savings you qualify for.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer

June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.

Edited by Insurance Editor
Reviewed by Senior wealth manager, LourdMurray