how much is car insurance in washington

How Much Is Car Insurance In Washington

Getting car insurance in Washington can be confusing due to the many factors that affect your rates. Washington drivers pay an average of $1,512 per year for car insurance,

which is slightly less than the national average of $1,574. However, what you’ll actually pay can vary significantly based on your driving record, age, type of vehicle, and other factors.

To help Washington drivers understand how much they should expect to pay for car insurance, this comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, including:

  • Average Car Insurance Rates in Washington
  • What Affects Car Insurance Costs
  • Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Washington
  • How to Get the Best Deal on Washington Car Insurance
  • Top Car Insurers in Washington
  • Frequently Asked Questions

By the end, Washington drivers will have a better sense of what goes into calculating your unique car insurance rates, how to shop for the best deal, and how to save money on your policy.

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs in Washington

Car insurance rates in Washington depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your age and gender
  • Your marital status
  • Your driving record and history
  • The type of vehicle you drive
  • Your coverage limits and deductibles
  • Where you live
  • Your credit score
  • The type of policy you choose
  • Your mileage

Let’s take a closer look at how each of these factors can impact your auto insurance premiums in Washington.

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs In Washington
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs in Washington

Age and Gender

One of the biggest factors that affects car insurance rates is your age and gender. This is because statistics show that younger drivers, especially teen drivers, are more likely to get into accidents than more experienced drivers.

Male drivers also tend to have higher accident rates than females. As a result, if you’re a young male driver under 25, you’ll pay the highest auto insurance rates in Washington. A 16-year old male can expect to pay around $4,500 per year for full coverage!

As you get older, rates start to go down because insurance companies see you as less of a risk. Once you reach your 30s, rates start to level out. However, they may creep up again as you reach your 70s and 80s.

Teenagers usually see the biggest drops in rates as they gain more experience, with rates cutting in half or more once they reach their 20s.

Marital Status

Statistics show that married drivers tend to file fewer claims than single policyholders. As a result, most Washington auto insurance companies will offer lower rates if you’re married rather than single. Widows and widowers may also qualify for discounts.

Driving Record

Your driving history will have a major impact on your car insurance costs in Washington. Getting tickets, at-fault accidents, DUIs, or other violations will raise your rates significantly. For example:

  • One at-fault accident can increase rates by 47%
  • A DUI can cause rates to more than double
  • Three years with a clean record can save you 26%

The more recent the incident, the bigger the rate hike. But if you can go a few years with a clean record, you may qualify for discounts for being a safe driver. Taking defensive driving courses can also offset some premium increases.

Driving Record
Driving Record

Vehicle Type

The type of car you drive is a significant factor in what you’ll pay for coverage. This is because repairs, replacement parts, and medical claims directly relate to the size and value of the vehicle itself.

Sports cars, luxury vehicles, and large trucks typically cost the most to insure because they have higher rates of accidents, injuries, and theft as well as higher repair costs. Family sedans and minivans tend to have the lowest rates.

Your Coverage Limits

The amount of liability and other coverages you choose directly impacts your bottom line. Washington requires:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability

However, experts recommend getting more than the minimums for better protection. Higher limits do raise rates but also provide more coverage in the event of an at-fault accident.

Collision and comprehensive coverage also add to the premium but pay for damage to your own vehicle. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 can potentially save you 40% or more.

Your Coverage Limits
Your Coverage Limits

Where You Live

Car insurance rates can vary dramatically based on your zip code and even neighborhood. Densely populated urban areas tend to have higher rates of accidents, theft, and vandalism, driving up the cost of claims.

Sprawling rural areas tend to have lower rates. But costs also account for medical expenses, average repair costs, local driving laws, and crime rates. It pays to compare rates across neighborhoods and regions when shopping for a policy.

Your Credit History

Washington is one of many states that allows insurers to use your credit-based insurance score to set rates. Policyholders with excellent credit tend to file fewer claims than those with poor credit. As a result, improving your credit can lower your Washington car insurance premiums.


Taking advantage of all the discounts available from your insurer is a great way to save money on your premiums. Common discounts include:

  • Good driver discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Student away at school discount
  • Low mileage discount
  • Defensive driving course discount
  • Anti-theft device discount
  • Automatic payment discount
  • Good student discount

The types and amounts of discounts will depend on your specific insurer. Ask them to review all the ways you may qualify for reduced rates. Even small discounts of 5-15% add up.


