Auto insurance is mandatory in 49 out of 50 states. In Washington State, insurance regulations are set and enforced by the Washington State Insurance Commissioner Office. Unless your vehicle is unregistered and inoperable, you are required to maintain at least the minimum coverage amount required by the state.
The mandated auto insurance coverage is the liability insurance to cover for any damage resulting from your negligence in an auto accident.
In addition to liability coverage, there are several optional coverages available to provide additional financial protection as well as coverage that can help to pay for your medical costs after a car accident.
Also known as the “other person” coverage, liability coverage on your policy covers injuries and damages to the other driver and passengers if you were at fault in a car accident.
It is also a mandated auto insurance coverage in Washington State and several other states. If you are pulled over during a traffic stop, the proof of insurance that you are required to show must meet the requirement of liability coverage in accordance with your state law.
Learn more: Liability Coverage.
Collision coverage is the coverage used to repair or replace your own car, if it was damaged in an accident with another car or in a rollover crash.
Similar to comprehensive coverage, if your car is leased or financed, your lender is likely to require you to carry collision coverage in your auto insurance policy.
Learn more: Collision Coverage.
Comprehensive coverage is the enhanced protection for your own car and it will cover damages that are not result of a collision or rollover.
In our experience, the most common usage of comprehensive coverage is for a windshield repair or replacement.
In addition to covering glass damage on your car, comprehensive coverage also covers for theft, fire, vandalism, and more.
Learn more: Comprehensive Coverage.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
If you are injured in a car accident, the coverage that will take care of your injuries is the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on your car insurance policy.
The best feature of PIP coverage is its immediate benefits after an accident. PIP is also commonly known as the “no-fault coverage” which means the benefits will apply regardless who was at fault for the accident.
Learn more: Personal Injury Protection Coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In order to legally drive on the roads here in Washington, a driver is required to carry auto liability coverage and have proof of auto insurance.
But did you know? The Insurance Information Institute estimated that 17.4% of drivers in Washington state drove without insurance in 2015.
If you happen to be in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, uninsured motorist coverage will cover for your car repairs and your injuries from the accident.
Learn more: Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
Other Policies & Programs
Beyond standard liability coverage on your auto insurance policy, there is also an option to add higher coverage for greater financial protection. This coverage is called umbrella insurance and it's an extra layer of liability protection above and beyond your standard insurance policies.
Just like its name, an umbrella policy encapsulates all of your assets under its protection for greater peace of mind.
Learn more: Umbrella Insurance.
Pay-Per-Mile Auto Insurance
Pay-Per-Mile insurance is a unique type of car insurance policy that is new to Washington state. This policy determines how much you pay for your insurance premium by the number of miles you drive.
When you spend less time on the road, you also reduce the chance of getting into car accidents. A Pay-Per-Mile policy allows insurance companies to consider this lower risk in evaluating a driver's premium.
In other words, the less you drive, the lower your premium is under Pay-Per-Mile insurance.
Learn more: Pay-Per-Mile Auto Insurance.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
Similar to how banks use various elements to determine credit worthiness of a borrower and interest rate of a loan, insurance companies utilize several factors to determine auto insurance rates for a customer’s policy.
Learn more about Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates.
What information is needed for an insurance quote?
Average time to process a quote may take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes. In most situations, your insurance agent will be able to go over details of your coverages and different options available within an hour of the initial phone call.
In order to get an accurate auto insurance quote, your insurance agent will request for some personal information along with the year, make, and model of your car.
Should I use insurance to replace windshield?
You are driving down the freeway and “bam!” a pebble smacks into your windshield and leaves behind a chip. It's a small chip and you decided to wait a bit before repairing the windshield.
Few days later, you drive over a speed bump and that small chip instantly grows to a 6-inch crack.
Don't worry, the replacement or repair of your windshield is likely covered by the comprehensive coverage that is already on your auto insurance policy.
Learn more: Should I use insurance to replace windshield?