Cheap Washington Car Insurance

Compare the best rates from 12 car insurance companies in Washington.

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Here's what you need to know when driving in Washington

Across the Evergreen State, there are 174,731 miles of road just waiting to be driven. We’ll get you prepped, then you take the wheel.


 

Cheap Car Insurance

What's the cheapest car insurance in Washington?
RankCompany NameAvg. Annual Premium
1Capital$769
2Grange$830
3Nationwide$971
4PEMCO$984
5Travelers$1,018
6Mutual Enumclaw$1,044
7The Hartford$1,069
8USAA$1,071
9Cal Casualty$1,094
10Chubb$1,105
11Allied$1,120
12State Farm$1,153
13American Family$1,184
14Safeco$1,204
15Amica$1,231
16Liberty Mutual$1,283
17Farmers$1,342
18Progressive$1,495
19National General$1,510
20MetLife$1,664
21GEICO$1,690
22Allstate$1,936
23Encompass$2,215
24Bristol West$2,300
25Dairyland$3,180
26Sentry$4,017

Cheap Insurance for Good Drivers in Washington

Drivers with good driving records typically enjoy lower car insurance costs than drivers with histories of speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUI citations. Unfortunately, Washington state drivers without a recent at-fault accident save only 23% on their car insurance premiums, on average — far below the US average of 32%. In addition to earning a cheaper premium for driving incident-free, you may qualify for a safe-driving bonus through your car insurance company. The amount of these discounts may vary, but they typically run between 5 and 10%.

Rating Factor$ Savings% Savings
No Traffic Tickets$19814.85%
No Accidents$35323.76%
Good Credit$1,02647.52%

Cheap Insurance for Young Drivers in Washington

Young drivers (those between the ages of 16 and 25) pay extraordinarily high auto insurance rates, with those aged 16-19 paying the most expensive premiums of all. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teens pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. In Washington state, the average teen driver pays $4,056 — less than the national average for teen drivers, and approximately three times more than an older driver in Washington.

AgeAnnual Rate with ParentsAnnual Rate Alone
16$3,934$6,301
17$3,638$4,893
18$3,606$4,158
19$3,201$2,716

Cheap Car Insurance for Bad Drivers in Washington

With a good driving record — devoid of at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other recent citations — you'll probably enjoy relatively cheap car insurance rates. On the other hand, a bad driving record will cause your costs to skyrocket: car insurance premiums typically increase by 32% after a DUI, 23% after an at-fault accident, and 14% after a speeding ticket in Washington state. The post-violation penalties assessed by car insurance companies in Washington are actually lower than nationwide averages. If you have a clean driving history, be sure to inquire about your insurance company's safe driver discount.

Rating FactorAnnual Rate% Increase
At-Fault Accident$1,48623.76%
DUI$1,68132.57%
Speeding Violation$1,33114.85%
Bad Credit$2,15947.52%

What are the Best Auto Insurance Companies in Washington?

Each car insurance company advertises its low premiums. But just like with any product, the cheapest auto insurance isn't always the preferable idea. Considering the financial stakes, it's worth doing the research to obtain an insurance policy that covers your car completely in the unfortunate event of an incident. It's worth doing some work and finding the best value, instead of settling for the cheapest car insurance you can find.

Review local and national insurance companies' financial stability and claims satisfaction ratings to better understand the level of service you can expect. Claims satisfaction — measured by J.D. Power — is ranked on a scale of 2 to 5, with 5 being "among the best" and 2 being "the rest." Financial strength — calculated by A.M. Best and running from "Superior" to "Poor" — assesses an insurance company's financial strength and ability to meet its contractual and policy obligations.

Insurance CompanyClaims Satisfaction (J.D. Power)Financial Strength (A.M. Best)
Allied3Superior
Allstate3Superior
American Family4Excellent
Bristol WestNot RatedExcellent
Cal CasualtyNot RatedExcellent
ChubbNot RatedSuperior
Farmers3Excellent
GEICO3Superior
Liberty Mutual3Excellent
MetLife3Superior
Mutual EnumclawNot RatedExcellent
Nationwide4Superior
State Farm3Superior
Travelers3Superior
USAA5Superior

 

What is the Best Car Insurance Coverage in Washington?

The legal minimum car insurance in Washington is $25,000 Bodily Injury per person, $50,000 Bodily Injury per accident, and $10,000 Property Damage per accident.

For the legal minimum coverage in Washington, you'll owe an average of $662 yearly. This is more than the national mean by 1%. If you opt for more comprehensive coverage, you can select a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, which will protect against costs incurred by car-on-car collisions, auto theft, or weather incidents. But better auto insurance coverage comes at a cost: in Washington, a comprehensive policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,067, 61% more than basic coverage. For comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible, expect to pay 76% more than you would for basic liability-only coverage.

Analyze average rates for liability-only and comprehensive auto insurance levels in the following table.

