Drivers in the state of Washington pay some of the lowest car insurance rates in the country. Although the rates in the city of Seattle are higher than the average for the state, it is still cheaper to buy auto insurance in Seattle than in many other parts of the country. It’s important to note that many factors affect auto insurance rates, and what you will pay will depend on your personal information. Here’s a closer look at cheap car insurance in Seattle and how to get it.
Does Seattle Have A Minimum Insurance Requirement?
By law, Washington state drivers must carry a minimum amount of auto insurance to legally drive. The state requires drivers of a motor vehicle or motorcycle to do one of the following:
- Carry liability insurance with limits of at least:
- $25,000 of liability coverage for injury or death to another person
- $50,000 of liability coverage for injuries or death to all other people
- $10,000 of coverage for damage to another person’s property
- Apply for a certificate of deposit with the Department of Licensing to pay for liability insurance.
- Have a liability bond of a minimum of $60,000 filed by a surety bond company authorized to do business in Washington.
- Self-insure if you have 26 or more vehicles. You can look on the Department of Licensing website to see if you qualify for this option.
In order to be compliant with the law, all drivers also need to carry proof of insurance and be able to produce it when requested by law enforcement. If you cannot produce proof, you’ll get a ticket.
What Companies Offer Cheap Car Insurance in Seattle?
Some of the companies that offer cheap car insurance in Seattle are:
- State Farm
- State Farm
If you are a current or former military member, USAA also offers cheap minimum coverage. If you’re looking for more than just the minimum, Mutual of Enumclaw is a Seattle insurer with reasonable rates.
Can I Get Extra Coverage in Seattle?
You can get cheap car insurance in Seattle by purchasing only the minimum required coverage, but if you want more protection, insurers offer additional protection. Full coverage includes:
- Comprehensive: This type of insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by events out of your control, such as vandalism, theft, natural disasters, and weather events.
- Collision: This type of insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by hitting another object, such as hitting a telephone pole or driving off the road into a ditch.
In addition to the minimum coverage and full coverage, many Seattle area insurers offer optional coverages to protect you and your finances. These include:
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you from drivers who don’t follow the law by carrying the minimum required coverage.
- Personal injury protection: Personal injury protection will protect you regardless of who is at fault if you get into an accident. It will help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses if needed.
- Gap insurance: Gap insurance is an optional coverage that covers the gap between a new car’s depreciation and what you owe your lender. Since new cars depreciate so quickly, this can be a significant amount.
- Rental reimbursement: Rental reimbursement coverage is helpful if you get into an accident and need a rental if yours is not drivable.
How Can I Get Cheap Car Insurance in Seattle?
The best way to lower your auto insurance rates is to look for discounts. Most insurance providers offer them, but they will vary from provider to provider.
Some car insurance discounts you can get in Seattle and the state of Washington include:
- Multi-vehicle discount. You can save money when your insurance multiple vehicles through the same company. It includes multiple cars or cars with boats, RVs, and motorcycles.
- Good driver discount. You can save if you have a good driving record. This means your record is free of traffic violations and accidents.
- Good student discount. You can save if you’re a teen or young adult and have a good grade point average.
- Automatic payment discount. You can save with many companies if you set up your policy for automatic payments.
- Pay in full discount. You can save with many providers if you choose to pay your total annual premium in full.
- Anti-theft feature discounts. You can often save on your insurance premiums if your vehicle has anti-theft features. Not all insurance companies offer this, but it is worth asking.
Many companies also offer discounts for maintaining certain driving habits. These can be:
- Usage-based discounts. Opting for a usage-based discount allows an insurer to track your metrics such as speed, mileage, and hard braking. These are tracked either by a mobile app or a device installed in your vehicle. Safer drivers earn lower rates.
- Defensive driving discounts. Taking a defensive driving course can make you eligible for discounts depending on your insurance company and where you live.
- Low-mileage discounts. Keeping your daily, weekly, or monthly mileage low may make you eligible for discounts. What’s considered low mileage depends on the insurer, but if you drive fewer miles than the national average of 14,200, you should ask your insurer about their discount.
How To Get Cheap Car Insurance in Seattle
The best way to get cheap rates is to shop around. Whether you are getting your first policy or it’s time to renew, get quotes from several different insurance companies.
If you’re looking to lower your premium, you can raise your deductible. The deductible is the amount you have to pay on your own before the insurance policy pays. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium goes. If you decide to increase your deductible, make sure you have the money to pay the out-of-pocket expense if you get into an accident.
Maintaining good credit can also help keep your auto insurance premiums lower. Many companies consider drivers with good credit a lower risk, so they offer policies with lower premiums.
Seattle offers cheaper car insurance rates than in many other parts of the country, but if you do your research before deciding on a policy, you can lower your premiums even more.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.