The best car insurance in Washington

Gianetta Palmer

By

Gianetta Palmer

Gianetta Palmer

Freelance contributor

Gianetta Palmer is a freelance writer who lives in the Georgia mountains. Her writing on health and car insurance, has appeared on numerous sites.

Published November 12, 2021

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The average cost of full coverage car insurance in Washington is $1,651 per year, comparable to the U.S. national average of  $1,652. But car insurance rates are different for everyone, and whether you live along the coast or along the border with Idaho will affect what you’ll pay. So will your age, driving history and the company you pick.

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The best way to get affordable coverage is to compare quotes before you pick a policy. Policygenius can help you see options from top car insurance companies so you can be sure you’re getting the best rates.

Key Takeaways

  • USAA has the lowest average insurance rates in Washington at $1,103 per year for full coverage.

  • Drivers insured with USAA who are convicted of a DUI can expect their insurance rates to double

  • Washington’s car insurance requirements are $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability and $10,000 in property damage liability.

Cheapest car insurance companies in Washington

The price you pay for car insurance depends on lots of factors, including your driving history, marital status, and the kind of car you drive. But rates can vary from company to company, even for the exact same driver.

Company

Average cost

JD Power Rating

USAA

$1,033

890

PEMCO Insurance

$1,145

--

State Farm

$1,162

881

GEICO

$1,243

871

Nationwide

$1,255

876

Cheapest car insurance companies by age in Washington

Young drivers pay the highest insurance rates of any age group. Statistics show teenage drivers are more likely to be in an accident and file a claim than any other group. Many young drivers see a price reduction when they turn 25, but that isn’t always the case, especially for drivers with accidents or moving violations on their record.

Age

Cheapest company

Average cost

16

State Farm

$3,788

18

PEMCO Insurance

$3,001

21

USAA

$1,496

25

USAA

$1,207

30

USAA

$1,076

35

USAA

$1,036

45

USAA

$986

55

USAA

$948

Choosing the right car insurance company in Washington

Living in the Pacific Northwest means lots of opportunities to hit the open road and enjoy the great outdoors. So it’s important that you find a car insurance provider that meets your coverage needs without charging you too much.

Policygenius can help you compare quotes from top companies, so you can get the coverage you need at affordable rates.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in Washington

A speeding ticket can increase your insurance rates by hundreds of dollars, and a DUI conviction can double or even triple your rates with some companies. Obeying the speed limit and never driving under the influence are simple ways to avoid paying more for car insurance.

Violation

USAA

PEMCO Insurance

State Farm

GEICO

Nationwide

At-fault Accident

$1,489

$1,440

$1,413

$2,006

$2,174

DUI

$2,245

$1,670

$1,300

$2,006

$2,744

Driving with a suspended license

$2,117

$1,562

$1,300

$2,241

$2,744

Driving with an open container

$1,593

$1,562

$1,300

$2,006

$1,710

Driving with expired registration

$1,273

$1,143

$1,300

$1,668

$1,710

Driving without Lights

$1,082

$1,331

$1,300

$1,668

$2,744

Failure to show documents

$1,082

$1,331

$1,300

$1,668

$1,710

Failure to stop at a red light

$1,273

$1,331

$1,300

$1,668

$1,710

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in Washington

Washington recently eliminated the use of credit as a factor when setting car insurance rates by issuing an emergency rule, but this change may not already have been applied to every driver, so drivers with poor credit scores may still be paying more for car insurance.

Company

Rates for drivers with bad credit

USAA

$1,082

State Farm

$1,186

Progressive

$1,286

GEICO

$1,391

Travelers

$1,511

Car insurance costs in Washington cities

Drivers who live in cities often pay more for car insurance than those who live in rural areas. More people on the road means more accidents, which raises the overall cost of car insurance. Here are the average car insurance rates in the ten largest cities in Washington by population.

  • Seattle: $2,085

  • Spokane: $1,659

  • Tacoma: $2,090

  • Vancouver: $1,810

  • Bellevue: $1,897

  • Kent: $2,117

  • Everett: $1,928

  • Spokane Valley: $1,570

  • Renton: $2,049

  • Kirkland: $1,840

If you live in a city with high rates, shopping around for coverage, bundling policies, and maintaining a good driving record are the easiest ways to save money.

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Buying car insurance in Washington

Washington state law says that all vehicles have the following minimum liability insurance requirements:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage per person: $25,000

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage per accident: $50,000 

  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: $10,000

  • Apply for a certificate of deposit to guarantee financial responsibility for an accident with the state’s Department of Licensing

  • Have a liability bond of at least $60,000

Washington has low minimum liability requirements, which won’t be enough protection for most drivers. Remember that Washington is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. That means that the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident must pay for the other party’s medical bills and repair costs, up to the limits of the policy.

The state also follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which says if more than one driver is responsible for an accident, each settlement claim is reduced accordingly.

How to get cheap car insurance in Washington

Most insurance companies offer a range of discounts, some of the most common include:

  • Safe-Driver Discount: For drivers without any recent accident claims 

  • Military Discount: A discount for active-duty service members and their families

  • Bundling Discount: For combining home and auto or another policy from the same company

  • Multi-car discount: For having more than one car on your policy

  • Customer Loyalty: For customers with policies in effect for more than a year

You might not qualify for some of these discounts, so you should still be sure to shop around and compare quotes to find your cheapest rates.

Frequently asked questions

Who has the lowest car insurance in Washington?

USAA has the lowest average rates in the state, at 1,033 per year for full coverage.

My fiance and I want to get married but are afraid our car insurance will go up, is that true?

Many companies consider married couples to be less of a risk, so your insurance rates could decrease once you get married. But the change probably won’t be significant either way.

I got a speeding ticket, will my insurance go up?

In Washington, a single speeding ticket can raise by more than $250 annually with some car insurance companies, but how much your rates will increase may vary.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Rates for driving violations and “Poor” credit determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.