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Beth Swanson

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Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

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Kristine Lee

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How much does car insurance cost in Seattle?

Car insurance in Seattle costs an average of $1,078 for a six-month policy or $180 per month on average. In 2023 our data shows PEMCO is the cheapest car insurance company in Seattle with rates at $593 for a six-month policy.

Seattle drivers pay more than the average for car insurance in Washington ($904 every six months) and more than the national average of $880. According to our customers in Seattle, 31% of them said they're paying too much for car insurance. If you agree or just need help with your car insurance, read on to learn more about what a fair rate looks like in Seattle based on common factors like credit score, coverage level, and more.

Car Insurance in Seattle vs Washington Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
Seattle Average $1,078
Washington Average $904
Updated: 09/28/23.

The cheapest car insurance companies in Seattle

1st place medal
1st place: PEMCO

Regional insurer PEMCO is the cheapest at $99 per month or $593 for a six-month policy.

2nd place medal
2nd place: USAA

In second place is USAA, which costs $111 per month, or $668 for a six-month policy.

3rd place medal
3rd place: Nationwide

Rounding out the list is Nationwide as the third-cheapest insurance company. On average, a Nationwide policy in Seattle costs $824 per six-month policy ($137 per month).

The Zebra's key takeaways about car insurance in Seattle:

  • The average cost of a car insurance policy in Seattle is $1,078 per six-month policy — $180 per month.
  • The cheapest company in Seattle is PEMCO ($99/month).
  • Seattle ranks as the 23rd most expensive city for car insurance in Washington.
  • 31% of Zebra customers in Seattle stated they used our product because they were paying too much for car insurance.

Are you paying too much for auto insurance?

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Seattle car insurance rates by company

As per our 2023 data, PEMCO stands out as the most cost-effective company for full coverage car insurance in Seattle, charging $99 per month or $593 for a six-month policy. USAA ranks second, with policies starting at $115 per month or $668 for a six-month period. If you wish to explore highly rated car insurance companies, consult The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey.

 

Cheapest car insurance companies in Seattle, WA
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
PEMCO $593
USAA $668
Nationwide $824
Progressive $847
State Farm $938
GEICO $989
Allstate $1,398
Updated: 09/28/23.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


Shop around for the best rates


To find the most affordable insurance company for you, you need to compare. Our comparison service will do the work. Enter your ZIP code to get rates from State Farm, GEICO, Nationwide, and other top companies in Seattle, and find the best and cheapest car insurance.

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Average car insurance in Seattle by rating factor

Car insurance companies use different rating factors to determine a fair rate for a driver based on their circumstances and to assess the level of risk involved. These factors, including age, credit score, claims history, and others, are generally shared by most companies. Nevertheless, some insurance providers assign varying degrees of importance to specific factors compared to others.

In light of this information, you should recognize that the most suitable auto insurance company for you can evolve over time as you age or witness modifications in your profile. Regularly seeking new quotes can help you ascertain whether you are still obtaining the most advantageous rates.

Q: I didn't have an accident — Why is my insurance going up?

A: The year-end earnings (premiums' revenue against the losses for compensating insured individuals' claims) assume a significant role as a rating factor in determining the car insurance prices in Seattle. Despite a clean driving record, it remains plausible that you may face increased premium payments due to the mounting cost of doing business in Seattle.

Auto insurance premiums by age in Seattle

Car insurance premiums are heavily influenced by age, making it a top rating factor. Teen drivers, who present the highest potential for accidents within any age group, often find themselves burdened with the highest premium costs. In Seattle, the drop in rates between teenage drivers and individuals in their 20s reaches a whopping $4,136 per year, representing the most significant variance observed across any two age brackets.

Although this may seem unjust, insurance companies are compelled to implement such practices in the interest of risk management. The imposition of higher premiums on teen drivers allows companies to mitigate the escalated expenditure associated with claims settlements.

