The odds are good that drivers in Washington are paying more for car insurance today than they were paying last year. Record high rates of inflation, supply chain shortages, and the increased value of used cars due to the reduced number of new cars on the market are all contributing to the rising cost of car insurance across the country.
That said, in comparison to the rest of the country, average car insurance rates in Washington are just that — average. And Washington drivers who’ve seen recent rate increases can still look for more affordable car insurance by shopping around to find cheap coverage.
Are car insurance rates going up in Washington state?
Yes, car insurance rates are going up in Washington state. However, this isn’t specific to Washington. Car insurance rates are going up all across the country, for a few different reasons.
According to the New York Times, inflation rates went up 8.3% from April 2021 to April 2022  The country hasn’t seen inflation rates like this since the 1980s and these high inflation rates are impacting the cost of car insurance, since car insurance companies are paying more for rent, supplies, and other expenses due to the rate of inflation.
Supply chain disruptions
In addition to high inflation rates, the value of both new and used cars went up significantly from 2021 to 2022, due in part to supply chain issues that have affected auto manufacturing. The cost to repair or replace a used car after an accident has gone up about 26% and the cost of new vehicles has gone up 10%, which means insurance companies are paying more for claims than they were last year.  This increase in insurance expenses means rates are going up for insured drivers everywhere, not just in Washington state.
In March 2021, Washington’s Insurance Commissioner issued an emergency order preventing insurance companies from using your credit score to help set your rates.  Many people with excellent credit have seen their insurance rates increase, sometimes significantly, because of the order. However, other drivers who have lower credit scores have seen their rates come down because of the change.
This emergency order was overturned in October 2021 and then reinstated in March 2022, so Washington residents may have seen their rates vary significantly from one policy renewal to the next. In 2022, the rule was updated to include a requirement that insurance companies provide a written explanation for any rate changes. 
Changes to your policy or driving
Insurance rates are based on a number of factors specific to you, including your marital status, ZIP code, driving history, and the type of car you drive. If something in your life has changed, like moving to a new ZIP code or being in an at-fault accident, you may see an increase in your rates.
How much is car insurance per month in Washington state?
Drivers in Washington state pay an average of $1,651 per year for full coverage car insurance, which breaks down to about $137 per month. Washington is the 27th most expensive state in the U.S. for car insurance, putting it right in the middle when it comes to car insurance costs.
However, rates can vary significantly from one city to another. Here are the average rates for the ten largest cities in Washington by population.
Seattle: $174 per month
Spokane: $138 per month
Tacoma: $174 per month
Vancouver: $151 per month
Bellevue: $158 per month
Kent: $176 per month
Everett: $161 per month
Spokane Valley: $131 per month
Renton: $171 per month
Kirkland: $153 per month
Spokane Valley has the cheapest car insurance of the biggest cities in Washington, while Kent has the most expensive car insurance rates in the state. No matter where you are in Washington state, the best way to find affordable car insurance is to shop around and compare quotes before you pick a policy, and then to reshop every year before your policy renews.
Will a moving violation affect my insurance in Washington state?
A traffic ticket or an at-fault car accident can affect your car insurance rates, but each company has their own internal system for determining how much impact a moving violation will have on your insurance.
That said, a car accident will probably raise your rates if you’re a Washington state driver. Here’s how much drivers in Washington state pay for car insurance after different kinds of accidents or violations.
Average annual rate
Hit and Run
Driving with a suspended license
Driving with an open container
Passing a school bus
Following too closely
Failure to stop at a red light
Failure to yield
Failure to show documents
Driving without Lights
Driving with expired registration
Not at-fault Accident
What car is cheapest to insure in Washington state?
From Seattle to Spokane Valley, the type of car you drive impacts how much you pay for car insurance. Because of recent inflation and supply chain shortages, insurance rates are going up for all types of cars, no matter their make or model, so keep the cost of insurance in mind when you are shopping for a new car.
Average annual premium
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Chevrolet Bolt EV
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model Y
Although all cars may be seeing an increase in rates, of the most popular models on the roads, the cheapest cars to insure in Washington are the Ford F150, Honda CR-V, and Toyota Tacoma.
Cars cost different amounts to insure based on a number of factors. For example, electric cars are usually more expensive to insure because of their specialized parts, but that isn’t always the case, so make sure to get a quote based on the specific make and model of the car you are considering to find out exactly how much you will pay to insure that vehicle before you buy it.
What car insurance is required in Washington state?
Some drivers may want to reduce the amount of car insurance they have in order to account for a recent increase in insurance rates. Washington state law says that all vehicles are required to have a minimum of 25/50/10 in liability coverage, which breaks down to:
Bodily Injury Liability per person: $25,000
Bodily Injury Liability per accident: $50,000
Property Damage Liability per accident: $10,000
Washington drivers are also allowed to choose one of these alternate forms of minimum coverage:
A certificate of deposit that guarantees financial responsibility for an accident with the state’s Department of Licensing
A liability bond of at least $60,000
If you have an older vehicle that you can afford to replace out–of-pocket, you may be able to purchase liability-only coverage. However, the state required minimum level of insurance is low, which means it may not be enough to cover all the damages if you are at fault in a serious accident. Drivers should work with their insurance representative to make sure they have enough coverage to meet their needs.
Is low income car insurance available in Washington?
Some states have special car insurance policies available for low income residents, but Washington isn’t one of them. The best way for drivers in Washington state to save money is to compare quotes from multiple car insurance companies to make sure they get the best rate.
Washington drivers can also take advantage of any available discounts and keep their driving record clean to save even more money on their auto insurance rate. Some insurance companies offer discounts that aren’t about your driving history at all, like setting up autopay with your credit card or bundling your auto insurance with your homeowners insurance or other policies.
If you live in Washington and you need financial assistance, the state has multiple programs designed to help low income residents. 
General Assistance Unemployable (GAU): GAU is a state-funded grant program designed to provide medical benefits and cash grants to residents who are unemployable for 90 days from the date of application. Residents who think they may qualify for the program can call 1-877-501-2233 for more information.
Emergency Cash Assistance: If you have an emergency and could benefit from a one-time cash payment to stay afloat, you may be eligible for this government assistance program. Call 1-800-737-0617 for more information.