Did you know the average claim for injuries in an auto accident is just over $15,000? Aside from injuries, claims for damages related to the accident tally on another $3,413. Without auto insurance in place, the cost of an at-fault accident is yours to pay out-of-pocket. Not only will you be responsible for injuries and damages occurring to others in the accident, but your own as well.
Auto insurance protects you financially when the unthinkable occurs. Not only does auto insurance protect you financially, it’s state law that all drivers in Washington be insured.
State Required Car Insurance for Seattle Drivers
All registered vehicles in the state must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance coverage at all times to comply with state laws. Failure to comply is a crime, punishable by driver’s license suspension, fines, and increased auto insurance rates. Proof of insurance must be provided immediately upon request from any law enforcement agent or after being involved in an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.
Seattle drivers must carry a minimum policy offering the following coverage amounts:
- $25,000 Bodily Injury coverage (one person)
- $50,000 Bodily Injury coverage (total injuries)
- $10,000 Property Damage coverage
For added protection, Seattle drivers can choose a policy with higher coverage amounts should they choose.
Keep in mind that an auto insurance company may choose not to renew your policy or cancel your policy after you’re insured. Several reasons exist for the insurer to make such a decision, including filing frequent claims, having criminal record, or a history of substance abuse.
In lieu of auto insurance, driver’s may choose to obtain a certificate of deposit or post a liability bond.
Cost of Seattle Auto Insurance
No two drivers pay the same rate for auto insurance coverage. This is due to a slew of factors which are used to determine the rates of each individual person. Factors influencing rates of your Seattle auto insurance include:
- Type of vehicle being insured
- Education level
- Marital status
- Auto insurance provider selected
- Driving history and accident record
- Auto insurance history
- Insurance coverage requested
Seattle drivers pay an average of $1,434 annually to insure their vehicles. Although it’s hopeful you will never need to file a claim, it’s reassuring to know that your insurance carrier has your back in the event of an accident.
Compare rates with several auto insurance providers to find the company offering the lowest rates for your needs. Many online sources help you compare five or more companies and their rates by completing one simple form. You can also call the insurance company directly to obtain the quote, or visit their website to make your request.
How to Minimize Costs of Seattle Auto Insurance
Since auto insurance isn’t optional, it’s best to find ways to keep costs down when obtaining your policy. Several simple methods of reducing costs of coverage exist. It’s beneficial to use as many of these money-saving methods as possible.
The most obvious tactic is to avoid accidents and tickets, as each one adds demerit points to your driving record and increases your insurance premiums. Even one accident can cost you considerably, averaging a 27% increase to insurance coverage costs.
If you can avoid such misfortune, it might be wise to increase your insurance’s deductible amount. While you’ll assume more responsibility in costs if an accident occurs, you can save hundreds of dollars per year.
The rest of these money saving methods come down when looking for auto insurance. The main money saving tactic is to not rush into things. Make sure to compare rates from several providers before signing a contract. Also look into combining policies — say auto and home insurance — with the same insurance provider as a way to save money.
Other tips for saving money on auto insurance include:
- Auto insurance companies in Seattle are notorious for providing discounts to their customers: Don’t be afraid to ask for the discounts if the agent doesn’t offer them when you’re requesting your estimate. Common discounts offered by auto insurers include those for multiple policies, safe driving, and good student records.
- Choose your vehicle wisely: It’s a myth that car color influences auto insurance rates, but what isn’t a myth is that the make and model impacts those numbers. Sports and luxury cars cost more than other vehicles to insure, especially for those 26-years old and under.
- Many insurance companies offer nice discounts for drivers who go the extra mile to protect their vehicle: Auto theft costs insurance companies millions of dollars per year. Installing safety devices like a GPS system offers a helping hand to fed-up insurance companies. They thank you for the help with nice discounts on the costs of your insurance coverage.
- Maintain a good credit score: Many insurance companies use your credit score to determine coverage rates and if your score isn’t up to par, you will likely find yourself dishing out a lot more than the average driver to insure your vehicle. Paying your bills on time is the easiest way to keep a healthy credit score.
- Make less frequent payments: Don’t neglect payments when they come due, but choose to pay your premium every six months or annually rather than monthly, and a nice discount is likely in store for you.