Cheapest car insurance companies for teen drivers in Seattle, WA
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
PEMCO $1,781
USAA $2,554
GEICO $2,604
Nationwide $2,695
State Farm $3,282
Progressive $3,517
Allstate $4,209
Updated: 09/28/23.
Age Bracket Cheapest Companies Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
20s PEMCO $840
30s PEMCO $590
40s PEMCO $591
50s PEMCO $565
60s PEMCO $595
70s PEMCO $737

Zebra Tip: The cheapest companies for Seattle drivers between 20-40 are PEMCO, USAA and Nationwide


According to our data, drivers between the ages of 20-40 constitute the majority of Seattle drivers. On average, this particular demographic pays $1,242 every six months. By selecting these companies, these groups have the potential to save 35%.

Auto insurance premiums for minimum coverage in Seattle

Insurance rates are heavily influenced by the extent of coverage you decide to include in your policy. The more extensive your chosen coverage, the pricier your policy becomes. There are quite a few Seattle drivers who carry the bare minimum coverage required by the state. While this fulfills legal requirements, having only the minimum limits exposes you to the potential risks of being inadequately insured.

Collision and comprehensive coverage, while recommended, can increase your rates. This combination, commonly referred to as "full coverage," offers a broader scope of protection for your vehicle. These coverages typically require a deductible, which also has an effect on your rates depending on the amount you choose.

Roadside assistance or uninsured motorist coverage stands out as supplements worth considering. These coverages prove invaluable during unforeseen circumstances or when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. Although they contribute to an increased premium, we highly recommend their inclusion due to the significant safeguard they offer for your vehicle and your own security.

Q: Can I lower my car insurance coverage?

A: Possibly — if your vehicle is paid off.

If you are not currently leasing or financing your vehicle (which typically have coverage requirements to maintain), it is worth evaluating whether it is suitable to eliminate comprehensive or collision coverage. We recommend acquiring the actual cash value of your vehicle from Kelley Blue Book or another reputable source. The general rule of thumb is that if your vehicle's value is below $4,000, collision coverage may not be essential. However, it is important to bear in mind that discarding these coverages implies that you will be responsible for any repair costs out of your own pocket.

Cheapest car insurance companies for minimum coverage in Seattle, WA
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
PEMCO $229
USAA $267
Progressive $400
GEICO $423
Nationwide $450
State Farm $462
Allstate $585
Updated: 09/28/23.

31% of our customers in Seattle opt for basic coverage, but this may not be the best option for everyone. While we understand state minimum or basic coverage is a budget-friendly solution, it does leave you at risk for damages that exceed your liability limits. Washington's 25/50/10 liability limits provide coverage for damage you cause up to $25,000 per person in bodily injury, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage. While this may be sufficient for some car accidents, it might not be for bodily injury claims and certainly not for multi-vehicle accidents.

Learn more about insurance laws in Washington.

Seattle car insurance rates by credit score

Despite the discontinuation of credit scores as a rating factor in certain states, Washington still factors in this numerical value when assessing policies. The credit score has long served as an indicator of drivers' inclination to file claims—individuals with lower credit scores are more prone to engaging in risky driving practices, experiencing lapses in coverage, and lodging claims. Hence, insurance companies perceive a lower credit score as an amplified level of risk for providing coverage.

Seattle drivers with poor credit (300-579) see only a 3% increase in premiums relative to drivers with excellent credit (800-850). This is extremely low compared to many locations, but the small amount can still add up over time. The data available to us suggests that 40% of drivers in Seattle maintain a credit score in the basic tier
In 2023, PEMCO emerges as the most economical choice for Seattle drivers within this credit range. 

car insurance in Seattle by credit score
Cheapest car insurance companies for bad credit in Seattle, WA
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
PEMCO $593
USAA $668
Nationwide $824
State Farm $938
GEICO $989
Progressive $991
Allstate $1,398
Updated: 09/28/23.

Zebra Tip: If you recently improved your credit score, shop around for car insurance!