How Much is Car Insurance in Seattle vs Other Washington Cities?

Car insurance rates within Washington can vary widely between major cities like Seattle vs smaller towns and rural areas. According to 2021 data, average annual premiums for the minimum required coverages in major Washington cities are:

Here’s a table with the cities and their respective average car insurance rates in Washington:

CityAverage Car Insurance Rate
Average Car Insurance Rate

Drivers in major metro areas like Seattle and Bellevue pay some of the highest average car insurance rates in Washington. This is due to higher rates of accidents, thefts, vandalism, and uninsured motorists. Rural areas and smaller towns have significantly lower average costs.

How Much Is Car Insurance In Seattle Vs Other Washington Cities?
How Much is Car Insurance in Seattle vs Other Washington Cities?

How Much is Car Insurance for High Risk Drivers in Washington?

High risk drivers are those statistically most likely to file a claim, including young drivers, those with poor credit or driving records, and people with lapsed insurance. Due to the increased risk, they pay significantly higher rates.

A 16-year old male with a speeding ticket can expect to pay around $4,500 per year for minimum coverage in Washington. Rates for high risk profiles can easily be 2-3 times higher than average.

To find affordable high risk car insurance in Washington:

  • Shop around for quotes, comparing quotes from standard and non-standard insurance companies
  • Consider getting a used car instead of a new one to save on comprehensive and collision premiums
  • Ask about discounts like defensive driving, good student, low mileage, and multi-car
  • Increase deductibles to reduce premiums
  • Reduce coverage to liability only if you have an older car
  • Enroll in usage-based insurance programs to qualify for lower rates
Car Insurance For High Risk Drivers
Car Insurance for High Risk Drivers

What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Washington?

Across all policyholders, the average annual cost of minimum coverage car insurance in Washington is $1,512 according to 2021 figures.

The average annual premium for more comprehensive coverage including collision and comprehensive is $2,059. However, as we’ve seen, your own rates can vary significantly based on your risk factors. Comparing quotes from multiple insurers is the best way to find the lowest price tailored to you.

Here’s a look at average annual car insurance costs in Washington for common policyholder profiles:

  • Average for minimum coverage: $1,512
  • Married 35-year old: $1,230
  • Married 35-year old with one traffic violation: $1,614
  • Single 17-year old male: $4,509
  • Single 50-year old female: $1,154
  • Single male over 60: $1,276
  • Married couple, both over 50: $1,098

As you can see, demographics like age and marital status have a big impact. Violations also bump up the average costs significantly. Older drivers with clean records tend to pay the lowest rates on average.

 Average Cost Of Car Insurance
Average Cost of Car Insurance

What is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Washington?

To legally drive in Washington, drivers must carry the state minimum liability insurance coverages:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability

This covers medical bills and property damage after an at-fault accident. But it does not cover any damage to your own vehicle after an accident or from risks like theft, vandalism, falling objects, fire, floods, or animal collisions.

That’s why experts recommend getting more than just the minimums. Many drivers opt for

Minimum Car Insurance Requirement
Minimum Car Insurance Requirement

factor that can affect car insurance rates in washington?

Your age, gender and marital status – Insurance rates typically go down as you get older and become more experienced. Females and married drivers often see lower rates.

Your vehicle – More expensive vehicles often have higher insurance premiums. Cars that are less common or more expensive to repair also influence rates. Your credit score – Insurers see credit history as an indicator of risk, so higher credit scores tend to qualify for lower auto insurance rates in Washington.

Your driving record – Tickets, accidents and other incidents on your driving record result in higher premiums. Having a clean driving history for several years qualifies for good driver discounts.

Your location – Where you garage your vehicle affects rates. Urban areas generally cost more to insure than rural locations due to higher risk of theft or collision with another vehicle. Your actual parking situation like a garage can lower rates.

Factor That Can Affect Car Insurance Rates In Washington?
factor that can affect car insurance

can you provide more information about the top car insurers in washington?

The largest auto insurance providers in Washington by market share are State Farm, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Farmers Insurance Group and PEMCO Insurance.

State Farm insures over 20% of drivers in WA. USAA is a very competitive option if you qualify for membership through military service. Liberty Mutual, Farmers and PEMCO (a Northwest-based company) round out the top five.

