Washington Car Insurance [Rates + Cheap Coverage Guide]

The average Washington car insurance rates for liability coverage are $49.75/mo. The minimum Washington car insurance requirements are 25/50/10 for bodily injury and property coverage.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Table of Contents

Written By: Nathan MackowiakReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Annual Road MilesTotal in State: 81,417
Vehicle Miles Driven: 5.8 billion
VehiclesRegistered in State: 6.2 million
Total Stolen: 30,647
State Population7,535,591
Most Popular VehicleSubaru Outback
Uninsured Motorists17.40%
State Rank: 7th
Total Driving Fatalities2008-2017
Speeding: 1,762
Drunk Driving: 1,625
Average Annual PremiumsCollision: $266
Comprehensive: $106
Liability: $597
Cheapest ProviderAllied P&C (a Nationwide company)
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Whether you are going to the beach or the many national parks and forests in the beautiful Evergreen State, you should protect your drive with the best car insurance policy for peace of mind.

With so many choices available in the market, our guide will help you make an informed decision on the best car insurance policy that meets your needs so that you spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your drive to the Mt.Rainier National Park.

You can start comparing rates from insurance providers in your area by entering your ZIP code in our FREE tool!

Table of Contents

Washington Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

To purchase an optimum coverage specific to your driving habits, you need to understand the various types of coverage and the associated rates. To enable you to make the most informed decision, we have put together this guide containing all essential insurance fundamentals such as minimum coverage requirements, liability protection, add-on coverage, and also how Washington’s rates compare to other states.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in Washington

Does Washington state require car insurance? Washington is an ‘at-fault‘ state, which means that it is mandatory to have minimum auto liability insurance. According to state law, a driver is required to carry proof of minimum auto liability insurance. An electronic proof is acceptable as proof of insurance at a traffic stop. However, not carrying proof of insurance will attract penalties and fines by law enforcement.

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But what is minimum liability insurance, and is it enough?

Liability insurance pays for injuries and damages to the third party in case of an accident caused by you.

Tip: Liability insurance does not cover injuries or property damage sustained by you or your co-passengers.

Here’s a real-life example to help you understand the importance of liability insurance: you are approaching a stop sign few blocks from your home, and out of habit you failed to stop which resulted in you rear-ending a car that joined the road ahead of you. In this case, your insurer would most probably cover the damage to the third party up to the coverage limit.

Here’s a brief video from Allstate Insurance explaining liability insurance:

While minimum liability insurance is mandatory in Washington, it is only the baseline coverage that may not be adequate for your needs. You need to analyze the financial risk that you might expose yourself to if you decide to save on additional coverage. Take a look at the cost for minimum coverage in Washington and elsewhere.

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If you have substantial assets, it is advisable to purchase adequate liability insurance so that your assets are not at risk.

According to the Wall Street Journal, you should buy liability coverage equal to the total asset value. Calculate your total asset value by adding up the dollar values of your house, car, savings, and investments.

Is there any other option besides purchasing insurance that allows you to drive in Washington? Sure, in the next section, we will look at the various forms of financial responsibility accepted in the state of Washington.

Required Forms of Financial Responsibility in Washington

If you own a vehicle registered in Washington, in place of a liability auto insurance, you must have one of the following forms of financial responsibility:

A liability bond is a line of credit that you pay an annual rate to maintain. In case of a liability claim, you can borrow the required sum of money from the bond; however, you are expected to reimburse the surety company for any losses they may sustain because of your actions.

We established how much liability insurance you should purchase, but you might be wondering how much an average Washingtonian spends on auto insurance. In the next section, we try to answer this question.

Premiums as Percentage of Income in Washington

While Washington boasted of the eleventh highest average annual disposable income in the country at $45,143, but the average insurance premium is roughly on par with the national average at $952.10.

Which suggests a larger residual income for the weekend trips!

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However, here is the kicker: The full coverage premium increased by more than 6.8 percent between 2014 and 2012, while the disposable income increased by only 4.9 percent, increasing the insurance premium to 2.11 percent.

Did you know: Disposable income is the money available after taxes and withholdings are deducted from an individual’s income.

The figures we shared are average numbers and do not reflect your annual income, driving record, or your preferred deductibles.

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates in WA (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)

How much is car insurance in Washington state? A full auto insurance policy includes collision and comprehensive coverage on top of the liability coverage. As per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average cost of insurance in Washington is roughly at par with the national average.

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Additional Liability Coverage in Washington

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You should refer to the loss ratio If you need to figure out if the average rate is expected to increase soon or if the insurer is paying its claims.

Loss Ratio is the percentage calculated from the total claims a company serviced compared to the total premium it earned. A high loss ratio might indicate higher premium in future because the company is facing higher claims than its income, whereas if the loss ratio is lower than the average it might mean that the company is not paying its claims.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage in Washington

At 17.4 percent, Washington has the seventh-highest number of uninsured drivers in the nation. While it is not mandatory to purchase uninsured coverage, but it is prudent to buy the additional coverage given the high number of uninsured drivers in the state.

Do you know: Uninsured Motorists Coverage is designed to protect you in case of an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault.

