Are Car Insurance Costs Going Up or Down in Washington?

As many drivers can attest, car insurance rates usually rise each year. But there's a lot that goes into pricing auto insurance policies — and not every region experiences the same rate trends.

One of the primary rating factors insurance companies use to set rates is location. The state, city, and ZIP code within which a car is parked and operated help to determine auto insurance prices — this comes down to state laws and the differing levels of risk associated with insuring cars in various areas of the country.

Because auto insurance pricing is so multi-faceted, yearly price trends vary by state. Auto insurance rates could be on their way up each year in one state but decreasing in a neighboring area.

See below auto insurance pricing trends in Washington. If your policy isn't following your state's trend, consider shopping for a cheaper insurance option. The Zebra's car insurance comparison engine provides rates based on your specific profile — enter your ZIP below to get started.

Auto insurance pricing trends in Washington

In Washington, the average annual auto insurance premium increased by $6 over the past year. The usual driver in Washington now pays an average rate of $1,205 per year.

The year-over-year trend in Washington leans toward more expensive car insurance. From 2015 to 2018, rates grew more expensive by $49 annually. At the same time, car insurance rates nationwide have increased in recent years, climbing from $1,280 in 2015 to $1,470 in 2018.

Year Avg. Annual Premium — Washington Yearly Change — Washington Avg. Annual Premium — USA Yearly Change — US
2018 $1,205 $6 $1,470 $32
2017 $1,199 $84 $1,437 $69
2016 $1,115 -$41 $1,368 $88
2015 $1,156 $28 $1,280 $51
2014 $1,128 -$10 $1,229 $34
2013 $1,138 $2 $1,195 -$80
2012 $1,136 $68 $1,276 $82

If your rates are rising faster than the average in your state, compare quotes and find a better deal.

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How are car insurance rates changing in major Washington cities?

Car insurance policies are priced at the ZIP code level with an array of region-specific variables impacting how much you pay. That means drivers could see major differences in their insurance rates, based solely on their ZIP code or city. For example, Bellevue drivers endured a larger yearly rate increase (2.2%) than did drivers in Spokane (2.2%) between 2018 and 2017.

See below annual rates of change in major Washington cities. If your city is on the expensive side — and moving isn't an option — consider shopping around for a more affordable rate.

City Avg. Premium Increase — 2018 vs. 2017
Bellevue 2.2%
Spokane 2.2%
Everett 2.1%
Seattle 1.5%
Tacoma 1.2%

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Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross researches and writes insurance content intended to help users make informed decisions.

Ross's background is in writing and education. He holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, Investopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance