If your car is registered in Washington you’re required to have some sort of insurance coverage. Click here to learn why and to discover your coverage options.

What are the car insurance requirements in Washington state?



No matter how you feel about mandatory insurance, many states require motorists to have some sort of coverage in the event of an accident. Although you may not appreciate having to pay premiums every month, if you are one of the 2.3 million people who’ll suffer a car accident this year, you’ll realize the importance of not only having the required minimum policy but also the relief that can come from having additional coverage.

Required Insurance

Washington is considered a “fault state.” This means that car accident victims are allowed three options for injury and damage compensation:

  • File a personal insurance claim
  • File a third-party claim against the insurance company of another at-fault driver
  • File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver

Since the law guarantees these options, fault states require that drivers have a certain amount of insurance coverage to provide for potential compensation matters. Washington is no different.

If you drive a vehicle that is registered in Washington State, you must have one of the following:

  • Auto insurance. Your auto insurance policy must provide at least $25,000 for single bodily injury or death, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of any two people, and $10,000 for destruction of property
  • Certificate of deposit (COD). In lieu of insurance, a driver must have at least $60,000 registered with the Department of Licensing or in a bank to cover collision expenses. These finances must be able to be proven with a certificate of deposit.
  • Liability bond. Similar to a COD, a liability bond can be used instead of insurance. However, the bond must be for at least $60,000, and must be filed by a bond company authorized to do business in Washington.

Operating a vehicle without one of these required coverages is a misdemeanor traffic infraction punishable by a fine of at least $450.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the minimum coverage required by the state, you would be smart to add additional coverage to your policy, such as the following:

  • Collision coverage. Provides for personal vehicle repairs or replacement after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured coverage pays for any additional expenses that the other driver’s insurance may not cover. It also will keep you from having to wait for payment if the other driver has to pay out of pocket.
  • PIP. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is coverage that protects you if you’re at fault for an accident. PIP will cover the expenses associated with the other motorists’ injuries that your minimum policy doesn’t cover.

Ensuring Your Policy Covers Your Future

Even though you may think your insurance will cover every expense following an accident, this isn’t always the case, especially when the accident causes severe injuries. You must remember that insurance companies (no matter how nice they may appear in commercials) aren’t truly in the business of helping you; they’re in the business of making money.

In order to protect their bottom line, insurance companies will do just about anything to keep you from collecting high settlements. However, just because they don’t want to pay doesn’t mean you should be left with the bill.

Visit our Bellevue office today or fill out the convenient contact form provided to see how we can help you ensure that you’re getting the full settlement you deserve. The consultation is free, but the advice you’ll receive is invaluable.