See this brief video to know more about the uninsured motorist coverage:

Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders

In addition to options like collision and comprehensive insurance, there are other add-on coverages to consider in creating your insurance policy, such as:

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in WA

CompanyMarried 35-year old female annual rateMarried 35-year old male annual rateMarried 60-year old female annual rateMarried 60-year old male annual rateSingle 17-year old female annual rateSingle 17-year old male annual rateSingle 25-year old female annual rateSingle 25-year old male annual rate
Allstate F&C$2,076.46$2,054.07$1,919.38$2,011.85$7,306.88$8,456.50$2,206.95$2,292.07
American Family Mutual$1,958.34$1,958.34$1,787.39$1,787.39$7,444.49$10,177.95$1,958.34$2,631.93
Farmers Ins Co of WA$2,106.20$2,160.58$1,928.90$2,179.61$4,781.38$5,126.04$2,651.77$2,761.52
Geico General$1,741.67$1,773.53$1,636.13$1,636.13$3,760.90$4,926.25$2,930.56$2,144.04
First Nat'l Ins Co of America$1,781.98$1,950.41$1,596.99$1,871.63$9,875.56$10,891.02$1,909.10$2,081.18
Allied P&C AXCM$1,379.41$1,410.32$1,282.59$1,334.83$3,703.82$4,511.88$1,642.80$1,773.07
Progressive Direct$1,528.34$1,427.27$1,374.92$1,392.37$7,688.90$8,614.41$1,828.39$1,821.58
State Farm Mutual Auto$1,565.66$1,565.66$1,407.45$1,407.45$4,512.95$5,714.10$1,779.29$2,045.65
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Age and gender are among the factors considered while calculating rates for a driver. E.g., rates are generally high for teens compared to experienced drivers. The insurers attach a higher risk factor on teen drivers because of the inexperience.

Although with age the insurance rate normalizes, gender remains a factor with female rates lower than male rates on average.

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As you can see from the table, a teen will benefit from shopping around to save on premiums. A 17-year-old female driver can potentially save $6,000 by opting for Geico or Allied P&C instead of First National.

Cheapest Rates by ZIP Code in Washington

Let’s take a look at what the cheapest and most expensive ZIP codes are in Washington.

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Cheapest ZIP Codes in WashingtonCityAverage Annual Rate by ZIP CodesMost Expensive CompanyMost Expensive Annual Rate2nd Most Expensive Company2nd Most Expensive Annual RateCheapest CompanyCheapest Annual Rate2nd Cheapest Company2nd Cheapest Annual Rate
98368PORT TOWNSEND$2,461.54Liberty Mutual$3,312.18American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$1,912.00
98382SEQUIM$2,482.65Liberty Mutual$3,343.26American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$1,821.70
98278OAK HARBOR$2,512.24Liberty Mutual$3,560.47American Family$2,989.30USAA$1,745.19Nationwide$1,891.73
98362PORT ANGELES$2,515.10Liberty Mutual$3,509.95American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$1,986.87
98277OAK HARBOR$2,515.42Liberty Mutual$3,560.47American Family$2,989.30USAA$1,726.12Nationwide$1,891.73
98221ANACORTES$2,528.16Liberty Mutual$3,652.24Allstate$3,111.86USAA$1,711.97Nationwide$1,912.08
98245EASTSOUND$2,528.40Liberty Mutual$3,442.69Allstate$3,070.79Nationwide$1,870.56USAA$1,890.06
98261LOPEZ ISLAND$2,534.30Liberty Mutual$3,423.17Allstate$3,111.86Nationwide$1,870.56USAA$1,890.06
98326CLALLAM BAY$2,535.13Liberty Mutual$3,472.71American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
98363PORT ANGELES$2,536.42Liberty Mutual$3,598.12American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
98339PORT HADLOCK$2,540.36Liberty Mutual$3,469.33American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,068.16
98250FRIDAY HARBOR$2,541.29Liberty Mutual$3,624.73Allstate$3,111.86USAA$1,765.85Nationwide$1,870.56
98325CHIMACUM$2,546.91Liberty Mutual$3,464.63American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,051.90
98239COUPEVILLE$2,547.28Liberty Mutual$3,567.99Progressive$3,000.27Nationwide$1,891.73USAA$1,962.49
98331FORKS$2,548.79Liberty Mutual$3,630.14American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
98305BEAVER$2,560.25Liberty Mutual$3,718.88American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
98225BELLINGHAM$2,560.50Liberty Mutual$3,468.06American Family$3,215.37USAA$1,897.96Nationwide$1,937.63
98226BELLINGHAM$2,564.69Liberty Mutual$3,376.85American Family$3,226.63Nationwide$1,937.63USAA$1,998.33
99163PULLMAN$2,567.07Liberty Mutual$3,688.52American Family$3,494.22USAA$1,760.55Nationwide$1,794.51
99136HAY$2,568.28Liberty Mutual$3,688.52American Family$3,310.40Nationwide$1,794.51State Farm$1,952.71
99333HOOPER$2,570.68Liberty Mutual$3,688.52Allstate$3,485.59USAA$1,760.55Nationwide$1,794.51
98857WARDEN$2,571.68Liberty Mutual$3,483.46American Family$3,310.40Nationwide$1,822.61USAA$1,921.87
99111COLFAX$2,575.68Liberty Mutual$3,688.52American Family$3,434.49Nationwide$1,794.51State Farm$1,952.71
98365PORT LUDLOW$2,577.28Liberty Mutual$3,611.58American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,051.90
99125ENDICOTT$2,580.52Liberty Mutual$3,688.52American Family$3,434.49Nationwide$1,794.51State Farm$1,952.71
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As evident from the table, USAA and Allied P&C offer the cheapest insurance across different ZIP codes. Although these are average rates and your insurance rate will depend on your specific case, but it would be prudent to get a quote from USAA (if you are eligible) or Allied P&C.

