The amount of auto insurance coverage you should carry depends on various factors, including how often you drive, your location, etc. If you barely drive and prefer alternative modes of transport, you won't need much coverage beyond the minimum requirements. However, if you use your car a lot, you may want to add towing and other types of coverage. The more risks you take on, such as carrying passengers on regular commutes in heavy traffic, the more coverage you'll need.
Making sure your auto insurance in Washington meets the state's minimum requirements should be your top priority.
A basic auto insurance policy provides coverage for liabilities such as third-party property damage or bodily injuries. The state of Washington requires all drivers to carry liability insurance. The rest of what you include in your auto policy is up to you. Many drivers typically carry comprehensive coverage, which is usually required for financing a vehicle. It covers theft and damage unrelated to a crash, which is covered separately with collision insurance.
The state requires 25/50/10 coverage, meaning liability limits of at least:
Nonetheless, to be safer, it's best to carry a standard 100/300/100 liability plan, especially if you drive long distances frequently. A single accident can cost over $100,000 in medical bills, so you need this coverage more if you rely on your car for transportation.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pays for your medical bills and property damage when a driver without car insurance strikes your vehicle. Washington does not require UM coverage, but it's still good to have it in case you get hit by a criminal who drives drunk without a license.
Another type of extension you should consider is personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This no-fault coverage pays for lost wages if you become disabled and cannot work.
Your deductible is what you pay first when you file a claim as part of sharing the cost with your insurance agency, which pays the rest. Customizing your deductible directly impacts your monthly premium. If you want to lower your monthly insurance payment, raise your deductible. Conversely, if you don't want to pay as much when you file a claim, you should lower your deductible, which will increase your monthly premium.
Liability insurance is required in the state, and it makes sense as a financial safety net for Washington motorists. Without liability insurance, you risk paying heavy fines and can get sued for more money than your net worth. Carrying the right amount of liability coverage shields you from potential lawsuits.
The best auto insurance coverage you can carry is not the cheapest or one that fulfills the bare minimum requirement. Minimum coverage only pays for damage you cause to others, whereas a broader range of coverage will protect you against various damages.
The more you drive on the freeway and busy streets, the more your risks increase. So it's best to reduce the financial impact of these risks by carrying coverage that matches your driving behavior. Contact us at Patsel Insurance Agency for more information on customized auto insurance in Washington.