has put together expert tips and quote comparisons to help you find affordable car insurance in Washington State. Washington is an idyllic outdoor adventure state with scenic mountains in the Cascades, Olympic National Park, and Mount Rainier National Park.

Before driving anywhere to enjoy the sights, make sure that you have minimum coverage insurance for your car.

Washington is an “at-fault” state, which means that when an accident occurs, the car insurance company of the person who caused the accident will pay for the injuries and damages caused.

The average annual cost of car insurance in Washington is $1,176 for full coverage and $463 for minimum coverage. However, there are many factors that influence what you pay for car insurance in Washington besides your state’s coverage requirements.

In Washington, every automobile on the road must have liability coverage car insurance. This is so that everybody involved in an accident is adequately covered if they are not at fault. If you drive your car without minimum coverage car insurance, you could receive a fine of $550 or more.

If you are at fault in an automobile collision in the state of Washington and you do not have auto insurance, your driver’s license may be suspended if you do not pay for the resulting damages and/or injuries.

However, keep in mind that what you pay for car insurance will depend on factors in your unique driving profile, including:

  • Driving history.
  • Credit rating.
  • Marital status.
  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Vehicle type.
  • Insurance provider.
  • Location within the state.
  • Coverage type.

To help you find the best deals on car insurance in the state, we’ve compared quotes from car insurers in these Washington counties:

  • King County.
  • Pierce County.
  • Snohomish County.
  • Spokane County.
  • Clark County.

Some of the cheapest car insurance companies in the state of Washington are:

  • Midvale.
  • Bristol West.
  • Travelers.
  • Allstate.
  • The General.

Because the cost of car insurance in Washington is dependent on your unique driving profile, we’ve gone a step further and compared the cost of auto insurance rates for these types of drivers:

  • Good drivers (those with a clean driving record).
  • Young drivers (those aged between 16-25).
  • Bad drivers (those with a history of traffic violations).

How to Protect Yourself from Undue Car Accident Charges

To get the most coverage for yourself in the event of a car accident, we recommend you carry auto insurance with the optional personal injury protection (PIP) policy attached to it.

Although, there are 15 states in the country that require motorists to have PIP, Washington is not one of them. Waiving PIP insurance lowers your premiums, but it also means you won’t have coverage for your own injuries if you’re involved in an accident

Personal injury protection, also known as no-fault insurance, helps cover expenses like medical bills, lost wages, or funeral costs after a car accident, no matter who is at fault. It will be more expensive, but it will pay for itself should you ever get into a car accident.

Choosing appropriate car insurance that caters to your particular needs depends, among other factors, on your budget and how often you use your car.

Minimum Liability Insurance in Washington

Minimum liability insurance is popular because you pay much cheaper car insurance premiums. However, it only covers the other driver’s injuries and property damage.

It does not include protection for damage to your vehicle or injuries sustained by you or your passengers.

The low coverage limits could end up costing you more in the long run if you are the cause of an accident.

The minimum coverage car insurance requirements in Washington State are:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage: $10,000.
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
  • Underinsured motorist property damage coverage: $10,000 per accident.
  • Basic personal injury protection: $10,000 per accident.

Key Point: Minimum Liability Car Insurance

Minimum liability insurance is the least amount of coverage you must have for any damages you cause. If you drive every day, a minimum liability plan may not provide you with enough cover.

Liability insurance includes:

  • Bodily injury liability: covers other people’s physical injuries in an accident.
  • Property damage liability: damage to the other driver’s property is covered.

If you’re found to be at-fault in a car accident and you do not meet the minimum liability insurance requirements, you will be held personally responsible for paying the other party’s medical bills, legal bills, and lost wages.

As a major part of your liability insurance, bodily injury insurance covers medical bills for people other than the policyholder who are injured during an accident.

Washington is an at-fault state, meaning the driver who is responsible for the collision is also responsible for paying for any resulting expenses, either through their car insurance provider or out-of-pocket.