LocationLiability-OnlyComprehensive — $1,000 DeductibleComprehensive — $500 Deductible
Washington$662.10$1,066.59$1,164.22
National Average$657.66$1,241.26$1,397.94

Car Insurance Laws

State minimum insurance requirements in Washington

In Washington, the state minimum coverage requirement is liability with limits of:
  • Bodily Injury $25,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage $10,000 per accident
Optional coverage in Washington (varies by carrier):
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Loan/Lease Payoff
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage

Liability coverage is legally required in Washington and pays for injury and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle in the event that you are considered “at fault” in an accident. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In Washington, the minimum is listed as 25/50/10 and explained below:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries that you cause in an accident if more than one person is hurt.
  • $10,000 property damage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for damage that you cause in an accident.

These numbers reflect the minimum limits required in Washington but higher coverage amounts are available with most companies.

Washington State Car Insurance FAQs

Do you need a paper car insurance card in Washington state?

You either need a paper ID card or a digital insurance card if this option is offered by your insurance company.

Is car insurance required in Washington state?

Yes. Car insurance is legally mandated in Washington. 

What percentage of drivers don't have car insurance in Washington?

Approximately 17% of drivers in Washington state are uninsured, which is higher than the national average of 13%.

How much does car insurance cost in Washington cities?

Car insurance companies calculate your rate based on many factors, location of the vehicle being an important one. The cheapest car insurance is found in Bellingham, Washington, and the most expensive in Tacoma, Washington.

RankCityAvg. Annual Premium
1Tacoma$1,413
2Federal Way$1,407
3Lakewood$1,406
4Auburn$1,394
5Seattle$1,377
6Renton$1,375
7Kent$1,364
8Shoreline$1,339
9South Hill$1,327
10Everett$1,263
11Marysville$1,233
12Bellevue$1,231
13Redmond$1,226
14Kirkland$1,219
15Sammamish$1,208
16Vancouver$1,169
17Lacey$1,100
18Olympia$1,094
19Spokane$1,082
20Spokane Valley$1,076
21Yakima$1,047
22Kennewick$1,021
23Pasco$1,008
24Richland$1,003
25Bellingham$997

Recent Washington Car Insurance Questions and Answers

Can I insure a car in one state but live another?

Also what is the rough estimated full coverage for a 2018 VW GTI SE? Planning to buy a car in ...

AUG 27, 2018
Can my brother in law use my car for a week?

I want to let my Brother in law drive my car for a week who is visiting from Chicago. He ...

AUG 25, 2018
Damage to fog light insurance claim

I cracked my bumper and my fog light is also damaged. My deductible is $500. Should I file a claim? ...

AUG 16, 2018

Driving Laws

Washington Texting and Driving Laws

  1. Ban on hand-held cell phones
  2. Ban on all cell phones for drivers with Learner or Intermediate Licenses
  3. Ban on text messaging for all drivers

Washington DUI Laws

The DUI lookback period in Washington State is seven years. Repeated DUI offenses within this timeframe subject offenders to harsher penalties and fines. In addition, a BAC of 0.15% or higher, a DUI with a passenger under 16 years old, or reckless or negligent driving results in enhanced penalties.

First-time DUI offenses in Washington lead to:

  • 24 consecutive hours to 364 days in jail
  • $940.50 to $5,000 in fines
  • License suspension for 90 days
  • Possible requirement to use an interlock ignition device for at least one year
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Washington Tour Guide Scholarship

At The Zebra, we know better than most just what a pain buying car insurance can be. We also know that students suffer from higher-than-average policy rates. Talk about a double-whammy. That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to continue The Zebra’s annual scholarship with the goal of helping to alleviate the financial pressures of college-bound students in Washington state, while also getting an insider view of the Evergreen State.

Prompt

So, students, we want to see your favorite road trip destination(s) in your state— from your unique perspective. If it makes sense to hit the open road and be our virtual tour guide, that's great! But there are no limits to what we're looking for: a narrated animation, a slideshow of memorabilia, an illustrated map of the best roadside attractions on the way. This is a chance for you to showcase any place you love in as an original way as possible.

How do I choose a location?

The length of the road trip to your feature destrination is inconsequential. So if you have an awesome spot in mind that's just two miles from home, we want to see it.

Qualifications

Applicants must be currently enrolled at or planning to attend a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States. Upon notification, winner(s) must supply a current proof of enrollment or letter of acceptance.

How to Apply
1. Create a video

Your original video should not exceed 2 minutes

2. Post online

The video must be hosted on YouTube or Vimeo

3. Submit by email

Email your submission to scholarships@thezebra.com

4. Please include...

your name, address, and phone number when you submit

Details
Award

Selected winner(s) will be awarded a check for $1,000

Deadline

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on December 31st, 2018

Notification

Winner(s) will be selected and notified by email by January 31st, 2019

Judges: The Zebra

The winner will be selected based on creativity in the content and presentation

*Upon notification, winner(s) must also supply a current proof of enrollment at a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States.


Fine Print

By participating, entrants represent that the video submitted is their sole and original work and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other party. In other words, no copyrighted music or images may be used.

Employees of The Zebra and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the contest.

Written credits for any technical or talent positions (e.g., editor, director, actors) should be included with your submission, along with any sources used to create the video.

Click here to learn more