Find the cheapest auto insurance in Washington State and save money. Regardless if you have a perfect driving record, or a few tickets and at-fault accidents, we find the lowest rates when we shop the top companies, research and compare hundreds of plan options, and present them so you can instantly compare, and apply for coverage. Whether you live in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Bellevue, or any other part of the state, we show you the most affordable property and casualty insurance prices in the Evergreen State available to consumers. If you are presently without coverage, same-day policies are available.
The Best Companies
Actually, determining the "best" carrier is almost impossible since prices can differ, depending on the vehicle you own, who drives in the household, and where you live. However, we take into account all of these variables (and many more) so you can always choose the best offers. We constantly update ratings each time a company changes their pricing. If a new carrier enters the marketplace, we closely study their underwriting guidelines and review how competitive their rates are. Also taken into consideration are how quickly they play claims, service provided to customers, rate stability, availability of discounts, and the satisfaction of past and present customers.
Although largest isn't always the best, we have listed below the 30 companies that own the largest auto and homeowner's insurance market share in the State of Washington:
Auto Market Share
1. State Farm Mutual
3. Allstate Fire & Casualty
5. First National
6. Progressive Direct
7. American Family
8. Geico General
9. Safeco Of Illinois
10. Progressive Casualty
12. USAA Casualty
13. Liberty Mutual
14. State Farm Fire & Casualty
15. Geico Ind Co.
16. Allstate Insurance
17. Geico Advantage
19. Mutual Of Enumclaw
20. Integon Preferred
21. Mid Century
22. Government Employees
23. USAA Gen Ind
26. Geico Choice
28. Allstate Property & Casualty
30. Enumclaw Property & Casualty
Homeowner's Market Share
1. State Farm Fire And Casualty
4. Allstate Fire And Casualty
6. Fire Insurance Exchange
9. Allstate Ind. Co.
10. USAA Casualty
11. American Family
12. Allstate Insurance
13. Mutual Of Enumclaw
14. Metropolitan Property And Casualty
15. County Mutual
17. Liberty Mutual
22. Enumclaw Property And Casualty
25. USAA General
27. Safeco (Of Oregon)
28. LM Ins.
29. American Commerce
30. American Bankers
How Much Will A Ticket Or Accident Impact The Rate?
A single moving violation usually does not have a significant impact on car insurance prices in Washington. It does, however, help when there are multiple drivers on the policy to help spread the risk. When there are a few tickets (or more), although it is not impossible to find a lower rate, it is a bigger challenge. Once you have three (or more) moving violations in the last three years, the number of companies that are able to offer coverage decreases. A combination of five moving violations and accidents will further limit your options.
At that point, a "high-risk" carrier could potentially be less expensive, especially if an SR-22 Bond is required or a DUI or DWI is present on the driving record. Higher collision and comprehensive deductibles will also have a greater impact on the premium, when you are paying non-standard rates. Although a $1,000 deductible on collision and comprehensive benefits can save hundreds of dollars every six months, financed and leased vehicles many require lower deductibles ($250 or $500).
If you have a recent DUI or are covered under an SR-22 Bond, it is likely that you are paying a very high premium. In special circumstances such as this, it is important not to make any changes that will result in higher premiums. For that reason, we use extra caution with drivers that have multiple points on their MVR. It's also critical to be aware of all claims in the household, including comprehensive and glass-breakage claims. NOTE: Many carrier underwriting guidelines include both tickets/accidents AND other claims submitted to the vehicle. If you have a history of high claim activity, but very few (or no) at-fault accidents, it becomes very important to consider companies that minimize this activity when determining their pricing.
The Washington State Legislature provides a program designed to help applicants that can not obtain coverage because of an adverse driving record. AIPSO provides assistance with obtaining compliant coverage from a carrier that conducts business in your area. The expenses from operating the program, are shared by the participating insurers. The automobile residual market still requires eligibility requirements to be met, but the number of uninsured drivers reduces. Other services provided by AIPSO include fraud containment, management consulting, carrier audits, servicing of policy forms, and certification of agents and brokers.
Impact Of Accidents
Accidents are a little trickier situation since money was probably paid out in an at-fault situation. In most instances, the increase may be approximately 10%-25% of your premium for a period of approximately three years. You may wish to view our " safest vehicles to drive" list which may offer a few worthwhile ideas. The combination of a high-performance car and multiple claims will wreak havoc on your premium. When a youthful driver (under age 21) had the accident, assigning him (or her) to an older vehicle, if possible, can save hundreds of dollars each policy period.