This basic coverage pays for medical bills, vehicle damage, and other costs of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who incur losses from a car accident you cause, up to coverage limits.

We have found that on average, the cost of a minimum liability car insurance policy in Washington State is $167.60 per month.

Bristol West offers the cheapest car insurance rates for minimum liability coverage, which costs on average $102.20 per month.

Cheapest Minimum Liability Car Insurance in Washington State

ProviderKing CountyPierce CountySnohomish CountySpokane CountyClark CountyAverage
The General$145.00$142.00$131.00$127.00$130.00$135.00
Bristol West$111.00$112.00$100.00$88.00$100.00$102.20

Find Cheap Comprehensive Car Insurance in Washington

Unless you have significant savings, it would be beneficial to have comprehensive car insurance to cover you in the event of the following scenarios:

  • Theft or theft of parts.
  • Non-crash damage (e.g., natural disasters, fire, flooding).
  • Broken windshield.
  • Car damage from hitting an animal.

Key Point: Full Coverage Car Insurance

Full coverage car insurance is made up of three different types of car insurance policies:

  • Comprehensive coverage: This type of insurance will compensate you if your car is totaled due to a non-accident-related event (e.g. fire, flood) or if it’s stolen.
  • Collision coverage: This type of auto insurance will compensate you if your car is totaled or damaged in a car accident.
  • Liability insurance: This type of insurance covers you for damage you may cause to another person’s property or injury/death you may cause while driving.

Without comprehensive car insurance, you risk finding yourself in a situation where you can’t drive your car because you can’t afford to get it repaired.

To help you find the cheapest comprehensive car insurance in Washington, we’ve compared the rates offered by four insurers.

We have found that on average, the cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy in Washington is $180.70 per month.

The two cheapest average rates for auto insurance are:

  • Midvale with average rates of $136.00.
  • Bristol West with average rates of $155.40.

Cheap Full Coverage Insurance in Washington State

ProviderKing CountyPierce CountySnohomish CountySpokane CountyClark CountyAverage
Bristol West$148.00$152.00$222.00$122.00$133.00$155.40

Cheap Car Insurance in Washington for Drivers with Clean Driving Records

The best way to prevent an increase in your annual premium is to maintain a clean driving record free of traffic violations and accidents.

Drivers with a clean driving record are in a good position to find cheap car insurance. Auto insurance companies consider good drivers to be people who:

  • Have not been the cause of any car accidents.
  • Have no traffic offenses.
  • Have a good credit score.
  • Have no speeding tickets.
  • Have no reckless driving charges.
  • Have no DUI convictions.

Some car insurance companies will offer an additional discount if you have completed an accredited defensive driving course.

We looked at the average car insurance rates offered by car insurance companies in Washington for good drivers. The two cheapest car insurance companies for good drivers are:

  • Bristol West with average rates of $124.80 per month.
  • Midvale with average rates of $127.60 per month.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Good Drivers in Washington State

ProviderKing CountyPierce CountySnohomish CountySpokane CountyClark CountyAverage
Bristol West$134.00$136.00$123.00$110.00$121.00$124.80

Cheap Car Insurance in Washington for High-Risk Drivers

Drivers with incidents on their record—such as an at-fault accident or a DUI (driving under the influence)—pay higher insurance rates.

Drivers with prior traffic violations are regarded by insurance companies as being a higher risk to insure than those who have a clean traffic record.

Insurance companies believe high-risk drivers are more likely to make future claims against their auto insurance policy.

Some of the offenses that may lead to someone being considered a high-risk driver include:

  • Receiving a DUI conviction.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Speeding tickets.
  • Unpaid insurance policy premiums.
  • A poor credit rating.

Cheap Auto Insurance in Washington with Bad Credit

Your credit score factors into your risk profile in most states, even though it has nothing to do with your ability to drive safely.