Washington state-specific data shows that drivers with a classification of "Fair" credit pay $14 less for car insurance per month compared to drivers categorized as having "Poor" credit. If you have recently fulfilled the financial obligations of a loan or undertaken other actions to enhance your credit profile, we advise you to verify with your preferred credit monitoring software whether your recent endeavors may lead to potential savings on your car insurance!

Auto insurance rates with an at-fault accident

Of all the types of insurance claims, at-fault accidents and collisions stand out as the most common occurrences. In 2023, an at-fault accident caused the average car insurance rates in Seattle to escalate by about $67 per month. PEMCO takes the lead as the most economical insurance company in Seattle after an at-fault accident.

Irrespective of the specific location, maintaining a pristine driving record is the key to ensuring affordable auto insurance rates. Violations such as speeding citations, charges of reckless driving, DUIs, and at-fault accidents all contribute to the escalation of rates. It is important to note that many of these infractions can remain on your record for a period of three to five years, with an extended duration in the case of a DUI or DWI.


Cheapest car insurance companies after an at-fault accident in Seattle, WA
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
PEMCO $750
USAA $923
State Farm $1,222
Nationwide $1,262
GEICO $1,402
Progressive $1,499
Allstate $1,895
Updated: 09/28/23.

Seattle car insurance rates by violation

Below you can see how different violations and claims will increase your rate in Seattle.

Car insurance rate increases after violations and citations in Seattle, WA
Accident/Violation Avg. 6 Mo. Premium % Rate Increase $ Rate Increase
None $1,078 0% $0
One Med/PIP claim $1,081 0% $3
Not-at-fault accident $1,107 3% $29
Two Med/PIP claims $1,113 3% $34
One comp claim $1,120 4% $42
Two comp claims $1,162 8% $84
Child safety restraint $1,263 17% $185
Driving without lights $1,271 18% $192
Failure to show documents $1,284 19% $206
Failure to wear a seat belt $1,302 21% $224
Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit $1,304 21% $225
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit $1,304 21% $226
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit $1,304 21% $226
Driving too slowly $1,314 22% $235
Driving with expired registration $1,314 22% $236
Improper passing $1,333 24% $254
Failure to yield $1,334 24% $255
Illegal turn $1,334 24% $255
Wrong way/wrong lane $1,337 24% $258
Failure to stop at a red light $1,339 24% $261
Cell phone violation $1,340 24% $261
Following too closely $1,343 25% $265
Texting while driving $1,345 25% $267
Speeding in school zone $1,397 30% $318
Passing school bus $1,398 30% $320
Open container $1,406 30% $328
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit $1,414 31% $336
At-fault accident - less than $1000 $1,423 32% $344
In 65 MPH zone $1,497 39% $418
At-fault accident - $1000-$2000 $1,526 42% $448
At-fault accident - greater than $2000 $1,533 42% $454
Operating a vehicle without permission $1,551 44% $473
Refusal to submit to a chemical test $1,845 71% $767
DUI $1,880 74% $801
Reckless driving $1,888 75% $809
Driving with a suspended license $1,899 76% $820
Racing $1,971 83% $893
Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run $1,980 84% $901
Updated: 09/28/23.

Why is car insurance in Seattle so expensive?

When compared to the average rate in the state of Washington and the national average, car insurance in Seattle tends to be relatively expensive. This can be attributed to several factors: Seattle's standing as a major city in Washington, metropolitan areas commonly harboring a higher concentration of residents and drivers, thereby increasing the likelihood of accidents. Furthermore, the cost of living in Seattle exceeds that of other towns in Washington, prompting car insurance companies to set higher rates to offset their expenses. Alongside personal rating factors, location-specific elements contribute to the elevated cost of car insurance in Seattle, regardless of one's driving profile.

location
Location

Where you live in Seattle, specifically, also affects how much you pay for car insurance. Besides your driving history and credit score, where you live is one of the biggest contributing factors to your insurance premiums. 

