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What are Washington’s auto insurance requirements?

There is a certain trust among Washington drivers. You and other motor vehicle operators mutually trust that each other is carrying the proper level of auto insurance. Auto insurance doesn’t exist with the expectation that you will have an accident; it exists in case you have an accident.

A 2015 study showed that roughly 1-in-8 Washington drivers were uninsured. That figure ranked 10th worst among the 50 states. Drivers know the risk of driving without insurance and this still happens too often. Why do people drive without insurance despite knowing the consequences? A couple reasons include:

  • They believe it’s too expensive. While no one enjoys paying for insurance, what’s expensive is having an accident without auto insurance. The other driver could sue you for damage to their vehicle and personal injury. Without insurance, a court could order you to pay these expenses out of pocket.

Additionally, many auto insurance providers will raise the rates of your premiums if you go too long without insurance. Avoiding gaps in your insurance coverage is a great way to prevent paying more for insurance than necessary.

  • They believe it won’t happen to them. Washington had over 117,000 auto accidents in 2015. Of those, two-thirds resulted in property damage and one-half led to injuries. It’s safe to say that none of these people expected an auto accident when they got in the car that day. Accidents can happen anytime to anyone. Having insurance protects you from liability for another driver’s damages.

Liability coverage satisfies the laws requirements

Washington law requires that every driver carries a minimum of liability coverage on their vehicle. Liability coverage entails at least:

  • $10,000 of property damage coverage in one accident.
  • $25,000 of personal injury or death of one person for one accident.
  • $50,000 of personal injury or death of two people in one accident.

Any additional coverage beyond this is up to you. However, a good insurance agent will ensure that your coverage protects you to the legal minimum while also making sure that you don’t have unnecessary coverage on your insurance policy that raises the costs of your premiums.

Some insurance is better than no insurance

Paying your auto insurance premiums is never fun but is less expensive than sustaining a car accident without any insurance. Even if you don’t have a car accident, your premium costs will likely rise for having a gap in your insurance coverage. If you’re concerned with the costs of insuring your vehicle, ask your insurance agent about any discounts that you may not be taking advantage of. After all, having some insurance is better than having no insurance.

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