Here's what you need to know when driving in Washington, D.C.
The average car insurance rate in Washington, D.C. is $1,457 per year — 5% less than the U.S. average. Car insurance rates are impacted by more than just your location. Auto insurance rates comprise many factors, including a driver's age and driving history. The Zebra's experts analyzed average Washington, D.C. car insurance rates for these rating factors in an effort to help you find an affordable policy.
Read on to learn how much auto insurance costs in Washington, D.C. based on these variables, or submit your ZIP code above to receive personalized quotes from top insurers.
The best car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.
Based on data from J.D. Power's 2021 Auto Satisfaction Study and The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, we have compiled a list of the best car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.
Along with topping The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, USAA received a score of 879 (out of 1,000) in J.D. Powers' 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for Washington, D.C.
As a highly-rated regional carrier, NJM Insurance scored an 867 on J.D. Power's 2021 auto study.
Erie Insurance placed third in this region with a score of 856 in J.D. Power's 2021 Auto Insurance Study. This carrier also received 4.3 stars out of 5 in The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey.
USAA — which is only available to military members and their families — was the cheapest company in Washington, D.C. at $107 per month.
USAA also has the cheapest rate after an at-fault accident, but if you don't qualify, Erie was the runner-up.
Auto insurance for young drivers can be exorbitantly expensive, but we found that Erie has the most affordable rate.
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.
Washington, D.C. auto insurance laws
Car insurance is mandatory in almost every state, including Washington, D.C. If you choose the legal minimum coverage level in Washington, D.C., expect to pay an average of $565 annually. This expenditure is less expensive than the nationwide average by 63%.
If you choose the legal minimum coverage level in Washington, D.C., expect to pay an average of $565 annually.
State minimum coverage
In order to drive legally in Washington, D.C., you must carry at least the minimum liability limits listed below:
- Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person
- Bodily Injury: $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage: $10,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage:
- Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person
- Bodily Injury: $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage: $5,000 per accident
Optional coverage in Washington, D.C. (varies by carrier):
- Loan/Lease Payoff
- Medical Payments
- Rental Car Reimbursement
- Roadside Assistance
If you opt for better coverage, you can choose a policy with comprehensive and collision, which will protect against the costs of car accidents, theft, vandalism or weather incidents. But better coverage comes with a cost: in Washington, D.C., a comprehensive insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,257, 122% more than liability-only car insurance. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, expect to pay 163% more than you would for basic coverage.
In Washington, D.C., a comprehensive insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,257, 122% more than liability-only car insurance.
Compare car insurance rates from the best companies in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. car insurance premiums by rating factor
Your rates are determined by a number of individual factors, including your coverage level, driving history, location and more. Explore average premium costs by rating factor below to get a better sense of how much you should be paying for auto insurance in Washington, D.C.
Cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. for minimum coverage
Choosing liability-only at the state minimum level instead of full coverage will make your car insurance significantly cheaper. In Washington, D.C., the average cost for minimum coverage is $47 per month, or $565 yearly — a savings of $923 compared to full coverage.
Cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. with bad credit
Your credit history is an important factor in determining your car insurance rates. Many carriers see those with a poor credit score as being higher risk, meaning you could pay more for your policy. On average, Washington, D.C. drivers with poor credit pay $1,762 more per year than those with exceptional credit.
Cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. with an at-fault accident
Your driving history plays a big part in how much you pay. Insurance companies look for previous accidents for which you have been at fault to gauge the level of risk you pose as a customer. An at-fault accident in recent years could see your car insurance rates increase by as much as $841 per year.
Safe driver discounts
In addition to having a cheaper premium, some companies offer a safe driving discount. While the amount varies based on your company, it can range between 5 and 10%.
Cheap auto insurance for young drivers in Washington, D.C.
Young drivers — aged between 16 and 25 — pay very high car insurance rates, with those aged 16 to 19 paying the most expensive premiums of all. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teen drivers pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. In Washington, D.C., teen drivers pay especially high rates: $5,343 per year — $3,814 more than the nationwide average and 267% more than a typical 30-year-old Washington, D.C. driver.
Washington, D.C. auto insurance rate by violation
In Washington, D.C., a bad driving record will cause your rates to skyrocket. If you receive a ticket or citation, your auto insurance premiums will probably rise. How much depends on the violation, your insurer's pricing standards and differing local insurance regulations and risks. That's why tickets may have a different impact on insurance in your state compared to the national average.