Most Expensive ZIP Codes in Washington CityAverage Annual Rate by ZIP CodeMost Expensive CompanyMost Expensive Annual Rate2nd Most Expensive Company2nd Most Expensive Annual RateCheapest CompanyCheapest Annual Rate2nd Cheapest Company2nd Cheapest Annual Rate
98118SEATTLE$4,079.23American Family$5,926.17Liberty Mutual$5,257.26USAA$2,872.67Nationwide$2,911.83
98108SEATTLE$4,032.13American Family$5,698.95Liberty Mutual$5,084.70USAA$2,820.35Nationwide$2,911.83
98168SEATTLE$3,956.75American Family$5,534.73Liberty Mutual$5,133.20USAA$2,534.97Nationwide$2,796.55
98144SEATTLE$3,947.84American Family$5,269.57Liberty Mutual$4,923.17USAA$2,730.82Nationwide$2,911.83
98106SEATTLE$3,946.95American Family$5,269.57Liberty Mutual$5,121.42USAA$2,781.61Nationwide$2,911.83
98126SEATTLE$3,946.53Liberty Mutual$5,427.31American Family$5,269.57USAA$2,689.39Nationwide$2,911.83
98178SEATTLE$3,918.31American Family$5,260.03Liberty Mutual$5,020.17Nationwide$2,796.55USAA$2,915.44
98404TACOMA$3,907.01Liberty Mutual$5,237.40Allstate$4,925.98Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,877.60
98158SEATTLE$3,898.72American Family$5,534.73Liberty Mutual$5,156.82USAA$2,471.62Nationwide$2,694.23
98444TACOMA$3,875.05Liberty Mutual$5,480.53Allstate$4,797.69Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,744.14
98188SEATTLE$3,869.30American Family$5,534.73Liberty Mutual$5,300.63USAA$2,471.62Nationwide$2,703.77
98447TACOMA$3,857.85Liberty Mutual$5,480.53Allstate$4,797.69Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,744.14
98408TACOMA$3,852.24Liberty Mutual$5,287.27Allstate$4,925.98Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,796.05
98134SEATTLE$3,831.61American Family$5,269.57Liberty Mutual$5,247.71Nationwide$2,575.17GEICO$2,580.97
98136SEATTLE$3,812.97American Family$5,260.03Liberty Mutual$4,990.17USAA$2,654.45State Farm$2,911.32
98146SEATTLE$3,812.22American Family$5,260.03Liberty Mutual$4,800.78USAA$2,694.59Nationwide$2,796.55
98057RENTON$3,790.67American Family$5,260.03Liberty Mutual$5,163.65Nationwide$2,571.50USAA$2,813.89
98409TACOMA$3,787.39Liberty Mutual$5,101.97Allstate$4,598.34Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,808.78
98055RENTON$3,776.55American Family$5,260.03Liberty Mutual$5,163.65Nationwide$2,571.50USAA$2,813.89
98422TACOMA$3,774.49Allstate$4,925.98Liberty Mutual$4,907.14Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,705.65
98023FEDERAL WAY$3,772.89Liberty Mutual$4,827.97American Family$4,646.13Nationwide$2,786.48USAA$2,792.23
98418TACOMA$3,770.43Liberty Mutual$5,287.27Allstate$4,598.34USAA$2,296.38Nationwide$2,620.93
98031KENT$3,768.74Liberty Mutual$4,856.97American Family$4,818.72Nationwide$2,703.77USAA$2,708.12
98166SEATTLE$3,768.14American Family$5,132.10Liberty Mutual$4,964.65USAA$2,549.27Nationwide$2,694.23
98125SEATTLE$3,765.22American Family$5,088.26Liberty Mutual$5,068.33USAA$2,673.53Nationwide$2,705.40
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Washington Car Insurance Rates by City

The tables below show which cities have the cheapest and most expensive car insurance rates.