A "good-driver" discount can often be restored after 36 months of no claim activity. And it can sometimes be transferred to a new company when you make a change. "Vanishing deductible" credits can also be restarted with a clean driving record or switching to a new company. In some instances, a new carrier will offer an instant $100 credit towards the deductible. Each year you drive accident-free, the credit increases. The maximum is generally $250-$500, and you retain the credit each year, even if not used. If an at-fault accident occurs, and you utilize your credits, after a short period of clean driving, you can begin to accumulate credits again.
If you have more than one vehicle insured, the at-fault accident increase (surcharge) is much less, since it is spread out over multiple cars or trucks. And since the state utilizes a tort system of laws, if there is an accident, fault must be established. That's why it is very important to insist that police arrive and file a report if you were clearly not at fault. Until the officers arrive, take several pictures and prepare a written description of events while they are still fresh in your mind.
For example, if there are three vehicles covered, the rate adjustment may only be 4%-10%. And of course, if you have built up a loyalty discount or the damages were under a specific threshold, you may not see a change to your premium. A major violation such as a "hit and run" or "driving under the influence" will result in bigger increases. Multiple major offenses within 12 months will have a more severe effect and take 36-39 months (or longer) to be erased from your driving record. Also, two or more major violations may also result in a suspended license.
Are Washington Auto Insurance Prices Cheap Compared To The Rest Of The Country?
Actually, they are. Usually, Evergreen State prices are ranked among the 10 most affordable states in the US. For instance, last year, the only states with lower rates were Indiana, Idaho, Vermont, Ohio, North Carolina, Maine, New Hampshire and Iowa. Louisiana and Michigan feature premiums that are DOUBLE (Yes, that is correct) Washington's rates. Bigger cities such as Tacoma and Seattle have reasonable prices compared to other large cities in the Northwest.
And it's not unusual to see many rural areas with lower-than-expected prices. For example, several smaller cities that feature very low property and casualty rates are Moses Lake, Tumwater, Sea Tac, Camas, Bonney Lake, Tukwila, Washougal, and Anacortes. Cities with some of the highest rates in the state are Auburn, Federal Way, Lakewood, Kent, University Place, Puyallup, Renton, Maple Valley, Kenmore, Lynnwood, and Mukilteo.
Some of the many in-state zip codes that feature very low property and casualty prices include: 98901, 98902, 98903, 98904, 98908, 99016, 99027, 99037, 99206, 99212, 99214, 99215, 99216, 99207, 99208, 99209, 99210, 99211, 99214, 99218, 99219, 99220, 99223, 99224, 99252, 99256, 99258, 99260, 99362, 99352, 99353, 99354, 98926, 98950, 99301, 99302, 99163, 99164, 98225, 98226, 98227, 98228, 98229, 99336, 99337, 99338, 98520, and 98837.
In each of these zip codes, of course, many carriers offer competitive rates, especially if you agree to bundle your home and ancillary products (investment property, boat, motorcycle, RV, mobile home, or snowmobile) with the same carrier. Several of the companies that offer many low-cost policies include Grange, American Family, Allstate, PEMCO, National General, Hartford, Chubb, and Progressive.
Whether you're driving around Mount Ranier National Park or on one of the other beautiful parks or national forests, it's hard not to appreciate the scenery around you. Just try to keep your eyes on the road and you'll help keep the number of accidents to a minimum. So far, this has worked quite well!
What If I Don't Have Coverage Or It Lapsed?
We try to help. Firstly, don't drive until you secure coverage. The penalty is $450 (or more) so why risk the fine and potential legal and financial problems that may take quite a while to correct. A new policy can be written, but you'll have to meet the minimum liability requirements, which are $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and another $10,000 for property damage (which is not enough). Higher limits are always encouraged, if it fits within your budget. And we can usually find same-day coverage for you. If you finance or lease the vehicle, collision and comprehensive coverage will be required by the lending financial institution. Also, the maximum allowed deductibles will likely be $1,000.
Uninsured motorist protection must also be $25,000/$50,000 and personal injury protection (PIP) must be at least $10,000. Once again, these limits are merely the lowest coverage you can have and not necessarily a recommended amount. You still may be vulnerable if you have a serious accident with bodily injury that is your fault. Every five years, your existing liability limits should be reviewed and evaluated. A personal umbrella rider should be considered if you have assets in excess of $250,000. Owners of boats, investment property, and more than four vehicles should also consider purchasing extra liability protection. Protection against libel and slander are also included benefits.
You will be issued an ID card which is mandatory to have while you are driving. It must contain basic information such as the effective and renewal dates of the policy, who the carrier is, and of course, detailed information regarding the vehicles that are insured. If you were driving a vehicle (or owned it) that was involved in an accident, you may need an SR-22 Bond. The Bond must remain active until the DMV determines it is no longer required.