See below average auto insurance rates in Washington, D.C. after a few common citations.
|Accident/Violation||Avg. Annual Premium||% Rate Increase||$ Rate Increase|
|One Med/PIP claim||$2,212||0%||$0|
|Two Med/PIP claims||$2,250||2%||$37|
|One comp claim||$2,277||3%||$64|
|Two comp claims||$2,305||4%||$92|
|Failure to show documents||$2,531||14%||$319|
|Failure to wear a seat belt||$2,547||15%||$335|
|Driving with expired registration||$2,548||15%||$336|
|Child safety restraint||$2,572||16%||$360|
|Cell phone violation||$2,582||17%||$370|
|Texting while driving||$2,582||17%||$370|
|Driving without lights||$2,599||17%||$386|
|Speeding in school zone||$2,600||18%||$387|
|Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit||$2,600||18%||$387|
|Driving too slowly||$2,600||18%||$387|
|Failure to yield||$2,607||18%||$395|
|Wrong way/wrong lane||$2,607||18%||$395|
|Failure to stop at a red light||$2,607||18%||$395|
|Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit||$2,611||18%||$399|
|Following too closely||$2,615||18%||$402|
|Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit||$2,615||18%||$402|
|In 65 MPH zone||$2,619||18%||$406|
|Passing school bus||$2,659||20%||$446|
|Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit||$2,705||22%||$493|
|Operating a vehicle without permission||$2,736||24%||$523|
|At-fault accident - less than $1000||$2,989||35%||$776|
|At-fault accident - greater than $2000||$3,136||42%||$923|
|At-fault accident - $1000-$2000||$3,136||42%||$923|
|Driving with a suspended license||$3,372||52%||$1,160|
|Refusal to submit to a chemical test||$3,587||62%||$1,374|
|Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run||$3,637||64%||$1,425|
Washington, D.C. DUI laws
In Washington, D.C., a DUI offense can increase your annual car insurance premium by over $1,370. Finding affordable auto insurance in the wake of a DUI violation isn’t simple. In fact, a DUI often brings about a bigger premium increase than any single road violation — more than an at-fault accident, racing or reckless driving.
Low-cost car insurance after a DUI in Washington, D.C.
If you're convicted of a DUI or DWI violation in Washington, D.C., it’s key to mull over each of your insurance choices carefully. Auto insurance premiums following a DUI can vary substantially by insurer. For example, the least expensive car insurance company with a DUI in Washington, D.C., Erie, advertises annual rates 39% less than the statewide average insurance rate with a DUI. The second-cheapest insurer for auto insurance after a DUI in Washington, D.C. is Progressive, while the priciest firm is Allstate, with prices 58% above average.
There is no car insurer in particular that offers inexpensive DUI car insurance. The recommended way to save in the wake of a DUI citation is to shop around.
Compare and buy car insurance online or reach out to an insurance agent to assess your choices and find a cost-effective policy.
Washington, D.C. SR-22 insurance
An SR-22 is a routine legal requirement triggered by a violation such as a DUI conviction, a ticket for driving without insurance, an at-fault collision, driving with a suspended license or accumulating too many points on your license. It is not a type of insurance policy, but a form issued by your insurance company with the state of Washington, D.C. to ensure that you remain insured.
Finding cheap auto insurance with an SR-22 in Washington, D.C. might require some research, but it could pay off in the end.
How to acquire an SR-22 in Washington, D.C.
For currently insured drivers
If you already have auto insurance, getting an SR-22 certificate is straightforward. Contact your car insurance company and ask the company to file an SR-22 request for you. If your insurer isn’t willing to file a request, you'll need to look for a new insurer.
For uninsured drivers
When filing for a new policy, you might be saddled with an up-front fee to have your prospective insurer file an SR-22 request for you and to cover your high-risk driving profile. Needing an SR-22 might disqualify you from purchasing insurance from some companies, while others would be happy to sell you a policy.
For drivers without a vehicle
Not owning a vehicle makes it more difficult to obtain an SR-22, as you will need to furnish proof of insurance to receive the certificate. In this scenario, purchase a non-owners car insurance policy before filing an SR-22 request. Non-owners auto insurance is typically less expensive than traditional coverage since it doesn't protect against material damage to your vehicle.
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Car insurance price trends in Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., average annual auto insurance costs increased by $30 in the past year. A typical Washington, D.C. driver pays an average of $1,457 per year.
The recent pricing trend in Washington, D.C. leans toward slightly pricier car insurance costs and remains lower than the national average. The steepest decrease occurred from 2015 to 2016, while the highest surge took place from 2016 to 2017. At the same time, car insurance rates across the United States have stayed relatively steady in the past few years, moving from $1,521 in 2018 to $1,529 in 2021.
|Year||Avg. Annual Premium — Washington, D.C.||Yearly Change — Washington, D.C.||Avg. Annual Premium — US||Yearly Change — US|
If your rates are rising faster than the average in your state, compare quotes and find a better deal. The Zebra's car insurance comparison engine furnishes quotes based on your specific profile — enter your ZIP below to get started.
Washington, D.C. car insurance FAQs
Below you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Washington, D.C. auto insurance.
How much does car insurance cost in Washington, D.C?
Car insurance in the District of Columbia has premiums that are relatively consistent with the national average: $729 for a 6-month policy or $121/month.
Is car insurance expensive in Washington, D.C.?
The average cost of auto insurance in Washington, D.C. is actually on par with the rest of the country, as it's just 5% less than the nationwide average.
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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.