Cheapest Cities in Washington Average Annual Rate by CityMost Expensive CompanyMost Expensive Annual Rate2nd Most Expensive Company2nd Most Expensive Annual RateCheapest CompanyCheapest Annual Rate2nd Cheapest Company2nd Cheapest Annual Rate
Port Townsend$2,461.54Liberty Mutual$3,312.18American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$1,912.00
Carlsborg$2,482.64Liberty Mutual$3,343.26American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$1,821.70
Whidbey Island Station$2,512.24Liberty Mutual$3,560.47American Family$2,989.30USAA$1,745.19Nationwide$1,891.73
Oak Harbor$2,515.42Liberty Mutual$3,560.47American Family$2,989.30USAA$1,726.12Nationwide$1,891.73
Port Angeles$2,525.76Liberty Mutual$3,554.04American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,844.45USAA$1,970.58
Anacortes$2,528.16Liberty Mutual$3,652.24Allstate$3,111.86USAA$1,711.97Nationwide$1,912.08
Eastsound$2,528.40Liberty Mutual$3,442.69Allstate$3,070.79Nationwide$1,870.56USAA$1,890.06
Lopez Island$2,534.30Liberty Mutual$3,423.17Allstate$3,111.86Nationwide$1,870.56USAA$1,890.06
Clallam Bay$2,535.12Liberty Mutual$3,472.71American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
Port Hadlock-Irondale$2,540.36Liberty Mutual$3,469.33American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,068.16
Friday Harbor$2,541.29Liberty Mutual$3,624.73Allstate$3,111.86USAA$1,765.85Nationwide$1,870.56
Chimacum$2,546.91Liberty Mutual$3,464.63American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,051.90
Coupeville$2,547.28Liberty Mutual$3,567.99Progressive$3,000.27Nationwide$1,891.73USAA$1,962.49
Forks$2,548.79Liberty Mutual$3,630.14American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
Beaver$2,560.25Liberty Mutual$3,718.88American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
Hay$2,568.28Liberty Mutual$3,688.52American Family$3,310.40Nationwide$1,794.51State Farm$1,952.71
Bellingham$2,569.25Liberty Mutual$3,407.26American Family$3,219.12Nationwide$1,937.63USAA$1,971.40
Hooper$2,570.67Liberty Mutual$3,688.52Allstate$3,485.59USAA$1,760.55Nationwide$1,794.51
Warden$2,571.68Liberty Mutual$3,483.46American Family$3,310.40Nationwide$1,822.61USAA$1,921.87
Colfax$2,575.68Liberty Mutual$3,688.52American Family$3,434.49Nationwide$1,794.51State Farm$1,952.71
Port Ludlow$2,577.28Liberty Mutual$3,611.58American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,051.90
Endicott$2,580.52Liberty Mutual$3,688.52American Family$3,434.49Nationwide$1,794.51State Farm$1,952.71
Marrowstone$2,580.67Liberty Mutual$3,520.43American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,068.16
Sekiu$2,586.92Liberty Mutual$3,868.27American Family$3,040.02Nationwide$1,868.80USAA$1,954.28
Quilcene$2,587.08Liberty Mutual$3,885.74American Family$3,076.05Nationwide$1,820.10USAA$2,051.90
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Port Townsend has the cheapest car insurance rates in Washington.

Most Expensive Cities in Washington Average Annual Rate by CityMost Expensive CompanyMost Expensive Annual Rate2nd Most Expensive Company2nd Most Expensive Annual RateCheapest CompanyCheapest Annual Rate2nd Cheapest Company2nd Cheapest Annual Rate
Boulevard Park$3,994.44American Family$5,616.84Liberty Mutual$5,108.95USAA$2,677.66Nationwide$2,854.19
Bryn Mawr-Skyway$3,918.31American Family$5,260.03Liberty Mutual$5,020.17Nationwide$2,796.55USAA$2,915.44
Midland$3,907.01Liberty Mutual$5,237.40Allstate$4,925.98Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,877.60
Parkland$3,875.04Liberty Mutual$5,480.53Allstate$4,797.69Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,744.14
SEATAC$3,869.30American Family$5,534.73Liberty Mutual$5,300.63USAA$2,471.62Nationwide$2,703.77
Renton$3,783.61American Family$5,260.03Liberty Mutual$5,163.65Nationwide$2,571.50USAA$2,813.89
Browns Point$3,774.49Allstate$4,925.98Liberty Mutual$4,907.14Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,705.65
Burien$3,771.66American Family$5,217.39Liberty Mutual$4,889.82USAA$2,571.83Nationwide$2,728.33
Algona$3,750.43Liberty Mutual$5,177.43American Family$4,593.45Nationwide$2,633.52USAA$2,747.15
Federal Way$3,749.88Liberty Mutual$4,761.79American Family$4,603.10Nationwide$2,786.48USAA$2,860.16
Kent$3,726.02Liberty Mutual$4,762.20American Family$4,760.96Nationwide$2,668.65USAA$2,790.43
Seattle$3,724.65American Family$5,076.81Liberty Mutual$5,060.37USAA$2,613.06Nationwide$2,687.32
East Hill-Meridian$3,721.61Liberty Mutual$4,836.29American Family$4,750.66Nationwide$2,637.64USAA$2,674.33
Auburn$3,710.10Liberty Mutual$4,833.42American Family$4,658.57Nationwide$2,633.52USAA$2,773.88
Tacoma$3,707.36Liberty Mutual$4,982.08Allstate$4,662.26Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,647.08
Newcastle$3,706.71Liberty Mutual$4,895.49American Family$4,682.60Nationwide$2,579.34USAA$2,604.43
Seahurst$3,698.19Liberty Mutual$4,964.65Allstate$4,399.28USAA$2,635.41Nationwide$2,694.23
Covington$3,694.80Liberty Mutual$5,028.45American Family$4,673.55Nationwide$2,625.11USAA$2,706.99
Des Moines$3,694.01American Family$5,132.10Liberty Mutual$4,586.21USAA$2,551.88Nationwide$2,703.77
Clover Creek$3,677.71Liberty Mutual$5,138.08Allstate$4,676.26Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,713.67
Milton$3,654.19Allstate$5,160.65Liberty Mutual$4,584.59Nationwide$2,601.58USAA$2,756.13
Pacific$3,650.77American Family$4,721.34Liberty Mutual$4,482.65Nationwide$2,633.52USAA$2,747.15
Waller$3,643.68Allstate$5,002.33Liberty Mutual$4,985.35Nationwide$2,620.93USAA$2,743.96
Fife$3,639.40Allstate$4,925.98Liberty Mutual$4,741.12Nationwide$2,601.58USAA$2,732.13
Lakewood$3,626.43Allstate$4,730.41Liberty Mutual$4,636.39USAA$2,577.37Nationwide$2,620.93
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We see from the data that Seattle and Tacoma have some of the highest average premiums in the state.

