Auto insurance is a must have, no matter what state you live in. Not only is it required by law, but having coverage provides peace of mind and assurance each time you sit in the driver’s seat and head out for the day. We can never anticipate an accident – hence the name – but they do happen. Even if you’re a defensive driver, it’s best to be prepared for the unthinkable.
The average auto accident insurance claim tallies more than $16,000 in personal injury and damages. Not many people have large amounts ready to lose, on top of the costs of your own medical bills and damages. One auto accident could turn your life upside down, if you are the responsible party or hospitalized due to injury. If you don’t have thousands of dollars lying around and want to protect yourself and your car, auto insurance is coverage you cannot live without.
State Laws: What Type of Insurance Do You Need?
Insurance laws are in place to financially protect Seattle drivers should an accident occur. It’s mandatory to comply with the auto insurance laws in the state, or face a slew of potential consequences including suspension of vehicle registration and fines.
Seattle drivers must carry a liability policy on any registered vehicle in the city. This policy must include Bodily Injury coverage of $25,000 for one person injured, with a maximum payout of $50,000 for all injuries. The policy must also include Property Damage protection in the amount of $10,000. Failure to carry this liability insurance policy is a crime in Seattle.
Drivers may choose to add additional amounts if they want added protection. Additional types of insurance can also be added to the liability policy, including uninsured/underinsured motorists and collision and comprehensive coverage.
What Affects Seattle Auto Insurance Rates?
Many factors influence the costs of your auto insurance rates, so it’s best that you compare before purchasing a policy. Some of the factors that influence the rates are those you affect, while others are things that cannot be changed. Factors influencing auto insurance rates include:
- Type of automobile being insured
- Education level
- Marital status
- Past driving record
- Credit history
Drivers under the age of 26 pay more to insure their cars, as do females and unmarried individuals. Poor credit history will result in higher auto insurance rates, and each driving infraction also tacks additional costs onto your rates. Keep in mind the previously listed factors are only a handful of conditions that can affect the cost of your auto insurance.
How to Keep Seattle Auto Insurance Rates Low
The easiest way to keep your auto insurance rates low is by driving safely and keep within the law. Drive within the speed limit, follow the rules of the road, and be courteous to other drivers. Getting to your destinations safely is its own reward, but it can only benefit you in the long run. Your driving record is a considerable portion of the determining rate factor; stay safe when you drive.
A few additional ways to nip expensive auto insurance rates in the bud:
- Take advantage of the many discounts offered from car insurers. Typically, discounts provide 10 to 25% in savings and are readily available. Multi-policy, multi-driver, safe driver, and good student discounts are among those offered to drivers.
- Increase the deductible amount. Doing so adds more risk to your end of the deal, but if you’re a safe driver, there shouldn’t be any concern.
- Compare rates. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times before. You hear it so often because comparing is the easiest way to get car insurance at the rates you’re most comfortable paying. It’s free to compare car insurance prices, so don’t miss out on the perks offered in doing so.
What Happens If You Don’t Carry Auto Insurance in Seattle?
In lieu of an auto insurance policy, Seattle drivers can place a security bond with the city. This bond must be paid yearly.
If a bond or auto insurance isn’t in place and you are stopped by law enforcement or involved in an accident, you are committing a crime. From here, you may be subject to an array of penalties including suspension of driving privileges, suspension of vehicle registration, increased auto insurance costs, and other consequences.
Auto insurance provides peace of mind and protection for Seattle drivers, and it prevents financial devastation and legal hassles. It’s never wise to drive uninsured in Seattle.