Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Washington?
Yes, insurers in Washington may use information contained in your credit report in determining your premium. If your credit score causes your rates to increase, the insurance company must tell you what factors contributed to that increase in cost.
Does Washington offer a good-driver discount?
Driving safely and avoiding accidents can earn you a good-driver discount in Washington. Each carrier has different rules regarding the definition of a good driver, so check with your insurance company. Other potential discounts include:
- Defensive Driving
- Home Ownership
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Good Student
- Multiple Line
- Passive Restraint
- Vehicle Safety
Does Washington allow the use of digital insurance cards?
Yes. Any time you’re behind the wheel in Washington State, you need to be prepared to show proof of insurance to law enforcement officers. Proof of insurance can be provided in either paper or digital format.
What happens if my coverage lapses?
Coverage lapses or failure to provide proof of insurance in Washington can result in severe penalties, including up to a $450 fine. Lapses in coverage may also raise your insurance premiums in the future.
What are Washington's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?
It is illegal for individuals to operate a motor vehicle in Washington with the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
Driving under the influence in Washington State refers to operating a motor vehicle while affected by drugs, alcohol, or both. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications.
What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Washington?
Washington’s “implied consent” law means that drivers are considered to have given consent to a breath or blood test if suspected of driving under the influence. If arrested, you have the right to refuse the test, but doing so will result in suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year, depending on your number of previous offenses; the refusal can also be used as evidence against you in court.
What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?
Driving under the influence in Washington will result in suspension of your driver’s license and may also require you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Fines and criminal penalties, including jail time, are also possible.
The severity of your punishment may vary depending on several factors, including your BAC at the time of your arrest and whether you are a first-time or repeat offender.
Does Washington offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?
Yes. Washington allows drivers to take defensive driving courses for a possible reduction in the cost of their insurance premiums. Classes can also be used to fulfill legal obligations or to prevent traffic tickets from appearing on your record. Classes can be completed at a commercial driver’s training school or from an approved online provider.
Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Washington car insurance?
You can reduce your monthly insurance costs by shopping around and comparing rates, selecting the right car and level of coverage, choosing a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium, maintaining a good driving record and credit history, and applying for special discounts.