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Best Washington Car Insurance Companies

You might be wondering:

‘How should I choose my insurer?’

Purchasing your auto insurance is more than just choosing the cheapest provider. You should include considerations such as the financial health of the insurer, reputation, credit rating, and loss ratio.

Fret not as in this guide we will help you figure out which insurer best suits your needs.

Financial Ratings of the Leading Insurance Companies in Washington

The first step in finalizing an insurer is to understand the financial strength of the company. Since not all of us have a business degree to analyze the balance sheet of several insurance providers, we will take the help of financial ratings from A.M. Credit Rating.

A.M. Credit Rating is one of the most reputed credit ratings agency in the insurance industry.

A sound credit rating of an insurer indicates that a company is financially capable of settling future claim obligations.

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Customer Satisfaction Ratings of Car Insurance Companies in Washington

Financial rating is a good objective metric to figure out if a given insurer can meet future claims settlement obligations. However, subjective customer reviews provide valuable insight into factors such as quality of service, response time, claim settlement process, and much more.

J.D. Power is the best source to access customer reviews through their customer satisfaction ratings.

JD Power Customer Ratings in Washington

As per the 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, USAA, PEMCO, and The Hartford have the best customer satisfaction ratings in the northwest region.

Washington Car Insurance Companies with the MOST Customer Complaints

Analyzing complaints data is fundamental in understanding the service quality of an insurer before purchasing a policy.

In the competitive market, insurers are trying to retain customers by improving service quality along with lower rates. However, if you feel dissatisfied with the service provided by the insurer, you can complain to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

The complaints ratio of the company includes all successful complaints lodged against the insurer.

Do you know: Complaints ratio is simply the number of complaints received per 100,000 policies written. A high ratio for a company compared to peers indicate that the quality of service may be unsatisfactory.

Here’s the data for complaints ratio for top insurers in Washington

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Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Washington

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As we see from the table, on average, USAA, Allied, and State Farm are the cheapest insurers in Washington.

You can get quotes from the USAA, Allied, and State Farm from our FREE comparison tool. Just enter your ZIP code to get started.

Rates by Annual Commute in Washington

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Across insurers, an increase in your annual mileage doesn’t seem to have much impact on premium rates. So hop into your car and head to the beautiful Olympic National Park without worry.

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Rates by Coverage Level in Washington

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For higher coverage, Nationwide and USAA are the cheapest insurers in Washington and can potentially save around $2,000 annually compared to the most expensive insurer.

Rates by Credit History in Washington

CompanyAnnual Rate with Good CreditAnnual Rate with Fair CreditAnnual Rate with Poor Credit
American Family$3,177.58$3,578.15$4,383.33
Liberty Mutual$2,758.54$3,515.42$5,710.24
State Farm$1,691.05$2,177.12$3,631.16
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Insurers in Washington do consider your credit score when calculating the rates.

For poor credit score, you can consider seeking quotes from Nationwide, Progressive, and Geico as these are the most forgiving of the insurers.

If you have a good credit score, State Farm may provide you the most competitive quote.

Do you know: According to the State of the Credit Report by Experian, Washington ranks tenth highest in the nation with an average credit score of 693.

Rates by Driving Record in Washington

CompanyClean recordWith 1 speeding violationWith 1 accidentWith 1 DUI
American Family$2,978.87$3,649.37$3,811.59$4,412.26
Liberty Mutual$3,409.23$3,899.59$4,290.97$4,379.12
State Farm$2,273.58$2,499.77$2,726.00$2,499.77
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Insurers consider your driving record as one of the most critical components in deciding the rate. The insurance companies may increase your rate if you are caught driving under the influence (DUI) as they will deem it to be risky behavior.

However, for regular at-fault accidents, few insurance providers provide accident forgiveness plans that can help keep your insurance rates down.

Largest Car Insurance Companies in Washington

InsurerDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
State Farm Group$867,12116.75%
Liberty Mutual Group$549,85310.62%
Allstate Insurance Group$485,5089.38%
Progressive Group$440,8398.52%
USAA Group$406,0487.85%
Farmers Insurance Group$384,6457.43%
PEMCO Mutual Insurance Co$287,3135.55%
American Family Insurance Group$178,6843.45%
Hartford Fire & Casualty Group$127,9792.47%
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Number of Car Insurers in Washington

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State Laws in Washington


We understand that going through state laws can be confusing.