Other reputable insurers with a strong presence in Washington include Progressive, Nationwide, GEICO, Allstate, Auto-Owners Insurance and Travelers. When comparing quotes, get offers from several of the top insurers to find the best coverage for your needs and budget.

what are some tips for getting the best deal on a car insurance in washington?

Shop around! Get quotes from multiple insurers every few years to check for savings as your profile changes. Maintain good grades if a student or get active duty military discounts where available. Enroll in defensive driving courses recognized by insurers. Some offer premium discounts for completion.

Raise your deductible – Opting for a higher deductible (e.g. $1,000 instead of $500) can significantly lower your premiums. Cut unnecessary coverage in your policy to lower premiums if possible, like collision if you drive an older vehicle.

Maintain continuous insurance with your current provider. Switching often hurts your rates. Avoid tickets, accidents or other incidents that alter your driving record risk. Explore group insurance or partner discounts through employer, alumni association, union or other organizations.

Tips For Getting The Best Deal On A Car Insurance
tips for getting the best deal on a car insurance

Some tips to find the best rates in Washington

Compare quotes from multiple insurers including national and regional companies. Rates can vary significantly. Ask about discounts – Most insurers offer discounts for good driving, defensive driver courses, vehicle safety features, bundling policies, etc.

Raise deductibles to lower premiums, but ensure you can afford out-of-pocket costs. Drop unnecessary coverage like rental reimbursement or roadside assistance. Maintain good credit and check reports for errors that may increase premiums.

Consider usage-based programs to save money for low mileage/safe driving. Ask about group insurance discounts if you belong to any alumni/professional associations.

Pros and Cons


  • Generally lower than national average at $892 annually vs $1,044.
  • Insurers are required to base rates primarily on driving record and miles driven rather than other factors like gender or credit score.
  • Insurance is mandatory, so there are more providers competing which can help keep rates down.


  • Rates vary widely within state based on location and driving record.
  • Driving record heavily impacts rates. At-fault accidents mean higher premiums.
  • Medical costs are high, increasing injury claim costs for insurers.

On average, Washingtonians pay $600-1000 annually depending on coverage and location. Rates are lowest in rural areas and highest in urban centers like Seattle.


How much is car insurance per month in Washington?

The average cost of car insurance in Washington state is $767 every six months or around $127 per month. However, monthly rates can range widely depending on your location in WA, driving record, vehicle, coverage levels and other personal factors. Rates in urban areas like Seattle are typically more expensive than rural parts of the state.

Is car insurance more expensive in Washington state?

Yes, car insurance premiums in Washington state tend to be more expensive than national averages. Higher costs are due to factors like frequent adverse weather conditions that increase claims, dense population of high-risk areas like Seattle, frequency of car theft crimes and other aspects of driving in WA. However, rates vary significantly by driver and location within the state.

Is 150 dollars a lot for car insurance?

A monthly premium of $150 for car insurance is above average but not necessarily exorbitant depending on your coverage needs and risk profile. Many young drivers or those with an at-fault accident may find this rate relatively reasonable. However, drivers with a clean record and good credit in their late 20s or older would likely find the same coverage available much cheaper, often under $100 per month.

How much is car insurance for a 35 year old in Washington state?

On average, a 35-year old driver in Washington state can expect to pay around $80-120 per month for auto insurance. Rates at this age tend to be among the most affordable as risks have declined from younger driver levels. Coverage amounts, insurance company, location, vehicle and other personal factors affect pricing but in general, drivers in their mid-30s see monthly premiums in the $950-1150 range annually or $80-100 each month. Completing defensive driving courses may provide even lower rates.


In conclusion, the average cost of car insurance in Washington state is generally higher than national averages due to various risk factors in the state. According to the most recent data, drivers in WA can expect to pay around $127 per month or $767 every six months for basic auto coverage.

However, premiums can range significantly based on individual circumstances like your location, age, driving history, vehicle, coverage selections and other personal characteristics. Younger drivers often see rates over $150-200 per month,

while more experienced motorists in their 30s and 40s benefit from lower premiums averaging $80-120 monthly. Shopping around all major insurers every few years is important, as is maintaining good grades

if a student and a clean driving record to qualify for discounts. With diligent research, many Washington drivers can find quality coverage within their budgets.

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