Like most states, Washington has cracked down on drivers who choose to register a vehicle but never insure it. The state requires you to have insurance if you want to register a vehicle.
The state code RCW 46.29.090 requires you to have at least 25/50/10 insurance in Washington, with the following minimum limits:
Washington charges a very steep fine for not having insurance. You are required to report your insurance when you get it. Your insurance agency will also report any new policy, or policy changes, to the DMV.
Your auto insurance rate can vary in price depending on where you live. You can expect to pay high rates in Seattle where natural disasters, vandalism, and theft are higher. Those in rural areas may, in turn, receive lower rates because of lower risk. Many insurance agencies in the state also offer discounts if your drive to and from work is short.
If you have teens on your policy, you can expect to pay higher premiums, as teens are the most at-risk age group on the road. Washington supports a good grades program; so many insurers in the state offer good grade discounts for students. Some college students may also qualify for this discount.
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If you’re looking for auto insurance, make sure you are shopping in the right places. Washington State requires all insurance companies to have a license. The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner keeps a searchable list of insurance agents that have a license.
The Washington Automobile Insurance Plan is available for anyone who cannot get coverage elsewhere. The WAIP offers insurance to everyone in this category, but its rates and fees are often higher.
The Washington State Legislature is the best place to look for codes and regulations. You can find the entire Revised Code of Washington (RCW) on the site. Complaints can also be filed utilizing the RCW site.
The Washington State Department of Licensing is a great place to look for information about a driver’s license. The department has insurance information should you need it. You can also register your vehicle here.
A study by the Insurance Research Council says that nearly 20 percent of the drivers on the road are uninsured. If you want to be protected fully, you need uninsured motorist insurance (UM).
While Washington makes your insurance agency offer you UM coverage under Code RCW 48.22.030, you can choose to refuse it. UM insurance protects you from an accident with someone who is not insured. If you are hurt in a hit and run accident, your standard policy does not cover repairs or medical bills, but a UM policy does.
Washington gives you 30 days to get your local driver’s license after you move. The state also allows you to pre-apply online so that you can save time when you do drive to the office. You will need your Social Security Number, out of state driver’s license, and one other proof of identity. Washington requires you to pass an in-office eye test and you will also have to pay a fee before getting your license. If your out-of-state license is expired, you will also have to pass a knowledge test and a driving test. You can check code RCW 46.20.021 for more regulations concerning new residents.
According to Washington law, it is illegal to use a cell phone or mobile device while driving, except in an emergency. While texting or talking on the phone is illegal, such an offense does not go on your driving record. You are free to use your cell phone with a hands-free device.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious issue in Washington, as it is in every state. If caught, the state suspends your license. Washington also places any DUI arrests on your permanent record. A DUI results from a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher for adults 21 and older. You can also expect your insurance premiums to go up drastically should you get a DUI.
Even if you already have insurance from another state, you need insurance that covers you in Washington. You may just have to change your address if your insurance agency is licensed in the state.
While Washington requires a minimum amount of car insurance, most people get more. Minimum coverage often does not cover the full cost of an accident.
Most people are confused about their deductibles. Select your deductible based on how likely you think it is that you will be involved in an accident. If you think it is likely, it may make more sense to choose a lower deductible. You can also look at your budget and decide how much you can afford to pay out of pocket if something happens. It is also a good idea to compare how much lower your premiums are with a higher deductible.
Finding an auto insurance quote can seem overwhelming – but insuranceQuotes.com helps you find the best car insurance policy at the best price. Every year, we match 15 million consumers to the nation’s biggest auto insurance companies, including State Farm, Allstate and Liberty Mutual.
insuranceQuotes.com connects you with local and national insurance companies that give you free car insurance estimates within minutes. By comparing multiple quotes, you can be sure that you’re getting the best price for car insurance.
If you’re looking for more than Washington auto insurance quotes, here are some helpful resources.
Washington State Insurance Commissioner
Information on insurance-related laws and regulations that protect Washington consumers
Washington State Department of Licensing
Online forms, publications and services for Washington drivers and vehicle owners
Rates are based on one vehicle and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 35 years old, female or male, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no traffic violations, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicle is assumed to be a sedan that is garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Rates include commonly available carrier discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.