Finding the best insurance can be challenging with all of the insurance companies out in the market. However, car insurance protects you from any charges you may incur from unanticipated accidents, especially in Washington.
Washington state presents challenges that drivers in other states may not have to consider, such as fog or heavy snow. For the state’s 5.3 million drivers, safety is a serious consideration. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Washingtonians drove nearly 62.3 million miles in 2018. The state tallied 497 fatal motor vehicle crashes, resulting in 546 deaths.
With all of the factors that go into determining an insurance premium, it’s important to shop around and the best car insurance for your goals, budget and needs.
Best car insurance companies in Washington
It is a good practice to research before choosing an insurer. Resources like the Better Business Bureau can help identify red flags in customer relations and in policy satisfaction. We’ve compiled a list of the best car insurance companies in Washington based on accredited ratings across claims satisfaction and financial strength and affordability.
|Company||J.D. Power 2020 Claims Satisfaction Score||AM Best Financial Strength Rating||Average Full Coverage Yearly Premium|
In addition to having one of the cheapest average full coverage yearly premiums, Geico scored a superior A++ rating from AM Best and was awarded the highest rating for customer satisfaction among car insurance companies across the Northwestern region by J.D. Power.
Washington residents can also add optional coverage options including comprehensive, collision, roadside assistance and rental reimbursement, and more. Geico also offers specific discounts to drivers in Washington such as multi-vehicle, 5 year good driver and good student discounts.
Nationwide offers affordable insurance premiums across Washington, with the average yearly premium being $1,475 for full coverage. AM Best Financial rated it as an A+ for superior financial strength. Drivers can save extra on their insurance premiums by bundling policies with Nationwide, enrolling in its SmartRide program, and signing up for Easy Pay.
With local State Farm car insurance agents in every Washington city, it is no wonder the car insurance company scores 881/1000 in J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Score ratings. In addition to excellent customer service, affordable insurance premium rates, and a sturdy financial strength rating, State Farm offers coverage options and add-ons to fit your needs. You can also apply general discounts and discounts specific to your location to lower your annual premium and help you save.
Out of the researched best car insurance companies in Washington, USAA scored highest across all rankings and had the lowest average annual premium rate for full coverage car insurance. With an A++ financial strength rating and a 890/1000 J.D. Power Score, no wonder Washingtonians are attracted to USAA’s car insurance coverage options.
By bundling, Washingtonians can save up to 10% on property and auto insurance. Additionally, those military members on active duty, guard, reserve and veterans and spouses and children of USAA members will receive extra benefits and discounts due to their service.
Average car insurance cost in Washington
The average annual premium is $431 for minimum coverage and $1,211 for full coverage in Washington. Washington’s average annual cost for full coverage is much cheaper than the national average of $1,738. Washingtonians pay on average $527 less than the national average.
|Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage in Washington||Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage in Washington|
State minimum insurance requirements in Washington
A Washington driver must carry for a registered vehicle a minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 of bodily injury or death of one individual in an accident
- $50,000 of bodily injury or death of two individuals in an accident
- $10,000 of property damage coverage in an accident
Comprehensive insurance coverage is not mandatory, but encouraged, as it may protect you from costly repair and medical bills. Failure to show proof of coverage at an accident can result in a fine up to $450.
How to get the best car insurance
To find the best car insurance companies in Washington, drivers should research state requirements, shop around, identify their needs and understand what discounts would apply to their coverage rates. Each state has a different minimum coverage rate, so Washingtonians will have to understand the minimum requirements in the state.
Although obtaining the minimum coverage is always an option, it is always a better idea to buy more than the minimum coverage in auto insurance. It may cost more in premiums, however, it can save more money in the long run. Adding more than the requirement to car insurance can help drivers pay for damage done to their vehicle or injuries to passengers in the event of an unanticipated accident. Check with local insurance agents to discover which add-ons or coverage options are available.
Evaluate your individual needs
Drivers can evaluate their car insurance needs based on their circumstances. Various factors go into the total cost of your annual car insurance premium such as gender, age, marital status, credit score, driving record and history, vehicle make and model, and more. Drivers must understand their circumstances and discuss them with their local agent when shopping for the right car insurance premium.
For example, if you have a child that is about to start driving, you will need to change your insurance policy to add a teen driver, which could hike up your insurance premium. Most insurance companies offer a good student discount or teen driver discount, which could help policy holders save a lot on annual policy premiums. Furthermore, single drivers who were involved in an accident or received a traffic violation should also understand what options they have by discussing this with insurance agents, as these circumstances can affect their insurance premiums.
Consider State Factors
Most insurance companies offer additional add-on coverage options. Considering Washington’s various geographical and environmental factors across the state, drivers should consider add-ons depending on location. For example, Seattle gets on average 38 inches of rain across half the year. Those living in Seattle should consider add-ons like engine protection cover and emergency roadside assistance.
According to the III, 17.4% of Washingtonian motorists are uninsured, ranking Washington as one of the highest states with uninsured motorists. Washington drivers may want to consider adding on uninsured motorist coverage to protect them against any charges from an accident with an uninsured driver.
Car insurance discounts in Washington
Most car insurance companies offer discounts to help drivers lower their insurance premiums. Some of the general discounts include good student, good driver and multi-policy. However, depending on the Washington insurance company you choose, providers may offer additional discounts for:
- Military service
- Enrollment in an accredited college or university
- Working as a first responder (police, EMT, fire fighter)
- Working as a teacher
- Having multiple policies with the same company
- Policy longevity
- Taking safe driving courses
- Agreeing to install a monitoring device
- Signing on to a group insurance policy
- Club or group membership discount
- Safe driving history
Frequently asked questions
What are the best car insurance companies in Washington?
To determine the best car insurance company in Washington, you’ll need to identify your needs, understand your circumstances and shop around. Insurance companies like State Farm, Geico, and Allstate have high customer satisfaction scores and superior AM Best Financial Ratings. These insurance companies also offer an extensive list of discounts for drivers to further lower their car insurance premiums.
What is needed to get car insurance in Washington?
To get a Washington auto insurance policy, you will need a valid driver’s license, your social security number, a major credit card or your checking account information, the vehicle identification number and make of the vehicle to be insured, the registration information on the vehicle, your date of birth and your current state residency information.
What are the factors that influence car insurance premiums?
Auto insurance premiums are based on the perceived risk of the policyholder. This is based on the policyholder’s location, how the insurance will be used, the age of the policyholder, occupation, marital status, time without an accident, credit score, employment, riders and additional policy coverages chosen.
Is there a way to avoid having to buy car insurance in Washington?
An individual can opt to self-insure if he/she has 26 vehicles or more. Proof of this self-insurance must always be carried by drivers of the vehicles. A driver can also opt to have a liability bond of at least $60,000 from a surety bond company authorized by Washington or a certificate of deposit to pay your liability insurance in lieu of auto insurance. Motor scooters and mopeds do not need auto insurance, but motorcycles do.
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 cleaning 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.