The reason? Crime, theft and uninsured motorists vary by ZIP code, and most cities have quite a few ZIP codes. Some areas of the city are more prone to crime, which makes them riskier for insurance companies, so if you live in a high-crime area, you will likely pay more for auto insurance than someone who lives in a safer neighborhood.

Expensive Seattle ZIP codes: 98118, 98108, 98144, 98106, 98178

Cheap Seattle ZIP codes: 98199, 98119, 98107, 98117, 98103

Weather risk
Weather risk

The damage caused by earthquakes and other similar weather-related damage can wreak havoc on the insurance industry and even put companies out of business. Luckily, Seattle has a fairly mild climate, but it can still experience devastating storms, hail, wind and more. Because of this risk, it’s can be expensive for auto insurance companies to do business in certain areas. As such, they will raise their rates to anticipate further weather-related losses.

Damage to your vehicle caused by flooding is covered under your comprehensive coverage. If you have a new or nice vehicle, we definitely recommend considering comprehensive coverage as part of your Seattle car insurance policy.

number of drivers
Number of drivers

Seattle's population has continued to grow exponentially the past couple of years, with an estimation of around 750,000 in 2022.[1] With more cars on the road, more accidents are inevitable. The costs of accident-related claims are typically passed along to other drivers in the area through higher premiums — even for safe or occasional drivers.

According to our research, about 34% of drivers in Seattle aren'tcurrently insured — one of the highest percentages in the state. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Seattle, you may be left paying for the damage yourself.

Zebra Tip: Comprehensive coverage and uninsured property damage coverage are good to have in Washington


Consider comprehensive coverage if you have concerns about weather-related events, such as flooding, causing damage to your vehicle. This type of coverage provides protection specifically for damages caused by weather-related incidents.

To address high uninsured driver rates, consider uninsured motorist coverage (UMPD) in cities or ZIP codes. It assists when your vehicle is damaged by an underinsured or uninsured driver. UMPD has a lower deductible and is cheaper than collision. A UMPD claim leads to a rate increase that is hundreds of dollars cheaper than a collision claim.


Bundling insurance policies in Seattle

While car insurance rates are experiencing a national upward trajectory, there are still avenues for savings through various discounts. Among the most prevalent discounts offered by insurance companies is the multi-policy or bundling discount. By consolidating your home or renters insurance with your auto insurance under a single provider in Seattle, you can avail yourself of a significant discount. Some companies even provide savings of up to 10% on combined premiums.

See our guide to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the advantages of bundling home and car insurance. If you currently possess separate policies for your home and car, it would be judicious to explore the potential savings achievable by bundling them together.

bundling home and auto insurance in Seattle
Cheapest car insurance companies for bundling home and auto insurance in Seattle, WA
Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
PEMCO $484
USAA $632
Nationwide $732
State Farm $761
Progressive $766
GEICO $947
Allstate $1,224
Updated: 09/28/23.

While there may be factors beyond your control, drivers can actively take steps to make themselves more attractive to insurers. Our top recommendation is to engage in extensive research and gather auto insurance quotes from a wide range of companies in Seattle. By doing so, you can secure the most competitively priced rate that doesn't compromise coverage or service. This is especially crucial if any personal circumstances have recently changed, such as a relocation, a birthday milestone, or an enhancement in your credit standing. Despite your best efforts, it's important to recognize that certain companies may simply be more expensive than others. In such cases, don't hesitate to contemplate a switch if it proves to be financially advantageous.

Find the best rates for both auto and home insurance in minutes!

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Frequently asked questions

The average for a six-month auto insurance policy in Seattle is $1,078 for a six-month policy or $180 per month. This is more expensive than the national and Washington state averages.

PEMCO is the carrier with the cheapest rates in Seattle, coming in at an average of $593 per six-month policy.

Washington's minimum required coverage is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 for property damage per accident.


Find affordable rates in minutes!

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How much is car insurance near me? — explore more cities near Seattle, WA


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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.