Although the State DMV allows you to "self-insure" by having a certificate of deposit or liability bond, we don't encourage selecting this option. The CD must be worth at least $60,000, and you must maintain proof that you own it. Of course, it must be renewed every year regardless of the interest rate you earn. Currently, rates of return are near historic lows, and simply purchasing conventional coverage is typically better financial planning.
The liability bond must also be for at least $60,000 and issued by a surety company. There will be a separate fee, and finding a licensed reputable company that handles the bond is your responsibility. There also may be a fee with maintaining this type of coverage. Although we can recommend the most reputable and economical companies, the bond should rarely be considered. Despite a low interest rate environment, locking up that amount of money is not the best option to comply with liability requirements.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an optional coverage that must be offered by your carrier. If you are involved in a car accident, it will pay specific damages, regardless which party was at fault. For example, funeral expenses, job wage losses, medical expenses, and loss of services may be reimbursable. Although you are not required to accept PIP, unless you reject the coverage in writing, it will be included in your policy.
The principal insured driver is covered, along with relatives (blood, adoption, or marriage) living in your household at the time of the loss. Foster and step children are also covered, along with pedestrians or unrelated passengers in the vehicle. Generally, PIP, if selected for one vehicle, must also be included on any other vehicles (if applicable) on the policy.
Are There Discounts That Will Reduce My Rates
All auto insurance companies in Washington offer discounts, although some feature more than others. Geico's "Defensive Driver" discount is one example. They will lower your premium by 10% if you complete specific courses. And the popular multi-policy, multi-car, passive restraint, good student and 55 and retired discounts are always available. Alarm system reductions are offered by all carriers and are usually at least 5%. Many 2018 models are equipped with new safety devices that can also help reduce your rate. The vehicle VIN will provide the needed information that your insurer needs.
Teenagers can very quickly raise your premiums by 25% (or more). Therefore, taking advantage of all inexperienced-driver reductions is important. Maintaining good grades (B average or better) will easily save hundreds of dollars per year. Graduate students may also be eligible. By not having a vehicle at school, you'll also save money. The assignment of your daughter or son to the wrong vehicle could substantially raise the premium, so proper rating must be maintained. If the number of vehicles in your household exceeds the number of drivers, you may have some leeway regarding how your children are assigned for purposes of rating.
Generally, it is not a good idea to place the title of one of your vehicles in your child's name. The total household premium could actually increase, and other existing discounts (multi-policy, multi-car, good driver, and longevity) may not transfer to the new separate policy. Stricter underwriting guidelines may also apply. However, completion of a driver-training program will always lower the premium, regardless of who owns the vehicle. Several carriers also lower premiums when policyholders accumulate three years of driving experience.
December 2013 -- "Pay As You Drive" is coming to Washington! Thanks to MetroMile and their new Metronome tracking device for vehicles. For consumers that don't drive more than 8,000-12,000 miles per year, there could be fairly significant savings. It rewards households that drive predominantly in a local radius and avoid long trips.
The Metronome installs below the dashboard and was recently approved for use by the State commissioner. Purchasing mileage-based coverage has become popular in Oregon and is expected to spread to other states. The perfect prospect are persons that live in an urban area (such as Seattle in the video below) or typically use other family automobiles on long trips and vacations.
June 2014 -- New safety signs have been put up in a few rest areas. They are located on highways between Seattle and Portland. Both signs are designed to help protect motorcyclists, since they are often very difficult to see. More signs may be installed at a later date in other parts of the state. "Look Twice And You May Save A Life" is one of the messages.
July 2015 -- Instantly locate Washington Licensing Offices. The Department of Licensing has launched a new online location map for finding locations throughout the state. The interactive map makes it easy for state residents to find the nearest offices and obtain information such as closing hours, services, appoint information and other information.
By clicking on the city links, you can easily view all area locations. For example, the Spokane office is located on N. Lidgerwood street and is open Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday). Services include renewing or applying for licenses, changing information, or ordering a duplicate ID card.
November 2015 -- The Department of Insurance (DOI) provides the most recent "complaint ratios" for carriers licensed to do business and offer policies. The most recent private passenger ratios feature the following major companies with the best ratios: Pemco, Metropolitan Casualty, State farm, Allstate, Mutual of Enumclaw, travelers, First Safeco, Farmers, Progressive, USAA, and IDS.
May 2017 -- The following carriers received DOI fines this month -- Amco ($5,000) for charging some commercial clients rates that were not authorized or approved, American Strategic Insurance Corporation ($4,500) for allowing more than 100 unlicensed brokers to transact business, 5 Star Life ($2,000) for allowing unlicensed brokers to transact business, and Great Northwestern ($2,000) for allowing unlicensed brokers to transact business.