It is also vital as it can help you optimize your insurance policy for the best possible coverage.

Knowledge of applicable laws may help keep your driving record clean and keep your rates low.

In this guide, we provide a quick overview of the rules and regulations that you should be aware of while driving in the beautiful state of Washington.

Car Insurance Laws in Washington

Washington’s mandatory liability insurance law was enacted in 1989 and is under the authority of the Washington State Department of Licensing. 

The law mandates that you carry the liability insurance above the state-mandated minimum coverage.

Let us now review a few rules and regulations that can make your drive safe in the Evergreen State.

Windshield Coverage Laws in Washington

Insurance law in Washington does not mandate insurance companies to provide any exclusive coverage for windshield repair or replacement. However, insurers usually offer glass protection with comprehensive coverage.

Insurance may provide aftermarket or used parts as replacement for windshield damage. You can opt for an OEM part but have to bear the difference in cost.

High-Risk Insurance in Washington

You might face difficulties in purchasing an insurance coverage If you have a poor driving record. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Washington State recommends that you shop around to seek insurance coverage.

However, if you are denied coverage in the voluntary market, then you can contact the Automobile Insurance Plan (www.aipso.com) to get assigned to an insurance provider.

The rates under the Automobile Insurance Plan will be generally higher than the voluntary market, and you also have to submit an SR 22 form with The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL).

Do you know: SR-22 form is submitted to the DOL on your behalf by the insurer that proves that you valid liability insurance for a certain period of time.

Low-Cost Insurance in Washington

Washington does not have a specific plan for low-cost insurance. The Office of Insurance Commissioner recommends shopping around for the cheapest rate.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Washington

Of course, we all know that auto insurance fraud is a crime in Washington!

But what might be confusing is what qualifies as a fraud? What are the repercussions of committing fraud? And, lastly how to avoid committing a fraud unknowingly?

Auto insurance frauds committed by individuals can be of two types: hard frauds and soft frauds.

Hard fraud: Crimes such as claim fabrication or staging accidents to file a claim for damages and injuries that did not happen

Soft fraud: This type of fraud is more prevalent, and you must be wary of not committing these frauds unknowingly. Soft frauds include underestimating mileage in an insurance application, reporting a wrong ZIP code to the insurer, claiming garage parking for a discount when the car is parked on the street, etc.

However, you can also be a victim of the following insurance frauds:

Types of Insurance Fraud


Insurance fraud is a crime classified either as a gross misdemeanor or a felony by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner in Washington. Apart from criminal penalties, the person committing the fraud might also face civil penalties, including fines and revocation of driver’s license, etc.

You can report fraud with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) online for a reward. The OIC may forward the alleged crime to The Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU) for investigation and possible indictment.

Tip: If you were a victim of insurance fraud, you can contact the following number for help: Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-562-6900.

Statute of Limitations in Washington

The statute of limitations in Washington is three years for personal injury and property damage.

Do you know: The statute of limitations is time after an accident until which you can bring a lawsuit against a third-party.

Vehicle Licensing Laws in Washington

Is your driver’s license expiring soon?

If yes, then you might be wondering:

Does the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) allow online renewals? Do I have to get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license?

Remember it is illegal to drive without a valid driver’s license in Washington. You can be fined or jailed for the offense.

Read on to know about the state licensing laws as we answer these important questions!

Real ID Implementation in Washington

The Federal Real ID Act was passed in 2005 and will come into effect in October 2020.

From 1 October 2020, you will need a REAL ID compliant ID to board domestic flights, enter federal buildings, or cross U.S. border crossings.

But what is REAL ID complaint ID and do you need an Enhanced Driver’s License?

If you have any of the following documents you already in compliance with REAL ID:

  • US Passport
  • Foreign Passport
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

In case you do not have any of the above documents, you should opt for an Enhanced Driver License (EDL).

To apply for the EDL, you need to carry all the documentation to the nearby Driver Licensing Office.

Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Washington

If you are caught driving without insurance, you could be fined upwards of $550. You may have your driver license suspended if you cause a collision and you can not pay for damages in the absence of liability insurance.

Penalties aside, you can put yourself in substantial financial risk if you caused damages and/or injuries in a collision.

Don’t make the mistake of driving without insurance. You can use our FREE tool to get quotes now. Just enter your ZIP code to start saving.

Teen Driving Laws in Washington

Teen Driving Laws in WashingtonLicensing laws in Washington provide teens a multi-stage process to learn driving and get comfortable under supervision before being allowed to drive on their own.

If you are a teen above the age of 15, you can apply for an instruction permit if enrolled in an approved driving education course. Otherwise, wait till you are 15 years and six months old to get a permit.

The instruction permit is valid for one year and can only be renewed twice with permission from a driver licensing office supervisor. You are expected to use the permit to practice driving under the supervision of a licensed driver who has held a driver’s license for at least five years.

To apply for an intermediate driver license, you have to be at least 16 years old and have passed an approved driver-training course with at least 30 hours of classroom, and six hours on on-the-wheel, instruction driving. You also have to drive at least for 50 hours under the supervision of a licensed driver.

