How To Find The Most Affordable Car Insurance in Washington
In Washington, the average cost of a car insurance premium is $1,160, which is almost 19 percent less than the national average. That’s a good deal but it could be an even better deal for Washington drivers. There are tips and strategies that bring car insurance premiums even lower. We will get to those tips a bit later on but first let’s take a closer look at car insurance in Washington.
State Minimum Liability Requirements
If you ever cause a car crash, liability insurance pays for other people’s injuries and property damage, up to your liability limit. Each state has minimum liability requirements for the drivers in their state.
In Washington, the minimum liability requirements are $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $10,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
This minimum liability coverage costs around $662 per year.
Washington Is an At-Fault State
When it comes to insurance, Washington is an at-fault state. This means Washington drivers are responsible for any damage they cause to another vehicle.
But they also have the option of purchasing Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Typically offered in no-fault states, PIP reimburses the driver for any hospital or medical bills and lost wages from an inability to work up to a PIP policy limit. With PIP, these expenses are paid regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
By law in Washington, insurance companies must offer PIP coverage to drivers. If a driver doesn’t want PIP, he or she must reject it in writing. If a driver doesn’t reject it in writing, a driver’s auto insurance company will add PIP to the driver’s policy.
In Washington, PIP covers medical and hospital expenses up to $10,000 per person and offers additional coverages for funeral expenses, wage loss and loss of services.
A More Robust Policy Costs More
In Washington, a more robust policy with collision insurance and comprehensive insurance and $1,000 deductibles costs roughly $1,067 on average.
Collision insurance is coverage that helps to repair or replace your car if it is damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object such as a tree or a fence. Comprehensive insurance covers events that aren’t covered by collision coverage. These events include vandalism, theft, fire and damages from weather such as a windstorm, a tornado, a hurricane and a hailstorm.
If there is a loan on your car, your lender may require you to carry both collision insurance and comprehensive insurance.
A deductible is the amount you need to pay before your auto insurance company begins to pay for damages to your car or losses. Both collision insurance and comprehensive insurance require deductibles. Choosing a high deductible is one way to lower your auto insurance premium.
Cheapest and Most Expensive Cities
In Washington, the city with the cheapest car insurance is Bellingham. The city with the most expensive car insurance is Federal Way.
Bellingham is a coastal city near the Canadian border. Federal Way is located within the Seattle metropolitan area.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance
Ready for the tips that will save you money on car insurance? Here they are. Use as many as you can to save money on car insurance.
Be a Married Motorist. If you are married, you will pay less for car insurance. There is a correlation between being married and exhibiting safe driving behavior. Because of this, married drivers pay less for car insurance than singles. In Washington, married motorists save about $49 per year on car insurance.
Maintain Excellent Credit. Insurance companies use consumer credit data to assign risk pools and set insurance rates. Drivers with excellent credit get the best car insurance rates. Drivers with no credit or bad credit pay much more for car insurance. In Washington, a driver who has excellent credit saves about $1,195 per year on car insurance, compared with a driver who has bad credit. Looking for ways to improve your credit? Bring all past-due accounts current, pay down debt and avoid taking on new debt. Get in the habit of paying credit bills on-time. This will help you build up a positive payment history, which is good for your credit score.
Have a Safe Driving Record. If you are a safe and responsible driver who follows the rules of the road, you will save money on car insurance. In Washington, drivers without a recent at-fault accident saves 23 percent on car insurance premiums. But get reckless and break a few rules and premiums go up. In Washington, car insurance premiums increase 32 percent after a DUI, 23 percent after an at-fault accident and 14 percent after a speeding ticket. What does that mean in dollars and cents? In Washington, a first, minor, at-fault accident costs $326 per year. And a DUI raises yearly auto insurance premiums by $520.
Try a Bundle. Bundle your auto insurance policy with another insurance policy such as a homeowners policy and save money.
Snap up a Multi-Car Discount. Got more than one car? Insure them with the same auto insurance company and save with a multi-car discount.
Pay Once or Twice a Year. Rather than paying monthly auto insurance bills, pay the entire annual amount or six-months amount. Your premium is lower when you pay just once or twice a year.
Review Memberships. Members of professional organizations or affiliates get discounts on car insurance. So check your memberships to see if you are due a discount on your car insurance.
Check Anti-Theft Features. Having certain anti-theft or safety features on your car will lower your car insurance premium. So check the features on your car to see if you are eligible for a discount.
Spend Less on Older Cars. The maximum payout for collision coverage and comprehensive coverage is limited by the value of the car. So if your older car has a low market value, it may not make financial sense to carry collision coverage and comprehensive coverage any longer.
Be a Lady Driver. Women make fewer accident claims than men are rewarded with lower auto insurance rates. Men make more accident claims and pay more.
Reach Out for Discounts. Good driver discounts were mentioned earlier. There also are discounts for veterans and students. So be sure to reach out if you qualify.
Stick with Coverage. You’ll pay higher insurance rates if you don’t maintain continuous coverage of your car insurance. So stick with your coverage and save money.
Stay Low with Mileage. A heavy commuter that racks up the miles is going to pay more for car insurance. A low-mileage driver will pay less. So drive less and pay less for your car insurance.
Age Makes a Difference. Drivers who are younger than 25 and older than 65 have more serious accidents and pay more for their car insurance. Drivers of the ages in-between pay less.
Pick a High Deductible. As mentioned earlier, choosing a high deductible will lower your auto insurance premium. Just be sure to put the deductible amount in a small emergency fund. This way the money will be there should you need to make an insurance claim.
Choose a Safe Neighborhood. If you live in a neighborhood with high accident claims and auto theft, you are going to pay more for your car insurance. If you live in a neighborhood with low accident claims and low crime, you are going to pay less for car insurance. So choose a safe neighborhood and save money on your car insurance.
Buy a home. Statistics show that people who own homes drive more safely. So let your insurance company know that you own your home and enjoy the savings on your auto insurance premium.
Shop Around. One of the best ways to save money on car insurance is to shop around. You will want to get insurance quotes from several different insurance companies. SmartFinancial makes it easy to do. Just input the type of insurance you are looking for and a zip code to get started. Next, answer a few, quick questions and you’ll be comparing car insurance quotes in Washington in no time.
SmartFinancial has access to more than 200 insurance companies so you are bound to find the insurance coverage and price that you want. So shop smart for car insurance and drive safely along the roadways of Washington.