Your history plays a role in your premiums. When you apply for auto insurance in Washington, it is legal for auto insurance companies to consider your personal credit history when determining your rates. They want to know if you're going to be an insurance risk, or if you have a history of paying your bills on time. As well, they'll consider your age, gender, location, vehicle, and past driving history when determining your coverage and auto insurance premiums in the state of Washington.
Get a few different quotes. Many drivers don't realize that different insurance companies offer different quotes. You should call around and talk to different auto insurance companies in your state to see what kinds of coverage and prices you can get. Take both into consideration before determining that one policy is a better deal than another. (Cheaper premiums do not exactly equate to better deals in the long run.) Start by calling a few local insurance companies, or maybe ones that you have dealt with in the past. But also consider surfing the internet to websites like http://www.allstate.com/ and http://www.statefarm.com/. These nationally-known auto insurance companies offer coverage to drivers in Washington and usually offer quite competitive rates.
The average driver in Washington pays about $840 a year for auto insurance coverage.
You must meet minimum coverage requirements. When you purchase an auto insurance policy in Washington, you will need to ensure that it meets minimum state liability coverage requirements. In Washington, you need to carry at least $25,000 for single bodily injury, $50,000 for total bodily injury, and an additional $10,000 for property damage per accident.
As a driver in Washington, you should also be aware that Washington operates under the Tort system. So if you're to blame for an accident, all of the expenses of the victims will need to be paid by your insurance company. These include anything from medical and auto repair bills to loss of wages and fees related to pain and suffering. So while Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UM / UMI) is not required by law in Washington, it's still a good idea. Such additional coverage leaves you financially secure in the event of an at-fault accident in the state of Washington.
You can exclude high-risk drivers from coverage on your policy. As the primary insurance policy holder in your household, you can legally exclude drivers from your policy. Many people opt to do this for high-risk drivers in their households. It tends to lower insurance premiums slightly. However, if you choose to leave drivers uninsured, understand that in no way will your insurance company cover any claim made by an excluded driver. He or she will have no coverage, even in the event of an emergency. That's a risky decision to make, so be sure to fully understand the fine print of your auto insurance policy in Washington before agreeing to exclude drivers.
Maintain a good credit score. When auto insurance companies are determining the products and premiums they will offer you, your personal credit history is heavily considered. Insurance companies want to assess whether you'll be able to pay your insurance premiums on time. If you have a past history of being late on your bill payments, you will find that your auto insurance premiums are generally higher. In addition to your credit score, auto insurance companies in Washington will also look at your age, gender, location, car, and past driving history in order to determine the price they'll offer you on your auto insurance policy.