Washington Auto Insurance Basics


When you drive your vehicle in the state of Washington, with just a few exceptions, you must have automobile insurance coverage. This insurance must be in place to protect you and other drivers in the event of an accident. And depending on the coverage you choose, it can also protect you if your vehicle is stolen, vandalized or experiences fire damage.

The vehicles that do not require insurance coverage in the state of Washington are antique cars, any collectible vehicle that is 30 years old or older, publicly owned or state vehicles, and Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission common or contract carrier.

If you are required to carry automobile insurance and are found to not have coverage, you will be fined $450 for having no insurance.

There are six major areas of coverage for automobile insurance. The minimum levels of coverage vary from state to state. In general, these areas are: Bodily injury liability, Property damage liability, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Collision, Comprehensive, Uninsured/Underinsured motorist’s coverage. Some of these coverage’s are mandatory in the state of Washington. Liability insurance is one that is required by the state.

Bodily injury liability covers any damages that you may have caused another person if an accident were to occur. This coverage includes medical bills and loss of income. Property damage liability covers the repair and/or replacement of any property that was destroyed as a result of an accident. Property damage liability also covers any “pain and suffering” claims.

Even though the minimum levels are mandated by each state, car insurance rates for the same coverage will vary from company to company, so make sure you get quotes from several companies before you by your car insurance.

There are also extra features that are offered by different insurers that include emergency road service, car rental reimbursement in the event your car has to be in the shop for repairs and comprehensive coverage that would cover any physical damage to your vehicle other than an auto accident.

There are several factors that come into play when determining auto insurance rates. Companies require personal information that includes your marital status, how long you have been driving, if you are a homeowner or rent an apartment and your credit history.

A complete breakdown of your vehicle, make, mileage, annual mileage, safety measures that you have in place to protect your car and all the extras, including air bags, passenger air bag, etc.

And lastly, your driving record will be taken into account: have you had any infractions in the past, any previous claims will be viewed, and if you have let your insurance lapse for any reason.

There are many factors involved in getting automobile insurance and each one has a bearing on the rates that you will be charged. But don’t let price be the determining factor. Make sure you find a reputable company that will be there for you if and when the time comes that you need them.