If you are considering a move to Washington state or you are becoming a licensed driver in the state for the first time, there are a few things that you should know about car insurance laws. Like any other state, Washington has its own unique laws and requirements that govern how drivers insure cars and operate on the road. As is the case with most places around the country, Washington also requires that all automobiles on the road have a minimum amount of liability coverage through a qualified auto insurer. While Washington has some rules similar to other states, a few rules make it distinct from others.
Washington is unique in that it allows for a few different options for meeting the insurance coverage requirements. An auto insurance policy, like those offered by FreewayInsurance.com which are known for affordable car insurance, is a popular source for licensed drivers to comply with coverage requirements.
However, Washington also allows for self-insurance through certificates of deposit and liability bonds. Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about the state of Washington and its car insurance laws.
Automobile Coverage in Washington
Washington state car insurance laws dictate that everyone carry liability coverage. For most drivers in Washington, a liability insurance policy allows them to comply with the state’s regulations. Aside from this, however, drivers could opt out of Washington state’s insurance requirements by providing a certificate of deposit to the Department of Licensing. Additionally, drivers may set up a liability bond.
To use a certificate of deposit as an alternative to insurance, you’ll need to have some cash lying around. A driver must have at least $60,000 that the state can hold in trust in case of an accident. A certificate of deposit is obtained by completing several official forms and providing the necessary financial statements.
Another option drivers have as an alternative to insurance is to purchase a liability bond for a minimum of $60,000 from an authorized surety bond company. A bond is a line of credit that requires an annual premium. Similar to paying out-of-pocket for an accident, you may borrow money against the bond should you need it. However, If you are at fault in the accident, you will be required to pay back the money.
Uninsured Motorist Penalties
If a driver is on the road without the required insurance or alternate options, they could face a $550 or more fine. If you cannot show proof of coverage following an accident or when stopped by law enforcement, you are in violation of the law, and it can result in a citation. Additionally, if a driver knowingly provides false insurance information at an accident, it is an automatic misdemeanor charge. Infractions like these will count against your driving record and could result in suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
“Fault” Car Accident State
Like many other states in the U.S., Washington is a traditional “fault” state for the financial responsibility of losses resulting from a car accident. This financial responsibility includes payments for injuries, lost income, vehicle damage, and more. When a driver is found to be responsible for an at-fault accident, the state holds them legally responsible for any harm or consequences stemming from the occurrence.
As a driver in Washington, you must carry liability auto insurance. Liability coverage is a legal requirement that pays for property damages and bodily injury other drivers suffer if you are at fault for an accident. This type of insurance coverage won’t protect you or your vehicle in an at-fault accident. To increase your protection, it’s always a good idea to consider adding comprehensive and collision policies. These will cover you and your car no matter who is at fault. It will also cover things such as vandalism or other non-accident-related damage.
Washington has more than 5.5 million licensed drivers on the roads throughout the state. With so many drivers, it’s important that everyone knows and follows the regulations regarding auto insurance.