Drivers with a poor credit score pay a lot more on their insurance policy.

  • The cheapest car insurance company for high-risk drivers is Bristol West with average rates of $163.00 per month.
  • The most expensive car insurance company for high-risk drivers is Midvale with average rates of $218.80 per month.

Cheapest Auto Insurance for Bad Drivers in Washington State

ProviderKing CountyPierce CountySnohomish CountySpokane CountyClark CountyAverage
The General$208.00$203.00$187.00$180.00$185.00$192.60
Bristol West$176.00$178.00$161.00$141.00$159.00$163.00

Cheapest Car Insurance in Washington for Young Drivers

Since young drivers have less experience behind the wheel and tend to get into accidents more often than adults, insurers tend to charge them higher rates compared to more mature drivers.

Good student and driver safety course discounts can help young drivers reduce their rates, as can staying on a parent’s policy for as long as possible.

We’ve compared the cost of car insurance for young drivers to help you save on auto insurance costs.

The cheapest car insurance for young drivers is Bristol West with average rates of $75.40 per month.

Cheapest Auto Insurance for Young Drivers in Washington State

ProviderKing CountyPierce CountySnohomish CountySpokane CountyClark CountyAverage
Bristol West$87.00$88.00$72.00$62.00$68.00$75.40
Direct Auto$231.00$222.00$184.00$162.00$166.00$193.00
The General$267.00$261.00$221.00$213.00$220.00$236.40

To find the best insurance rates in other U.S. states, read our articles below:

Top Tips for Finding Affordable Car Insurance

  • Take note of lender requirements
  • If your car is financed or leased, your lender is likely to require that you have liability insurance, comprehensive coverage, and collision insurance.
  • Full coverage car insurance protects your lender if you’re in a car accident or your car is stolen and you can no longer afford to meet your monthly payments.
  • You should avoid allowing your car insurance to lapse because single-interest car insurance is much more expensive than standard car insurance.
  • Compare quotes from different car insurance companies
  • Even if you think you’ve found a good deal on car insurance, it’s always a good idea to shop around for a lower rate.
  • The only way to be completely certain that you’re getting the best rates on your car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple insurers.
  • You can do this yourself, but it is time-consuming. You’ll need to phone each car insurance company or fill out an online form for them to give you a quote.
  • To save time, you can go through a licensed insurance agent or compare quotes from different insurance providers by using our online quote finder.

Top Car Insurance Companies in Washington

1. Nationwide

Over the last 90 years, Nationwide has grown from a small mutual auto insurer owned by policyholders to one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world.

Nationwide offers car insurance coverage in 46 states and a portfolio of a variety of standard and add-on insurance options. They also offer usage-based insurance, also known as pay as you drive.

Usage-based insurance is a type of car insurance whereby the costs are dependent upon the type of vehicle used, measured against time, distance, behavior, and place.

Nationwide has an A+ rating from the BBB and AM Best.

2. Bristol West

Founded in 1973, Bristol West’s national footprint makes it one of the top ten biggest insurance companies in the U.S.

Bristol West was originally created to provide high-risk drivers with affordable insurance policies and has since expanded its services to all types of drivers.

Some of the benefits offered by Bristol West include:

  • Multiple policy bundling discounts.
  • Personalized car insurance policies.
  • Rideshare coverage.
  • Medical payments.
  • Gap coverage.
  • Towing and roadside assistance.
  • Rental car reimbursement.

Car Insurance in Washington State FAQs

What are the penalties for driving without car insurance in Washington? 

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, if you drive without the required insurance, you could be ordered to pay a fine of $550 or more.

In addition, if you don’t have insurance, your license may be suspended if you cause a car accident and you’re unable to pay the injured parties’ damages.

What car insurance discounts are available in Washington State?

You can get car insurance discounts in Washington based on how you drive, the car you own, and your relationship with your insurance company.

