Washington Car Insurance Laws

Learn how much property and bodily liability insurance is required to operate a motorized vehicle in Washington. Discover if you have proper coverage and if not what the penalties and fines are for continuing to drive without the minimum insurance coverage ...     read more

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Department of Insurance Contact Information

Washington Dept. of Insurance / Central Building, Suite 650/MS: TB-03
810 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Consumer Hotline

1-206-464-6263

State Department Website

http://www.insurance.wa.gov/

File Complaint Website

https://fortress.wa.gov/oic/complaints/

State Regulation

Bodily injury liability:25,000 for single individual injury / 50,0000 for additional individual injuries. - Property damage liability:10,000 to cover property damage

The state of Washington does not require auto insurance policies to cover uninsured/uninsured motorists. To those with more than 26 vehicles there are special self insurance options available, or for those with money to put $60,000.00 in a liability bond. While perhaps possible for some wealthier residents and businesses these options are probably out of reach for the average resident of the state of Washington, so most will be purchasing an auto insurance policy.

Proof of insurance documents must have: -The name of the company that has issued the insurance policy. - The insurance policy number. - The effective date of the policy. - The expiration date of the policy. When insurance policies are renewed new insurance cards are issued, so the effective date must be current and the expiration date on the card cannot be past or the proof is invalid. - A description of the year, make, or model of the insured vehicles, or the name of the insured driver(s).

Insurance is NOT required on:

Off-highway vehicles; Motorcycles and mopeds

Antique and collector vehicles more than 30 years old

Government and other public vehicles; Vehicles registered under common or contract carrier designation from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

For auto dealers or anyone who has 26 or more cars registered in the state, Washington does allow self-insurance in lieu of mandatory liability coverage, provided the individual or group is covered by a certificate of deposit or liability bond in the same amounts.

Penalties:

Motor vehicle operators in the state of Washington fail to present proof of auto insurance that complies with state regulation upon request by a an officer of the law or other state authority, or who let their insurance lapse will face some severe penalties. These penalties include up to a 450.00 fine. The website for the Washington State Department of Licensing provides details about what state insurance regulations including what constitutes proof of insurance. Proof of insurance documents must have:

Motorists must be able to present this information to law enforcement upon request, so it should be kept in the vehicle at all times. You will also be required to present proof of insurance to register a motor vehicle in the state of Washington, registration is also mandatory to operate a vehicle. As previously stated, a lapse in insurance or failure to provide law enforcement with proof of insurance can result in expensive and troublesome penalties, including traffic violations and fines.

Requirements Regarding Proof of Insurance: Information on a form of financial responsibility must be presented if asked by Law Enforcement

Penalties For Not Carrying Mandatory Insurance: Fine up to $250

Min Coverage:

$25,000 for injury/death to one person

$50,000 for injury to more than one person

$10,000 for damage to property

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