INSURANCE - CAR INSURANCE

Average Cost of Car Insurance in Washington for 2024

Updated March 4, 2024
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USAA is generally the cheapest car insurance in Washington for full coverage policies.

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Known as the birthplace of Starbucks and home to incredible national parks, it's no surprise that Washington is one of the fastest-growing states in the country.

Adapting to the Evergreen State's high cost of living can be challenging for new residents. However, car insurance is one expense you may save on as a driver in Washington.

The average cost of car insurance in Washington is $1,177 per year, compared to the national average of $1,582 for full coverage policies. And depending on your credit score, location, age, and driving history, you could save even more money.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • The average cost of car insurance in Washington is $1,177 per year for full coverage policies.
  • State-minimum coverage averages $665 per year.
  • On average, teen drivers pay $3,323 per year.

How much does car insurance cost in Washington?

Although Washington has a relatively high cost of living — only six states and the District of Columbia are more expensive — car insurance tends to be fairly inexpensive. The average cost of car insurance in Washington is $1,177 per year, compared to the national average of $1,582.

Car insurance tends to be less expensive in the Evergreen State because drivers are not on the road as much as in other states. The average mileage for Washington drivers is 27% less than the national average.

Plus, the state has lower coverage limits than many other states, so state-minimum policies are cheaper; the average cost of a state-minimum policy is just $665 per year.

Avg. cost for full coverage Avg. cost for minimum coverage Cheapest insurance provider
$1,177/year $665/year USAA
Avg. for young drivers Avg. cost for seniors Avg. for high-risk drivers
$3,323/year $1,647/year $1,931/year

Average cost of car insurance in Washington by provider

Several insurance companies issue policies in Washington State. If you are a veteran, military service member, or the child or spouse of a qualifying member, USAA could be a useful option; it has the lowest average premiums for both full and state-minimum coverage.

For those who aren't eligible for USAA insurance, GEICO is the next cheapest insurer for both forms of coverage.

Provider Full coverage Minimum liability coverage
American Family $1,219/year $804/year
Allstate $1,487/year $810/year
Travelers $1,183/year $704/year
GEICO $952/year $459/year
State Farm $1,043/year $484/year
Progressive $1,050/year $629/year
USAA $826/year $318/year

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How does credit score affect car insurance rates in Washington?

Previously, Washington State prohibited insurers from using credit scores when underwriting policies. However, that ban was overturned in 2022. Today, insurers can use credit scores when setting rates.

Having poor credit — meaning a score between 550 and 649 — will cost you. The average premium for drivers with scores in that range is $2,220 — nearly double the state average.

Credit health Avg. annual premium
Poor (550-649) $2,220/year
Average (650-699) $2,064/year
Good (700-749) $1,715/year
Excellent (750+) $1,569/year

Average car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Washington

Since 2019, there has been an increase in driving under the influence (DUI)-related crashes in Washington. As a result, there are severe consequences for driving under the influence or driving recklessly.

Besides fines, license suspensions, or even jail time, driving violations can affect your finances too. A DUI conviction can cause premiums to increase by an average of $1,070 per year, while an at-fault accident can cause an increase of about $831 per year.

Violation Avg. annual premium before violation* Avg. annual premium after violation Avg. cost increase
At-fault accident $1,177/year $2,008/year $831
DUI $1,177/year $2,247/year $1,070
Speeding ticket $1,177/year $1,756/year $579

*Assumes clean driving record with good credit

How does age affect car insurance rates in Washington?

Teens typically pay significantly more for car insurance, and teens in Washington are no exception. The average premium for 18-year-old drivers is $3,399 per year — nearly three times the state average.

Age Avg. annual premium
18 $3,399/year
25 $1,376/year
30 $1,558/year
40 $1,697/year
60 $1,568/year

Washington car insurance rates by city

Living in an area with a high crime rate means you're at an increased risk of being a victim of property theft or accidents, so you usually have to pay higher premiums for coverage. In Washington, drivers in Kent have the highest average premiums at $1,965 per year — 67% higher than the state average.

Car insurance is more expensive in Kent because the city has a high crime rate; NeighborhoodScout gave Kent a two on its crime rating index, meaning that 98% of cities in the U.S. are safer.

City Avg. annual full-coverage premium
Kent $1,965/year
Tacoma $1,887/year
Seattle $1,820/year
Bellevue $1,668/year
Vancouver $1,581/year
Spokane$1,453/year

WA's minimum car insurance requirements

Drivers must have proof of financial responsibility or insurance before they can get behind the wheel of a car. Drivers can meet those requirements in the following ways:

  • Individuals who own 26 cars or more can self-insure by contacting the Department of Licensing.
  • Drivers can apply for a certificate of deposit with a minimum deposit of at least $60,000.
  • Individuals can also get a liability bond through a bond surety company for $60,000 or more.
  • Drivers can purchase a car insurance policy meeting state requirements.

For those who opt for insurance, Washington's coverage requirements are lower than many other states' requirements. Your policy must meet the following minimums:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury insurance for one person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury insurance for two or more people
  • $10,000 in property damage insurance

Those coverage minimums are pretty low, and a state-minimum policy may not provide adequate protection. The Insurance Research Council reported that 21.7% of Washington drivers are uninsured, so you may want to consider a policy with higher limits and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. And if you want coverage for your own vehicle and property, you may need comprehensive and collision insurance.

How to save money on car insurance in Washington

There are several ways to save money on car insurance in Washington:

  • Take a safe driving course: In Washington, drivers who are 55 and older can complete an approved course and qualify for a discount on their car insurance policy.
  • Reach out to your agent: If your car insurance policy is too expensive, reach out to your agent to see if there is any way to reduce the cost. You may be able to adjust your deductible or coverage limits. Or you may qualify for discounts you didn't know about, such as paperless billing or multi-policy discounts.
  • Purchase a usage-based insurance (UBI) policy: UBI, also known as pay-per-mile coverage, is a way some drivers can save money on car insurance. UBI uses mobile apps or telematic devices to monitor your vehicle usage and driving. If you always follow the speed limit and avoid risky driving behaviors, you could save a substantial amount of money. In Washington, UBI policies are available from several insurers, including American Family Insurance, Metromile, and Progressive.
  • Get quotes from other insurers: If you have purchased coverage through the same company for a while, research other insurers and request quotes. You may find that the best car insurance rates are from another company.

Methodology

Our analysis was conducted using six different auto insurance marketplaces to determine the average cost of auto insurance in each state. The data we analyzed included coverage premiums from up to 10 different insurance providers. We looked at rates by city, driver profile, and credit score, as well as factored in the impact of driving violations. This data is for comparative purposes only. Your actual quote may be different.

FAQs about car insurance costs in WA

Is car insurance expensive in WA?

Car insurance in Washington is relatively inexpensive compared to the national average cost for full coverage policies. The average cost in Washington is $1,177 per year, compared to a national average of $1,582.

How much is car insurance per year in WA?

The average cost of car insurance in Washington is $1,177 per year for full coverage policies and $665 for state-minimum liability insurance. 

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Author Details

Kat Tretina Kat Tretina is a personal finance expert focusing on practical financial matters, including student loans, debt repayment, side hustles, insurance, and healthcare. Drawing from her personal experience, she aims to simplify complex financial topics and provide individuals with the information they need to make informed decisions.