In Washington, car insurance companies consider factors such as employment, credit rating, as well as residential and marital status when setting auto insurance premiums.

What happens if my license is suspended in Washington State?

Washington traffic courts punish habitual traffic violators seriously. If your license is suspended in Washington, it could mean that you lose driving privileges for up to one year.

Reasons for the suspension of your license include:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
  • Driving without insurance.
  • Reckless driving.
  • At fault in a fatal accident.
  • Hit-and-run conviction.

If you receive a notice of suspension, you have 15 days to appeal the sentence. You may also take a Washington defensive driving course but this is only available to drivers with minor traffic violations.

When your license suspension period is up, you can reinstate it by supplying the court with an SR-22 Financial Responsibility Form and paying a fee of $75.

If you’re unsure what steps you need to take, you can contact the Washington Department of Licensing by email at [email protected].

Quick Washington Car Insurance Facts

  • Washington’s minimum requirement for insurance coverage is known as the 25/50/10 rule.
  • For full auto insurance coverage in Washington, the average cost is $1,176 per year.
  • For minimum coverage, expect to pay roughly $463 per year.
  • In Washington, approximately 21.7% of drivers have no auto insurance.
Cheap Car Insurance in Washington

Minimum Washington Car Insurance Coverage

Information about car insurance coverage requirements in Washington can be found on the state’s Department of Licensing website.

In Washington, drivers are required to have a minimum amount of insurance to pay for property damage and bodily injury. The minimum coverages must include the following:

Property damage: $10,000 per accident

Bodily injury/death: Bodily injury coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

Getting Cheap Car Insurance In Washington

Looking for cheap car insurance in Washington? There are many ways to get better rates, including the following:

  1. Compare rates. You don’t have to stick with your car insurance provider. Feel free to get quotes elsewhere, like from Cheap Insurance.
  2. Drive less. The less you drive, the less of a risk you are on the road. This translates to bigger savings.
  3. Increase your deductible. Lower deductibles mean higher premiums, so consider raising your deductible to save money. Just be sure to have enough money to pay your deductible if you plan to file a claim.

Washington Car Insurance Discounts

Less expensive car insurance coverage is available in Washington. Here are some common discounts to help you save even more:

  • Good Driver: Ask your car insurance provider about discounts for safe driving. Many drivers with no accidents or tickets can save at least 10%. 
  • Good Student: Young drivers under the age of 25 who attend school and have a 3.0 GPA or better may qualify for discounts as much as 30%.
  • Bundling: Using the same car insurance provider for multiple vehicles, home insurance, life insurance, and other policies can mean a huge discount.
  • Safety Features: Buying a newer vehicle with multiple safety features can mean big savings.

What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Washington?

If you are caught driving without insurance in Washington, you could face a $550 fine.

What is driving like in Washington?

Washington is known as one of the worst states to drive in due to factors such as poor overall road quality, traffic congestion, steep gas prices, and high rates of car theft. Getting your license may be difficult, as the state has the hardest driving test in the nation.

How can I save money on my car insurance policy in Washington?

Here are some ways in which you can get cheap car insurance in the state:

  • Get rid of coverage you don’t need for older vehicles. 
  • Pay at once. Instead of paying monthly, make a full payment every 6-12 months and save money.
  • Choose the right car. Family cars are cheaper to insure than sports cars. Smaller cars are cheaper than SUVs. 

Other Types of Coverage

While Washington requires a minimum amount of coverage, you may want to consider additional car insurance coverages such as the following:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC)/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UIM)

Medical Payments Coverage

Physical Damage Coverage

Additional kinds of coverage 

Endorsements and Riders

  • Towing and road service: With this coverage, you get roadside assistance in the event you need gas, a battery charge, flat tire change, or towing service.
  • Rental car reimbursement: When you can’t drive your vehicle, get reimbursed for rental cars with this coverage.
  • Gap insurance: This insurance covers the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and what it’s worth.

Cities We Cover In Washington

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