Auto Insurance Requirements in Washington State
Like others in the country, the state of Washington requires that every automobile on the road have liability coverage via car insurance. However, there are a few rules that make Washington distinct from other states.
If you’re a Washington-licensed driver, you must provide some kind of liability coverage on your automobile. This is so everybody involved in an accident is appropriately, fairly covered if they are not at fault.
Washington is distinct in that they offer multiple options for insurance coverage. For licensed drivers in Washington, some may be more rational than others, but they nonetheless have more than one option to choose from:
- Auto insurance
- Self insurance
- Certificate of deposit
- Liability bond
In regards to auto insurance, a Washington-licensed driver must have the following as bare minimum coverage:
- $25,000 of bodily injury or death of 1 person in any single accident
- $50,000 of bodily injury or death of 2 people in any single accident
- $10,000 of property damage coverage in any single accident
While comprehensive insurance isn’t mandatory, it’s nonetheless recommended in case you get in a more serious accident that requires major repairs and/or hospital bills.
Other Forms of Automobile Coverage in Washington
Aside from auto insurance, there are also other routes you can take to properly ensure you’re covered in case of accident.
If you have at least 26 vehicles, you may qualify for self-insurance. You can find more information about this special type of insurance by contacting your local Department of Licensing office.
A certificate of deposit is also an alternative avenue if you happen to have some cash lying around. Essentially a large sum of money held by the state in case of an accident, a certificate of deposit must be for at least $60,000. You can apply for one by filling out the Financial Responsibility Application and Affidavit and sending that in. Upon approval, you’ll be required to submit the Assignment of Monies or Securities for Financial Responsibility and any pertinent financial statements within 30 days.
Similar to the certificate of deposit is a liability bond, which must be for at least $60,000 and filed by a state-authorized surety bond company.
Penalties for Lack of Coverage in Washington
Failure to show proof of coverage at an accident or when pulled over by a law enforcement officer is considered an infraction and can result in fines of up to $450. Even worse, knowingly providing false information at an accident is an automatic misdemeanor. These can quickly accumulate towards your driving record and potentially result in license suspension or even revocation.
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