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Last updated on May 05, 2020

The Best Washington Auto Insurance Companies

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After extensive research into comparing Washington car insurance companies for price, J.D. Power scores, BBB data, and financial strength ratings from AM Best, S&P, and Moody’s, we chose PEMCO Insurance and USAA as the best auto insurers in the state. 

Both companies provide the most affordable car insurance in Washington. USAA has the edge over PEMCO Insurance because of its higher AM Best and customer satisfaction ratings and lower price, but only those in the military community can enroll with this provider. Still, PEMCO Insurance is J.D. Power’s Award Recipient for the northwest area. We also reviewed two additional carriers and included them below.

The 4 Best Car Insurance Companies in Washington

 Pemco InsuranceUSAAState FarmGEICO
  Our reviewOur reviewOur review
A.M Best Financial Strength RatingB++A++A++A++
J.D. Power 2019 Overall Customer Satisfaction Score(Northwest)5/55/53/53/5
Avg. Annual Premium$536$489$626$659

*Quadrant car insurance rate data as of 04/21/2020

PEMCO Insurance


PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance


Pros

  • J.D. Power’s Award Recipient
  • Affordable premiums

Cons

  • B++ AM Best Financial Rating

PEMCO Insurance has the cheapest car insurance premiums in the state of Washington of the companies we analyzed, excluding USAA because of its eligibility restrictions. It also received J.D. Power’s highest marks in all categories evaluated in the 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, showing it to have an elite claims handling process, policy offerings, and customer service. 

That said, its B++ financial strength rating from AM Best isn’t as impressive. While this means PEMCO Insurance has a “Good” ability to pay out claims, most larger companies have at least an A-. The other providers in this review received a “Superior” rating of A++. 

USAA


USAA

Pros

  • Comprehensive portfolio of services
  • Military-minded benefits

Cons

  • Only available to those in the military

Current and former military people and their families in Washington who want to use one company for all their financial needs will find a good home with USAA. It not only offers car insurance, but homeowners and renters insurance, deposit and investment accounts, and mortgages. 

You’ll also get 10% off by bundling home or renters insurance policies with auto, up to 60% off for vehicle storage, and military installation discounts.

State Farm


State Farm
State Farm


Pros

  • User-friendly website and mobile app
  • Many discount opportunities

Cons

  • May use non-OEM parts for repairs

State Farm offers several discount options in Washington, from various types of safe-driver discounts to discounts for students away at school. Its excellent interface on digital platforms makes it simple to manage your policies and file claims.

When making claims, it’s important to know that State Farm may use recycled parts or non-OEM parts when repairing your vehicle, in case this is something you want to avoid.

Geico


Geico

Pros

  • Rideshare coverage
  • Emergency roadside assistance

Cons

  • No gap insurance

GEICO offers 24/7 emergency roadside assistance as a policy add-on for a nominal fee. If you use AAA for that service, you may be able to save quite a bit of money by using Geico’s instead. You can also add rideshare insurance to your policy if you’re an Uber or Lyft driver in Washington state.

One option Geico doesn’t have is gap insurance, which protects you from paying your car’s outstanding balance if it’s totaled in a crash or stolen. 

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Washington

Largest Companies by Market Share in WashingtonAverage Annual Premium 
USAA$489
Pemco Insurance$536
Progressive$548
Oregon Mutual$606
State Farm$626
Mutual of Enumclaw$650
GEICO$659
Travelers$675
Allied Insurance$792

Car Insurance by Credit Rating

Credit Rating tierAverage Annual Premium 
Poor$1,132
Below Fair$973
Fair$820
Average$755
Good$680
Excellent$562
Average Across Credit Rating Tiers$820

Top 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Washington

  • USAA – $489
  • PEMCO Insurance – $536
  • Progressive – $548

Top 3 Most Expensive Car Insurance Companies in Washington

  • Allied Insurance – $792
  • Travelers – $675
  • Geico – $659

The cheapest car insurance companies in the state of Washington are USAA, PEMCO Insurance, and Progressive. The most expensive ones are Allied Insurance, Travelers, and Geico. We used general profiles to determine these rates. The best way to find out which company gives you the best value for the coverage you want is to request personalized quotes from various providers.

Guide to Car Insurance in Washington

Accident Responsibility in Washington

Washington is an at-fault state. This means if the police determine the car accident was your fault, you’re responsible for paying for all losses and damages for you and the other driver. Your auto insurance will pay up to your policy limits for medical and vehicle repair costs. Balances beyond those amounts come out of your pocket. 

Washington state requires all drivers with vehicles registered there to have a car insurance policy with coverage minimums of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death of any two people per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage coverage per accident

These minimums are often referred to in short at 25/50/10.

Consider How Much Coverage You Can Afford

While you can get away with purchasing the minimum car insurance coverage required by Washington law, you should consider if those amounts are enough to ensure your financial stability in the event you’re found at fault for a car crash. 

The average cost of a new car is $36,718. Even if you hit a car that’s six years old, average depreciation values show you’d have to pay $1,793.77 out of pocket in property damage, if you have the minimum liability, on top of your deductibles.

How We Found the Best Washington Car Insurance Companies

To choose the best car insurance in Washington, we started by taking the largest providers by market share. We then compared their ability to pay claims based on the insurer’s AM Best, Moody’s, and S&P ratings. Factoring in as well were average annual premiums, BBB data, and overall company and customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power to gauge value and service.

We worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide data on auto insurance rates by company and credit score. Quadrant makes this information available using rate data that insurers are required to file with the state Department of Insurance. Rates are based on sample profiles created by Reviews.com for comparative purposes. 

Car Insurance in Washington FAQ

What is the average rate for car insurance in Washington?

Washington’s average car insurance rate is $1,077.65, according to the most recent report from NAIC. This is about $56 below the national average. You may end up paying more or less than the average depending on factors such as your age, driving record, where you live, and others. The best way to know an accurate estimate is to request a personalized quote.

What are the minimum requirements for car insurance in Washington?

Washington state requires drivers to have 25/50/10 motor vehicle insurance.

About the Authors

Lorraine Roberte

Lorraine Roberte Contributing Writer

Lorraine Roberte is a South Florida-based personal finance writer. Her work has been published on sites such as Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, Red Tricycle and Tweak Your Biz.