The intermediate license prohibits you from driving between 1:00 a.m and 5:00 a.m unsupervised.

If your driving record is clean, you can apply for a standard license at the age of 18. Or, better yet, you can apply for an enhanced driver license to be compliant with the REAL ID Act.

License Renewal Procedure in Washington

Your driver’s license in Washington has a validity of six years, and the DOL allows for renewal by mail, online, or in-person. You can renew your license online with the Department of Licensing.

However, online renewals are not allowed for people under the age of 24 or above the age of 70. You will have to visit the nearest driver licensing office.

You can renew your license one year before the current license expires or 60 days after it has expired. You need to pay a late fee if you are renewing after 60 days of license expiry.

Remember: You can not renew a license if your previous license expired for more than six years. You have to start over. Pay the late fee and renew!

New Residents

First of all, welcome to the Evergreen State. Now that you are a resident of the Evergreen State, you can enjoy the various outdoorsy activities that this beautiful state has to offer.

But, before you get on the road, you need to get your driver’s license sorted.

The law states that as a new resident, you must get a Washington driver license within 30 days of the date you became a resident. You can exchange your valid out-of-state license for a Washington driver license. No need to take the knowledge test!

For non-citizens, the licensing process is identical to the described process. However, you have to carry your residency paperwork (including visa, residency status documents, etc.) to the Department of Licensing offices.

Rules of the Road in Washington

Knowledge of road rules is critical.

It not only helps you be safe on the road, but it also helps you to keep a clean driving record.

Clean driving record may mean insurance discounts for you.

You must have read about the rules and regulations when you got your license. But, to keep you safe, we wanted to do a quick recap of the critical rules, including speed limits, seat belt, safety laws, etc.

Fault vs. No-Fault

Washington follows an at-fault system of auto insurance with Pure Comparative Negligence.

But, what is Pure Comparative Negligence?

It is a type of at-fault auto insurance wherein a driver is only liable to his or her percentage of fault. It means that an at-fault driver can also recover damages from you up to the percentage of your responsibility.

Let us understand it by an example: If a car merged in your lane without indication and hits you – he or she might be at fault for the accident. Now suppose you take the other driver to court and the court finds you partially responsible due to overspeeding, then your accident settlement may be reduced according to the percentage of your fault.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws in Washington

Seat belts are vital for passenger safety in case of an accident.

Washington state law requires all people over the age of 16 driving or riding in a car to wear seatbelts. Washington follows primary enforcement for seat belt laws and the base fine for the first offense is $124.

Do you know: Primary enforcement allows law enforcement to stop and fine you for not wearing seat belts.

The child restraint legislation was amended in early 2019 and now include the following:

AgeType of Seat
2 years or youngerRear-facing car seats
4 years or youngerForward-facing child harness seat
4 years and olderOlder than 4 but less 57 inches tall should use booster seats
12 years and olderIf the height is more than 47 inches should use adult seats with lap and shoulder seat belts
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Keep Right and Move Over Laws in Washington

Driving laws in Washington mandates that you should keep right if driving slower than the traffic unless you are passing or taking a left.

You should also move off the lane closest to emergency vehicles if it is safe to do so. If not, you are required to slow down within 200 feet before and after a stationary emergency vehicle.

Speed Limits in Washington

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Ridesharing Laws in Washington

Washington implemented a statewide law for ridesharing companies in 2017 requiring companies like Uber and Lyft to pay an annual $5,000 fee to the state.

As per the law, drivers are considered independent contractors and will be subject to multijurisdictional and national background checks. Ridesharing drivers will have to undertake a third-party review of driving history, and any applicant with serious infractions or felonies will not be allowed to operate as a contractor.

The state law also offers tax credits to employers that provide financial incentives to employees who use car-sharing companies.

Drivers are to maintain their insurance coverage to drive for ridesharing companies. Currently, Allstate, Metlife, Metromile, State Farm, and USAA offer specialized coverage for ridesharing drivers in Washington.

Automation on the Road in Washington

Washington allows testing of driverless cars on the street. The operator is not required to be present in the vehicle, but if an operator is present, he or she must be licensed. The driverless car must have the required liability insurance for a road test.

Safety Laws in Washington

A reckless or impaired driver on the road can cause severe injury or harm to anyone sharing the streets. No one wants such a driver on the road endangering other drivers and pedestrians.

Washington also has harsh penalties to discourage people from driving intoxicated or distracted.

DUI Laws in Washington

Washington saw 178 alcohol-impaired fatalities in 2017, which is more than 31 percent of the total deaths in the state.

The situation is grim when you consider that more than 30 percent of total under-21 fatalities in the state were alcohol-impaired.

Washington Alcohol-impaired fatalities

Washington state DUI law has severe penalties to stop people from driving impaired.

The first four infractions for driving under the influence (DUI) carries a gross misdemeanor charge while any further offense will attract a class B felony charge.

Do you know: DUI charges are applicable if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than 0.08.

The lookback period is seven years in Washington for DUI offenses. The lookback period is time until which a DUI offense will remain on your record. If you repeat a DUI offense within the seven years, it will count as a second or subsequent infraction resulting in harsher penalties.

Here is the summary of all the penalties and fines associated with DUI offense in Washington State.

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Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws in Washington

According to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, if you are 21 years or older, it is illegal for you to drive with five ng/ml of THC or more. If you are 21 years or younger, Washington State has a zero-tolerance policy for marijuana.

Distracted Driving Laws in Washington

Washington wants drivers to focus on driving rather than being distracted with their mobile phones or other electronic devices. It is illegal for all drivers to use hand-held devices or text messaging while driving. If you still use such devices while driving, you are not only putting yourself and others at risk; you would also attract the ire of law enforcement.

Do you know: Since the law allows primary enforcement, a police officer can stop you and book you for using your handheld device.

The law also prohibits instruction permit and intermediate license holders to use any wireless devices while driving.

Driving in Washington

Insurers consider theft and accident data in your area to calculate the rate for a particular policy, and therefore, it has a direct impact on your rate outlay.

While driving involves inherent risk, it is always good to know the theft and accident data so that you remain safe.

Vehicle Theft in Washington

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The most stolen car in Washington is a 1997 Honda Accord.

You can also see the following data, sourced from the FBI, to check the number of vehicle thefts in your city.

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Road Fatalities in Washington

Let us now look at detailed data on fatality rates and causes in Washington.

Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
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Fatalities by county for all crashes in Washington

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Traffic Fatalities in Washington

Road Type2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
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Fatalities by Person Type in Washington

Person Type 20132014201520162017
OccupantsPassenger Car183177230192190
Light Truck - Pickup5256675463
Light Truck - Utility4246436464
Light Truck - Van1017171925
Light Truck - Other01133
Large Truck553109
Other/Unknown Occupants94968
Total Occupants301307375348362
MotorcyclistsTotal Motorcyclists7369758180
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist117141714
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants24376
Total Nonoccupants6286101107123
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Fatalities by Crash Type in Washington

Crash Type20132014201520162017
Total Fatalities (All Crashes)436462551536565
Single Vehicle261276302315340
Involving a Large Truck4036405077
Involving Speeding184162157154172
Involving a Rollover10310511198101
Involving a Roadway Departure272279315306306
Involving an Intersection (or intersection Related)107130146143122
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Fatalities Trend for the Counties in Washington

King County8083109100111
Pierce County4248667357
Yakima County2435353048
Snohomish County3233534442
Spokane County3629362641
Clark County2035242028
Whatcom County1815111225
Thurston County1415141719
Kitsap County816182117
Grant County2413171916
Top Ten Counties304322386374404
All Other Counties132140165162161
All Counties436462551536565
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Fatalities Involving Speeding by County in Washington

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Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County in Washington

Adams County00112
Asotin County00120
Benton County13385
Chelan County21120
Clallam County22052
Clark County910868
Columbia County00000
Cowlitz County51312
Douglas County12021
Ferry County21120
Franklin County23114
Garfield County00001
Grant County64575
Grays Harbor21022
Island County10302
Jefferson County01110
King County3127312541
Kitsap County44444
Kittitas County10422
Klickitat County11000
Lewis County42424
Lincoln County00011
Mason County22342
Okanogan County26333
Pacific County10020
Pend Oreille22221
Pierce County2215152621
San Juan01100
Skagit County35414
Skamania County01501
Snohomish County113141310
Spokane County101013119
Stevens County42223
Thurston County23466
Wahkiakum County00010
Walla Walla12121
Whatcom County44138
Whitman County00122
Yakima County131471021
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Teen Drinking and Driving in Washington

Washington police arrested 167 teens for driving under the influence in 2017. The number of arrests grew from 121 in 2016.

In 2016, Washington saw 0.7 under 21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population. This is less than the national average of 1.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

Transportation in Washington

Commuters in Washington spend a lot of time on a train or a bus or stuck in a traffic jam. Let us now look at the reasons behind the long commute in Washington, especially the Greater Seattle area.

Car Ownership in Washington

Car Ownership in Washington

On average, households in Washington owns two cars, which is on par with the national average.

Commute Time in Washington

People in Washington spend a lot of time on their commute. Approximately 20 percent of Washingtonians are spending 45 minutes or more in their daily commute.

Commute time in Washington


Commuter Transportation in Washington

As per DataUSA, approximately 72 percent of commuters in Washington prefer to drive alone to work, which is less than the national average of 76 percent.

Commuter Transportation in Washington

Traffic Congestion in Washington

Seattle is the biggest city in Washington and the sixth most congested city in the nation.

The cost of traffic congestion is staggering in Seattle. A driver can lose 138 hours or $1,932 due to traffic congestion.

Since you will be spending so much time in traffic, it is wise to have coverage that keeps you worry-free while on the road. Start saving on your car insurance today. Just enter your ZIP code in the FREE tool to get started.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Nathan Mackowiak is an insurance and finance writer with CarInsuranceComparison.com. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in creative writing in 2013. Since graduation, Nathan has thrived as a content writer and SEO analyst. He specializes in car, home, and life insurance with a passion for helping consumers find the best insurance coverage. He conducts in-depth research s...

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Written by Nathan Mackowiak
Feature Writer Nathan Mackowiak

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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